greatbear: (seasons greetings)
Pardon me if I'm not exactly filled with Christmas spirit. The weather outside is frightful, with lots of rain and even thunderstorms battering the area for the next couple days. The fire is so delightful, however, as I have the woodstove cranking to offset the dreary, cold, wet mess outside. Jeff and I have both been hit with a very nasty gastrointestinal bug, where we got it isn't clear. I've had these before, but this is by far the worst I've gotten slammed with such a thing, which made me violently ill. I think the worst is over, for I tried to have a little bit of chicken soup tonight and no warning sirens are going off yet. Jeff thankfully has off tomorrow, and with both of us under the weather, our dinner plans might have to be changed to something very light, if anything at all. He has to work Friday, unfortunately. We were planning of heading up the see his family and make a nice dinner, but that looks like it might out of the question given our messed up health. We will see. I was hoping to make it through the holidays without the usual, inevitable winter maladies dropping by to say hello, so instead we got something different and just as unwelcome. Ah, well, it is what it is. I got a couple nice presents for Jeff, he apparently has a couple for me, and we have no idea what we are getting. So that's good. Little surprises, lots of love and warmth.

Our little pooch Kodi needed to have some serious surgery done to remove a number of bladder stones. These were discovered during examinations for something unrelated, and these had the potential to wreak havoc on the little guy had those stones moved into and blocked his urethra. Little trouper he is, after the surgery he was mostly his cheerful self, but kept having accidents around the house. These have subsided, fortunately, and he's almost back to normal. In fact, it seemed in recent months he'd beg to go outside to pee more often than usual, and the frequency is less than before. So I think we had something taken care of before it could get a lot worse. Today I promised him he'd have his stitches removed, but that turned out to only be partially true. When we initially picked him up, he had of course been fitted with The Cone of Shame for obvious reasons. A day or two later he somehow managed to knock the thing off, and he went straight for the surgery site and the stitches. Jeff saw this in time and stopped him from doing any damage, but apparently he pulled one loose and created a large scab. So all but two stitches are gone until next week, where hopefully the disturbed area heals up a bit more, the scab comes off and the remaining stitches that are all caught up in there can be taken out. The Cone of Shame remains on as well, but Kodi has gotten used to it in some ways. Around here, to make the little guys feel better, we don't call the collar the "Cone of Shame," instead it's known as "The Bowl of Kisses," because all you have to do is hold that bowl in your hands and put your face inside, and you will get lots of happy licks.

As for me, well, I'm still down and out from the crumbling spine issues. Only a bit less pain, but unable to do much to the point I have even stopped climbing the walls in frustration. The pain that radiates down and concentrates on my lower left leg has resulted in now shocking amounts of atrophy. My calf is about the size of my forearm, and my thigh is about the size of my biceps before I began having all these old man issues. These days, the biceps are pretty much gone too, my clothes hang off me like a scarecrow, and everyday objects feel heavy. Some of my tools and equipment that are normally quite heavy are nearly impossible for me to deal with. On Jan. 6, I will head in for one last chance at a needle in the spine to help matters. If this doesn't do the trick, I will either have to have very invasive surgery to bolt my back together, or resign myself to pain and disability for the rest of my life. Honestly, with my track record under the knife, the latter choice is looking more promising.

I figured I owed y'all an update, unfortunately it isn't all peaches and cream. But I'll get by. I had so many opportunities to exit the human race but defied the odds. I was born prematurely, with low birth weight and needed resuscitation before spending my earliest days in an incubator, I've been hit by lightning, been electrically shocked hundreds of times during work and tinkering, been in nasty accidents, a round of misdiagnosed peritonitis that had one day left to kill me, and any other number of near misses, bad ailments, stupid situations and close calls. But I'm still here. Too bad that old saying about that which doesn't kill us makes us stronger is pretty much bullocks, because I'm the weakest I've been since most likely elementary school right now. I should be the world's strongest man.

All the best,

Phil & Jeff & Kodi & Snickels

Stressfest

Dec. 3rd, 2014 02:21 am
greatbear: (kmfdm icons)
I found out today that my primary credit card number has been used for fraudulent purposes. Thankfully the card issuer stopped it from going any further, but it tossed a spanner into the works at a bad time. I luckily have a backup card from another financial institution, so not all is lost. I don't use the secondary card often, and I'm worried my sudden usage of it doesn't trigger suspicious activity warnings on it until I get the replacement primary card. In the meantime, more stress piled on at critical times.

Today I took Kodi the the vet for his annual checkups as well as to have a chipped tooth looked at. The little guy had to have the tooth removed, and other tests found he has bladder stones which will require surgery to remove. I was upset, as was Jeff when I informed him. Couple that with his crying as I left him with the vet and I was pretty upset. We have to schedule the surgery date in the near future, as there is a risk of the stones shifting and blocking his urethra, causing even more dire situations. I guess this trip was a blessing in disguise, as the vet originally wanted to give him x-rays for look for other things. I want our "children" to live a long, healthy life with us.

Speaking of doctors, after dropping Kodi off, I headed up to my orthopedist to get some relief for my increasing pain and immobility. He will go through the same process as I've been using for many years now, which begins with shot into my spine. I did get some good news, for this time I won't have to take another trip through the MRI, an ordeal made far worse because of the pain becoming excruciating when I try to lay down. This will save me some money and time too. That was an unexpected surprise.

The little bit of good news wasn't enough to offset the stress, and when I later got the call from the vet about Kodi's condition, I was becoming a complete wigged-out mess. While sitting at the studio workstation I disturbed something on the already cluttered desk that caused a chain reaction of stuff falling, including a glass of water, which landed squarely in my lap. That was the last straw, and I proceeded to clear everything from the desk, clutter, hard drives, peripherals, mixers, paperwork and other debris by hurling it onto the floor. The stress, pain, frustrations and general hate for the world as a whole caused me to pop my cork. I stumbled into the bedroom, climbed into bed, tried to find a position with minimum pain, and checked out for the rest of the day until Jeff came home with Kodi. Snickles, despite being chased out of the room by the initial cursing and flying objects, joined me immediately in bed with a concerned look on his face, then burrowed under the sheets and cuddled closely against my chest. I call this his teddy bear mode, and he seems to know to activate it when I am not myself (pretty often, of late). We both conked out, me with chemical additives to accelerate the process, my arm on top of him.

I am really hoping for some relief from the doc with nothing more than this procedure. I had a similar flare-up in June, which was putting a huge damper on our wedding preparations, and after a couple weeks, I was doing much better. The doctor even remembered about us getting married, asking me about it while at the office today. That put a smile on my face as I gave him the Reader's Digest version. He didn't have any prompting from me, he remembered on his own. I've noticed a lot of folks having definite positive reactions about our wedding, both before and after. So, not everything was tantrum-worthy today, but sometimes blowing off steam is a net positive.
greatbear: (forearms)
Kodi's birthday is today. He's all of 8 years old. In dog years, that's 56. He's older than me and Jeff! My, how time flies.

Happy birthday to our yappy bundle of joy and hair!

IMG_1354

Ptwned!

Jul. 23rd, 2013 01:11 am
greatbear: (jeff and me)
My recent disappearance in these cyber parts was mainly due to me and Jeff taking a much-needed vacation. Per usual, we headed up to Provincetown for a little over a week's worth of rest, fun, sun, friends, eye candy and way too much good food. Arriving the Thursday afternoon prior to Bear Week, the two of us, along with the two pooches, set up our little campsite in the same location as last year. We immediately went out to our favorite carry-out eating spots and put together our meal after all the driving. It was an "official" start to our big vacation of the year. While not as long as last year (we took two weeks worth then), it was still plenty of time to enjoy ourselves. I always seem to say that we go to PTown "despite" Bear Week, a we don't bother signing up with any of the official goings-on put on by the Provincetown Bears, opting instead to do our own thing. We get to see our friends that normally live ten minutes or so from us but never see these days except in PTown, familiar faces from years before seem to be everywhere, and we get to meet interesting new people. No expectations, no stress (for the most part). Running into Armistead Maupin and John Waters on the streets, taking pictures with cast members of "Where the Bears Are", talking with recording and DJ folks, parties with friends, it's a different sort of world for a week. I even managed to get my increasingly creaky old ass on the dance floor. And the food, well, let's say not a day went by that we weren't smiling about having a great meal. It's all good, much needed, and always welcome.

Our good friends from Connecticut, whom we sadly only get to see this one time a year, were once again at the campground, along with not one, but two of their potbellied pigs as travel companions. They brought fresh eggs for us from their farm, which made for wonderful breakfasts. Jeff's trio of buddies were at the other end of the campground again, we kept running into them here and there. Weather on the Cape was much more sane than the heat wave to our west. We went to so many of our favorite galleries and shops, dragging home art and souvenirs as well as a couple boxes of electronic gear I picked up from the church tag sale for way too cheap. It was a challenge to get everything into the truck to bring home. We managed fine, we just had to open the rear doors slowly to catch stuff falling out as it shifted in traveling.

While it might seem this was an idyllic trip free of snags, like all good things there were clouds among the silver linings. PTown had been experiencing some manner of rain practically every day since early June, this resulted in a bumper crop of mosquitoes that rivaled some tropical climates. Lounging outside at the campground was doable with repellants and sprays, but we didn't do too much to speak of. Even parts of downtown were plagued with the bloodthirsty beasts, but it was a small distraction to all the goodness abounding. All the aforementioned good food didn't take long to overwhelm the wreckage that constitutes my lower digestive tract. Some of our plans had to be shuffled or skipped as I dealt with far too many trips to the bathroom. The janky wireless internet access I was getting at the home base of Mobile Mayhem made keeping up with the outside world sketchy at best, and downright frustrating at times. The campground lies at the fringe of 3G mobile data coverage, and the reliability/availability of the connection made my early days of dialup internet seem like fiber optic broadband. As such, I lost out on meeting up with some LJers and Facebookers. Service was better downtown, of course, but I didn't bring the laptop with me, and I wasn't going to be one of the many cellphone zombies wandering around the streets not watching where they're going, or Instagramming their meals, or posting Twitter and FB updates every two minutes. I find it so much better to pry myself away from constant online access, instead enjoying the moments. Honestly, I don't have that many years left, so I am making the best of the time while I can.

I also discovered that, as time goes on, I am taking far fewer photos than I used to. Yes, I dragged four cameras with me, but the SLR stayed in the bag, the waterproof Pentax I brought along had its battery conk out at the beach where I hoped to take pics of the dogs frolicking in the sea, my little Canon compact accumulated less than two dozen shots, while my cell phone camera probably had to most use of all. Honestly, I have no idea what's going on there. My interest in photography has fallen way off in recent years. Still, I have a few good shots that will service as nice reminders of our time. I guess I need to focus (heh) on bringing my hobbies with me more often.

We ended up breaking camp and hauling our asses outta town the following Friday. Since traffic heading on and off the Cape is legendary for long lines on the weekends, we've discovered it best to leave early on weekdays instead. While there were still two good days of beary goodness to be had, we needed to get to Pennslovakia in order to rest up and unpack the trailer on Friday evening in order to take it in for repairs on Saturday morning. We couldn't get the work done on it before vacation as we hoped due to parts availability issues. Luckily the damage caused by the fire in March was not bad enough to keep us from using the trailer for vacation, it was mostly cosmetic. I hauled the trailer up to the RV shop on Saturday, not before running right into the start of a vintage tractor parade in the town of Gratz, where the shop is located. I had to shoot ahead of the parade using side alley streets, once ahead of the vintage machinery, I got back on the main town road lined with people waiting for the tractors. I guess we should've waved or something. Once that was taken care of, we visited Jeff's mom at the nursing home and headed home, We had a Sunday in Maryland to ourselves, working in the gardens and the yard plus running errands. This Monday, of course, was back to the grind. At least we had our fun and are better for it.

I didn't promise pictures, but here's one of us on the breakwater in PTown. Gadzooks, I am looking older by the day.

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We are already making plans for next year.
greatbear: (forearms)
The last several days have been interesting, productive, fun and relaxing. Jeff had accumulated some time off from working extra days, and he bundled them around this particular weekend. All together, he's off from Thursday through Tuesday, and our dance card had already been pretty much filled. On Thursday, we headed down to wild, wonderful West Virginia and the town of Cass to ride the restored rail line, once part of a lumber operation and now a scenic railroad. The three of us boarded the train, the beautifully restored Shay steam locomotive chugged to life and we were on a relaxing excursion through the woods and hills of the area. Scenic is definitely the best way to describe the 11-mile journey as the stout locomotive pushed the cars to over 5000ft in elevation in 11 miles. I will most likely post more about this, as I collect the pics and video. Stupid me, I had forgotten to load a fresh SD card into the camera, and I'm still unaccustomed to how fast the memory gets eaten up taking full HD video. I ran out of space halfway into the trip and had to use my cell phone for the rest of the day. We had a great time, despite the 4+ hour ride to and from the area (neither one of use had to drive). We might do this again in the fall when the leaves change, the colors would be beyond breathtaking. I bought some art as souvenirs, there are quite a few unique items made locally by hand, a refreshing change from finding touristy trinkets crafted from Chinesium in such places. The lady who rung up my one purchase was also the maker. Definitely a friendly place on the "must return to" list.

Friday we spent clearing out the rest of the vegetable garden for planting as well as doing other yard work. I also did some upgrades to the truck as prep for next month's PTown trip. We picked up various soil enhancements and I fired up the big Troy-Bilt and tilled the area into a respectable spot and Jeff planted two varieties of sweet corn in that last quadrant of the garden. Jeff was so happy to finally get this done as well. Now we just have to figure a way of preventing damage from the stink bugs and other vermin that have been problems in the past. More research is needed, and I want to minimize the use of chemicals.

We took both pooches to the groomer in Saturday morning, old hat for Kodi but a first for Snickles. While the dogs were away, we continued with the yard stuff a bit and did other things which included a nice lunch devoid of begging dogs. When the call came from the groomer, we picked up our freshly washed pups and brought them home. We cleaned up after a while and headed to the Merriweather Post Pavilion to see the Zac Brown band perform.

IMG_1373


These guys can rock, despite their country leanings. A band for pogonophiles everywhere, they played a tight set and kept everyone on their feet. I was blown away by their cover of Metallica's "Enter Sandman," especially with the lead guitar solo being played to the hilt on the fiddle! We both had an awesome time at the show despite the outrageous prices for food and refreshments. There's not much escaping that folly these days, however.

Sunday Jeff took Kodi with him to Pennsyltucky while I kept Da Snick home with me. While he tended to family business as well as getting the trailer cleaned up and ready for the trip, I worked in the garage on various overdue projects. As is usually the case in The Garage of Mayhem, a simple project took a curvy left turn and became something different. The vegetable garden is surrounded with a 4+ foot wire fence to keep the critters out, and there are four "gate" to get in and out. The "main" entrance has an arbor with a double swinging gate, the other three sides have an opening in the fence to get equipment in and out which has a section of the fence wire loosely hung into the openings. The two side openings are about 4 feet wide, the back one is a bit shy of seven feet wide in order to get the tractor and other stuff though. Hanging the wire fencing by itself was never a permanent solution, especially since we have a big, fat, nearly invincible groundhog that likes to work his way under the loose fencing and get at our goodies. We've both shot at him several times and missed. Time had finally come to make use of the rebar I had picked up earlier to make a frame to attach the loose wire to and make the garden groundhog- (and many other critter-) proof. All I wanted originally was to make a simple rectangular frame by cutting and welding the rebar together, attaching a panel of wire fencing, then placing this on the ground against the openings in the fence. Well, the simple rectangular frame looked rather plain, and given the size of it (80 inches wide, 60 inches high) and its location opposite the main entrance, I decided to make it somewhat of an art piece instead. Here is what I came up with, before the wire fencing is attached.

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The fencing will cover the lower 48 inches, with the uppermost divided rectangular area left open. Rather than being hinged, the gate has a pair of spikes that go into the ground and it gets held in place by a couple of clamps. It only gets removed to take equipment in and out of the garden and to deal with weeds. No reason why something utilitarian can't also be attractive at the same time. I have yet to make the smaller side gate frames, those will be simpler, just a square with a crisscrossing reinforcement, and perhaps a rectangular upper panel to match the big gate. I need to extend the fence posts to about seven feet tall, and attach a course or two of wire to keep the deer from jumping in and out. The deer are the worst garden destroyers here at Mayhem Acres, and they keep multiplying. Until it was cleaned out, the southwest quadrant (the bare ground in the photo) had branches and brush piled in it from last fall, and that had gotten overgrown with weeds as we neglected it and worked the other three areas. This had become home to a tiny fawn as Jeff discovered while cleaning. The fawn got trapped in the fence until our dogs began barking and chasing it. Jeff was so close to having another pet.

Jeff will be in PA with dad for another couple days. In that time I have some mods to do on the truck, fluid changes to do, plus cleaning it up. The Stratus will get a couple more suspension parts (lower control arms w/integral ball joints plus front swaybar links) to satisfy my worry that they, like the tie rod ends, might be close to failing. The replacements will have grease fittings and can receive regular maintenance, giving me some peace of mind.
greatbear: (fucking painting trees)
Here's a rare glimpse behind the scenes at the underground bunker at La Casa Mayhem. What am I doing, you might ask? Well, once again I am directing the full power of my fully operational battle station awesome IT infrastructure to bear on an innocent old man in hopes of making him cry again. In other words, I am fixing and printing more family photos lost to the fire at Jeff's parents' place.



He has "officially" moved in today, getting his permits signed off. Jeff's phone rang this evening, announcing the number as originating from the landline rather than dad's cell, something that made us both smile. There are some relatively minor tasks that need tending there, railings for the stairs into the basement, walkways and landscaping, some of which I will help with this weekend. The trailer gets moved back to its storage space in the driveway so the yard can be repaired and grass planted in remaining areas. Right now it's raining, and the yard is pretty much a mud bog. This is typical during construction. By mid summer, the place should be looking mighty fine. Dad can finally begin to relax and start making the new house a home.

I spent a bit of a beautiful yesterday trudging around in a junkyard auto dismantling and recycling facility yesterday helping a friend collect parts for one of his cars that recently got wrecked. I managed to find a rare item, a compass/mini trip computer out of a 2000 Chrysler Sebring convertible. This is the same JA body series as my '00 Stratus, and I had wanted to hack the computer into the Strat, as it was never offered as an option. Today I took some time to tear into the dash and wiring, splicing wires and modifying the dash to accept the computer. Success! I also lucked out in that the yard also had a section which had tractors and other outdoor equipment, and I found a steering wheel that I could adapt to my old Gravely garden tractor. The original wheel is still available from Gravely, but it goes for a downright silly $160. 12 bucks later I had a perfect replacement which also got installed today while I did yearly maintenance on the tractor. So, garage duties today were productive.

My aforementioned friend and I go way back, to the 6th grade. For years he had operated his own auto repair shop, but hard times as well as disability forced him to close down. I took a lot of the equipment off his hands and set it up here at Mayhem, and there's still more to get as I make room for it. Sadly, he's not going to be in the business anymore, even the relatively short walk through the junkyard wore him out. His health has never been stellar, at 6'8" and 400-something pounds, all that weight finally is taking a toll on his well-being. While he has tried to address some issues, old habits (and a healthy appetite) are hard to break, and the lack of income and job opportunities keep him from obtaining medical help that could help. He says he is not going to undergo surgery on his back that is the major issue. I am far from a glowing example of successful back surgery, and I am one of the many examples of people he knows that are no better if not worse off after surgery. Still, he could be better off losing the ample belly he's had ever since I've known him. I've suggested it many times with no success. I worry about his future.

A week ago Jeff and I roused the pooches before the crack of dawn and took a weekday trip to the beach. We wanted to get Snickles accustomed to crowds, walking, other pets and the beach. Well, we hit on all points but the last. As it turned out, Rehoboth beach no longer allows dogs on the beach or boardwalks between Memorial Day and Labor day, and we missed the opportunity. We could've taken a trip north to the state park where the dogs are welcome, but that is a pretty quiet area and we wanted immersion education for da Snick. We were disappointed, but rather than waste the two-and-a-half hour trip, we hung out downtown and walked the dogs while doing some shopping and eating. Snickles did pretty good once he got acclimated to the surroundings. He's naturally very friendly with people, and surprisingly good with kids. He barks loudly at anyone on a bicycle. Little does he know the next step in his preparation for a Big Gay Life with us will involve not only getting used to Jeff and I on bikes, but riding along as well. I got a new pannier carrier for my bike as well as a made-for-the-purpose pet carrier which attaches. Kodi has his front-mounted carrier on Jeff's bike, with mine being a full suspension bike the best I could do is a rear mount. I will soon be taking the little guy for rides in the neighborhood. If that is a success, he and the rest of us will be ready to ride through the streets of PTown together, where the dogs are certain to be rock stars. People got a kick out of Kodi riding with Jeff, a pair of pedaled pooches is certain to bring out the smiles of passerby. Not to mention hunk/babe magnets deluxe. ;-)
greatbear: (cirque du so gay)
Yesterday was not a good day for lil' Snickles. For his six month birthday he got taken to the local vet to be fixed and chipped. I felt bad for the poor guy. He seemed very proud of his dangly bits, and, truth be told, he's pretty well hung for a little dog. The energetic, alert pup I dropped off had become a sleepy wet rag when it was time to pick him up. I felt awful. Snickles was disoriented, confused and lethargic for the rest of the day. We had him close and kept an eye or two out for him, and he seemed to be okay, picking up a bit right before bedtime. Today he is just about back to his old self, complete with a couple attempts to hump my arm. He adjusted to having the big plastic lampshade over his head quite well, with only one moment of panic when he tried to hook his lower jaw under the collar and succeeded. I freed him, and he's been pretty clingy all day. Jeff has to work both today and tomorrow, so it is just me and the pooches, with Pinky the cat giggling at Snickles' Cone of Shame. I cut the grass at Mayhem Acres and did some yard cleaning between the rainfalls, otherwise being domestic and mucking around with the servers and automating more backups. With Jeff gone all day, I was also spinning lots of old records, taking advantage of a new phono cartridge I installed the other day. The pups don't mind as long as I don't terribly crank the decibels, and the air guitar only draws quizzical, cocked-head stares. Maybe it should be me with that cone.

Snickles needs to rock his Elizabethan collar for a few days while his tackle box heals up, in two weeks the two stitches come out. Now comes some much more intense interaction in order to train him. He hasn't quite gotten the knack of being housebroken, a point of frustration for me at times. He still makes mistakes and doesn't know how or why to make a signal that he needs to go out, despite being very observant of Kodi. He's only a pup still, and he is plainly a very smart dog, as we've both seen on many occasions. Kodi had "official" obedience training at PetSmart, a task that we actually enjoyed very much. Kodi didn't always seem to "get it" during the training either. In both his beginning and intermediate level trainings, there was a "final exam" that needed to be passed in order to actually pass the courses. Both me and Jeff had our doubts, but as out turns came up to demonstrate Kodi's newly acquired prowess, he totally floored us both and did everything perfectly. I hope Snickles does as good.
greatbear: (Default)
Yesterday's weather was unseasonably warm, a t-shirt 'n' jeans day in the middle of winter? Sign me up. Today is supposed to get even warmer. As some of you might recall, I walked outside the house on my birthday Feb. 2, looked down, and lo and behold, there was no shadow. So, as promised, the six remaining weeks (give or take) of winter is to be mild. Remember, when it comes to groundhog weather prognostication, the "six more weeks of winter" is a given, shadow or no. It's whether the weather will be nasty, cold and snowy (shadow seen) or mild, sunny and warmer (no shadow seen). I keep my promises. However, the weather conditions only apply to the greater Eastern Seaboard/Northeast US. I can't promise much beyond that. YMMV. Or YWMV, as the case may be.

Jeff came home early from work, and we scooped up Kodi and took a nice long (and, for me, almost stumble-free) walk in the neighborhood. It does are ursine and canine bodies good. A little while ago, I picked up a new camera, a Canon SX230 HS. I took it along as its first test outside, and I am pretty pleased. I got this little compact super-zoom to have something versatile yet pocket-sized. I wanted something I could sneak into shows, or just carry with me and grab shots not possible with my other pocket camera, a Pentax W30. A 14X zoom, 12.1MP, and full 1080p HD video in such a small package is amazing, and it was less than 250 bux at Costco. I took a few snaps while we were out, and I created a set on Flickr to toss some of the random shots I am taking with it. Below is one I call "Tree Hugger."

tree hugger


More shots of the walk and more can be found here.

I notice it has been over a year since I did anything with my Flickr account. Maybe that will change.
greatbear: (Default)
Our Kodi, he's so kute...



And he so krazy too.
greatbear: (Default)
Today is Kodi's birthday! He's all of 5 years old. He's a good pooch. We got him a cake with candles and everything. For a present, he got a trip to the vet and an update on all his vaccinations. I'd post pictures, but my computer is having none of it for some reason.

Happy Birthday Kodi!
greatbear: (jeff and me)
You probably didn't take notice, but there has been an extended period of radio silence on this here bloggy-poo. The reason? Some much-needed vacation time. It was actually a two-parter, the July 4th weekend was spent up at Hillside for 4 days, a return home for us so Jeff could do some worky-worky stuff for a couple days, then a return to the road for a trip to Provincetown for Bear Week. I set the controls at the House and Garage of Mayhem on full auto, the antipersonnel laser vaporizing a trespasser (or it might have been the meter reader, I'll see what the electric company says) but apparently missing the sly groundhog that took liberties (and big bites) with some of the garden veggies.

The Hillside trip was nice. We had on board with us a couple friends, one we knew for years on and offline (former LJer Aaron/"fredneckteddy") and a buddy of Jeff's all the way from North Carolina, Tony, whom Jeff had been conversing online for a very long time and met in person for the first time upon picking him up at the train station on Wednesday. A good time was had by all, lots of good food was cooked and eaten, and, as is apparently an unwritten law for Hillside camping, at least part of the time spent there had us rained on. Tony, being a Hillside "virgin", had a lot of fun despite being at times overwhelmed by, well, the people and things going on there. Hell, he's ate it all up and had a blast. Aaron was last at Hillside maybe 8 years prior, and had no trouble adjusting (yeah, that's what I'll call it for now, "adjusting"). Once the extended weekend was over, I towed our 26 ft home back to its summer parking spot at Jeff's parent's place, leaving it connected to the truck and driving home in the car that we also brought up. This allowed us a substantial fuel savings, and the convenience of having the rig all ready to go again in three days.

We headed up to PTown at the crack of dawn on Thursday, arriving about mid-afternoon. After setting up and a bit of a break, we headed into town. Of course, our first stops are at Mojo's for a big cup of Cape Iced tea, and a stop at the Portuguese Bakery. Any familiar faces or "bears" had yet to make any sort of mass appearance since the bear week event did not officially start until Saturday. We were treated to lots of muscled Chelsea Boy types among other homosexual subspecies. Once the official start of Bear Week approached and passed, the eye candy quotient went into orbit. Jeff and I were quite content with finding outdoor seating at restaurants, shops and the town square and watching the parade of hair humans, many quite familiar from years past. Several of our well-known friends popped up in all the usual places once again, and I got to meet quite a few LJ peeps for the first time, more so than in previous years. There were apparently some missed opportunities as well as outright ignoring by a few people, a major (though not entirely unexpected) disappointment,

Our extended week had us doing our traditional whale watch boat trip, typical shopping sprees and general lolling about town, not to mention eating some of the most awesomest food around every day. We took Kodi with us into town every day, where he soaked in rockstar-like popularity heaped on him by dozens of people at a time. It didn't help that, in addition to his adorable doggy-ness, he would ride in Jeff's bicycle basket through town or carried in a over-the-shoulder sling pouch, both of these carriers designed specifically for pooch perambulating. In addition to the miles of walking, toting and riding, Kodi managed over 1200 miles of puke-free riding from Mayhem Acres all the way to PTown and back. It's like he knows it's vacation time, and relaxes immediately. If this could only be the case with every road trip! It was Kodi's first trip to the beach, where he eventually had a blast dog-paddling in the water once getting used to it.

This year, our vacation accompanies a big change in both of us, as we are officially two middle-aged men with major medical conditions. Jeff was not able to ride nearly as far on his bike as in years past, and I still fumbled my way around a bit while walking. Despite this, we both did remarkably well IMO, with Jeff taking the little rides in stride and I didn't end up falling down once. We even managed to take part in the now-standard-feature-of-Bear-Week, Blowoff. This was short lived, as the dance floor at the Boat Slip Resort resembled a sauna, with the heat and humidity oppressive to say the least. The next day Jeff was hit with a case of "kennel cough" and I still have a case of intermittent sniffles. We are either way too old for this sort of thing, or someone has to provide several thousand more cfm of ventilation to that place.

There's much more, but, sad, to say, all good things have to come to an end, after an 11-hour trip off the Cape and back to the trailer's summer parking spot, a night's sleep, then the additional 2.5 hour trip home this afternoon, our vacation for 2011 officially ended. While sad, and seemingly awfully short, we packed a lot into the time we had, and were glad to arrive home in one piece, bettered by our time spent up north. We are already making plans for next year.

More (possibly) to come...
greatbear: (Default)
Okay, after an extended period of radio silence, I guess I should post something.

Life here at Mayhem Acres has been busy for both of us. And this is not such a good thing for Jeff. Unfortunately, it seems his work has turned into non-stop 12+ hour days of doing the work of four or more people at a time. A new facility with mostly all-new staff who don't value work ethic and call out or fail to perform as required leaves Jeff as well as the general manager juggling too many tasks as well as terminating the malcontents, making the short-staffed situation even worse. The result? I end up with a totally exhausted mound of cubbage who comes home and often collapses into a short nap before anything else. Remember, this is a guy who had a severe heart attack in December, right before Xmas. You now know why I am worried sick myself, and try to do as much as I can to make his evenings a bit easier.

I am back on meds meant to help with my spinal nerve reconstruction and rehab. I almost forgot how dazed and loopy this makes me feel at times. I walk around like Captain Jack Sparrow in all those Pirates of the Caribbean movies and sometimes feel like a spinning top with insufficient rotational momentum to remain solidly upright. Give me a bump and I will stumble and stagger like a hopeless drunkard.

Despite all of this, our weekends have been productive and sometimes quite fun. We've been finally taking on the yard in all of its overgrown bluster, trimming and cutting down wayward and damaged trees thanks to the bad weather of the last couple winters. Prior to restarting the nerve meds I managed to climb up ladders to cut branches, work on the buildings and install the pile of various LED outdoor light fixtures that have been sitting around the house for the last couple years. Things are starting to shape up, and we can admire our handiwork for a change. There are lots of plants to go in the gardens as well. I still have to do summer maintenance on vehicles as well as pull all the wheels off the travel trailer to check brakes and repack bearings, not to mention de-winterizing all the plumbing and minor fixes and cleanup before vacation season. Kodi had a Saturday trip to the groomer for his out-of-control hair, and came back rocking his new summer 'do. It's a new look for him, and all of us like it.

As a reward to all our hard work and resulting piles of wood chips, last night we had tix to see Sugarland with Little Big Town and Matt Nathanson here at Merriweather Post Pavilion. Jeff was unsure about going, since it was going to end late on a Sunday night and he had to go to work super-early the next morning. He actually tried to sell our tickets but the deal had fallen through, and we pondered leaving early from the show if we actually did go at all. Well, the event came, and we had a blast. This unknown (to us) new guy Matt Nathanson was really good, more indie folk than "country." He is touring with Sugarland because of their cooperation in Matt's upcoming CD. He opened up for Little Big Town, who rocked the house. Their high-energy set was spot on, but their most country-fied piece was an unplugged, accordion with big bass fiddle version of... "Born This Way." Yeah, Lady Gaga is everywhere, and LBT's "G" was a foot-stompin' romp that had everyone moving. Sugarland took the stage and expanded their "Incredible Machine" tour set we saw last year. Jeff was sad "(Why Don't You) Stay" was missing from the set list last year, this time, when I heard the opening notes I nudged Jeff in the side as his face lit up. I also passed him a napkin, knowing Jennifer Nettles' emotional delivery would have an impact. Sugarland kept up the entire set with tons of energy and a roaring good time. For an encore, in honor of the (failed) Rapture nonsense of a day before, they closed with REM's "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" with Matt Nathanson on lead vocals, and Little Big Town on stage joining in. As you noticed, every band/performer did at least one song not of their own. Sugarland nailed Madonna's "Like a Prayer" and C-Lo Green's "F You" among others, and even Matt Nathanson's set closer was Journey's "Don't Stop Believing." Unlike last year, we managed to get off the parking lot in record time (only about 5 minutes), getting home to pour Jeff into bed for a couple hours sleep before his big Monday hell. As I have been told, this Hell was not as bad as expected, so, cool bonus and happy cubbage this evening! I'm glad we did not miss out on this show.

I've got more time on my hands and hope to make use of it finishing up some much needed work on the house as long as my nerves allow it. I hope that does not impact our rather small vacation plans for PTown in July.

So, how has your days been?
greatbear: (Default)
Some big changes coming here at La Casa Mayhem starting this coming week. Jeff has a new new job, at a new place, with his old boss (which he likes a lot) at a spanking new huge facility with state-of-the-art everything and the chance to build his staff from scratch in his own way. It's a chef's woodie-inducing dream, though it will be a bit hectic and sometimes frustrating at the start, I'm sure. There's more money in it for him and no manager-on-duty nonsense every several weeks, plus no weekends. So, a major w00t for him. I just hope the stress of getting the place up to speed does not impact his cardiac recovery.

Did some tuning up of my f-list, removing mostly people who obviously disapproved of my friending them in the first place, and a couple others. Nature abhors a vacuum, Mayhem abhors douchery.

Angry Birds for Android was a nice addicting distraction while it lasted. I'm through all the levels and want more. Any suggestions? The Scruff app is, well, interesting.

The weather bureaus are making noises towards there being another SNOMG Event early next week. I hope I don't have to be moving snow in the middle of the night again. I just got the deck cleared off yesterday, the front walk is still unusable due to low and fallen branches. Using the small electric snowblower to clear the deck, it picked up a small bungee cord hidden in the snow and it got wrapped around the shaft. It was too tangled to unthread, so I got a retractable knife to cut it out in pieces. Despite my being careful, I slipped and cut my one finger down to the bone. I left a trail of blood in my path from the snow thrower to the bathroom, where I performed first aid. The cut was so clean that continuous pressure for a half hour plus a tightly applied bandage not only stopped the bleeding, but the cut is imperceptible and looks almost healed up. It does not even hurt. Go me, I guess I can still heal kinda fast despite my old age. Now, for that spinal cord thing...

The house is playing host to one of the other stray cats. Kodi made sure the poor thing spent most of the day huddled beneath a covered end table. Once Kodi hit the hay with Jeff, this one (alternately named Tigger or Tommy) popped out and enjoyed some petting time and exploring. While in the bathroom where the litter box is also kept, T/T wandered in, found his way through the anti-Kodi barricade to the litter box, and had a go. It's as if he's been doing it all this time. Either Pinky is coaching him (Pinky is the reason why we have a half dozen "visitors" these days) or cats have some sort of sixth sense when it comes to taking a shit.

To paraphrase Sheriff Brody in Jaws, we're gonna need a bigger litter box.
greatbear: (Default)
Here's a cute little song by British transplant Cosmo Jarvis called, "Gay Pirates" that's guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. Why am I posting this? Because it's my blog, and I'll post if I want to.



In other news, I fell asleep inside the MRI machine today while they studied my defective knee. This only extends the proof that I can fall asleep just about anywhere. I woke up craving something with bacon on or in it, the reason being is on the bottom floor corner of the medical professional building there is a deli. This deli is also connected on the interior of the building as well, and they often have their inside door open. The entire building will smell like bacon most days. This includes the ortho/sports medicine department that know me so well, the adjoining physical therapy outfit, and even all the way to the fourth floor operating rooms. Yes, you can have a medical procedure done while the room smells of food, rather than antiseptic and medicine and such. These are the areas and floors I've been on, I can assume the (mostly bacon) smell permeates the other floors as well. I almost never cease to bring this up with my doctors. The ones wearing yarmulkes and turbans, at that. That's me, being sacred and kosher and all. =D

Speaking of sleep, the other day I took an afternoon nap. Jeff has the new flannel sheets I got him for xmas on the bed, as well as several blankets, a comforter and a very old quilt made by his grandmother that is about as heavy as a lead x-ray shielding blanket. After a night with no sleep, a lousy morning of pain and discomfort, I finally felt that I could get some sleep, albeit during the day when I should be doing something constructive. Sure enough, once I pulled the 50 pounds of covers over me, I was comatose. I eventually woke up hours later, as warm as a freshly started nuclear reactor, numb from the sleep paralysis, completely at ease. Well, except for a need to hit the bathroom. I discover trying to move is even tougher than I thought, and find out the reason for this is while laying face down on my belly, both the cat and the dog stationed themselves on top of me as well. That had to be the soundest sleep I had in a long time. I had some strange dreams, but forgot them. Both Jeff and I have been recipients of the dual four-legged blankets. Now if I can only get the two of them to behave, if not actually like each other.

I've been keeping myself busy with all sorts of different things. I can't do anything requiring any lifting, contorting, or lots of standing. To that end I've been continuing to make flurries of little (and not so little) upgrades and repairs around the house and garage. LED upgrades to the kitchen lighting for the fixtures that are not on dimmers turned out well. For the dimmable fixtures, not so much. Dimmable fluorescent and LED retrofit lamps are a mixed bag. The problem is that LED and CFL lamps draw so little current compared to their incandescent counterparts, and do so in a very nonlinear manner, that most dimmers cannot provide a smoothly adjusted source of power to the fixtures. The lights flicker, flash or are impossible to set. I even bought a dimmer made especially for LED and CFL lamps and got the same result. Back to the drawing board.

While I've not been able to make use of the vast majority of tools and equipment while laid up, I've been taking the time to disassemble, clean and lube everything that has moving parts. This means anything from ratchets to power tools to the outdoor power equipment. I did most of the latter during the summer. The smaller stuff has been my undertaking usually in the evening when I need some quiet time. I've made it maybe through half of the stuff, and I've been at it for months. I knew I had a lot of tools and equipment, but interacting with it in this manner really makes me realize not only how much of the stuff I have, but how long I've been at the various endeavors that utilize them. A good majority of my tools and equipment are over 20 years old. Some are even older than me, being handed down to me or picked up at auctions, sales and such. I have thought about how much work I've done over the decades using those tools, and wonder what will become of them once I am no longer. I just hope that someone makes as good a use of them as I have.
greatbear: (monorail cat)
The cats that visit and hang out around the house, garage and yard are an endless source of entertainment for Jeff and I and, especially, Kodi. The cats (four regulars and a couple skittish visitors) know that Kodi will give chase at a moment's notice, and they've learned some tricks to send Kodi off on a wild goose cat chase when they are not up for it, but will indulge him now and then. I've figured a way to ensure a peaceable kingdom when it's feeding time. Everyone gets their own little pile of cat food, even Kodi. One of these days I gotta have my camera ready for one of these food fests, as everyone looks like part of the same litter.

All is not peaches and cream with these kitties, however. They've been clawing up the deck posts, one or more of them bit holes in a coiled hose that is used on the deck for watering plants. I was sitting on the deck in a funk during my Great LJ Blackout a little while ago talking situations out with Jeff. I noticed the hose full of teeth marks, and when I turned the water on, it was spraying everywhere. I figure since this is also where we get the water for the little varmints they figure they would try to get their own drink. The spigot is in the same area where we feed everyone. Ah well, one more thing to be replaced.

The kittehs put up with my silly playing, and they are great company. They all have been subjected to various LOLcat indignities (holding them like Longcat, smooshing up their faces like Serious Cat, asking if they want cheeseburgers, etc.) and they take it in stride. In fact, the more they get handled, the more wanting they become. But something strange happened the other day, and it proved a theory I had as to how one of the skylight screens got messed up a month or so ago.

A couple weeks ago Jeff heard a loud ruckus in the sunroom. He found TiggerToo meowing in the room. Thing is, all the doors were shut. The skylight screen was on the floor, now with a bent frame. The cats know how to easily get on the roof (jump up on the railing, then from there jump on the canvas pergola roof, then onto the house roof) and Pinky scared the absolute crap out of me while I was working on the skylights earlier (I should not have been on the ladder, but it had to be done). So, in my twisted little mind, I could see what TiggerToo was up to that day.

(TiggerToo climbs up on roof, finds open skylight)

TiggerToo: Guys? Hey guys! (nothing)

TiggerToo: Hey, I got a new LOLCat for you, since you like them so much! Guys? (nothing)

TiggerToo: Oh well, you'll love this anyway, here goes... (climbs into skylight)

TiggerToo: "Ceiling Cat is watching you maAAAAAAAAAHH!!!" (screen falls out of skylight, T2 rides it all the way down)

*CRASH*

*meow?*

Kitteh was not harmed, though the screen frame is kinked up pretty bad. More work for me.

Tonight, despite being in a serious world of hurt earlier, I managed to get into the garage and finish up part of a project I had going, putting larger wheels on the huge portable generator. I needed to make a new axle, make up spacers and bushings to fit the larger, one inch bore bearings, and mount everything up. The 400+ pound monster is next to impossible to push across lawns and soft ground with the dinky wheels it came with, so I rectified that. I will put the final touches on as much stuff as I can and attempt to change the oil and a couple burned out bulbs in Jeff's truck before my surgery. Everything else after that will have to wait till I recover.

I had company while I tinkered, it was T2, alone this time. Since I am stuck sitting on the floor, the cat insists on getting in my lap and pushing his face into whatever I am doing. I did notice something though, after I picked him up by the scruff of his neck to move him like kitteh moms do when they are kittens. T2, already purring, mewed a bit and started purring louder, then slowly wanted back in my lap, this time, he was nuzzling under my arm and burying his face in my lap, quietly kneading with his paws. I guess I brought back some kitten memories. Come to think of it, I had picked up each of these cats like this early one to determine the he- or she-ness of them, After doing that, they all seemed to like me even more. Must be a cat thing.

Cat crazy

Aug. 24th, 2010 05:59 pm
greatbear: (flying cat)
Word is getting around even more. The other day one of the swirly orange cats was hanging around, and eventually had some food. Upon closer inspection, this one was not entirely like the rest, where "Tigger" aka "Snaggletooth" is two tones of orange, and "TiggerToo" has an almost pure white underbelly, this one is a compromise, with a very light orange with white in the underside and legs. The three look obviously from the same litter, all the same size and shape. I immediately came up with a name for s/he, simply because this is getting outrageous (but still fun): "TiggerPlease."

There is also a striking calico colored puss that stops by on occasions, and I've spotted a jet black cat in the yard a couple times as well. These I am sure belong to someone.

Kodi is not sure what to do. Except, well, chase anything that moves while barking like a maniac.
greatbear: (Default)
I'm taking a break from reorganizing the garage and cataloging some of my "stuff" (more on that later). I had started thinking about our little excursion that week and how much it meant to us as far as sending time together, not thinking about work or medical procedures or any sort of pressing matters of the day. It does do a body and mind quite a bit of good. We went during "Bear Week", of course, but the only true reason for that was to simply pad the time with hopes of running into some of our friends while there, and to take in the eye candy. The latter was at higher levels due to IBR Lazy Bear in Cali being non-existent this year, raising the sightings of unfamiliar faces, cover bears and "a-listers" as they packed the streets, shops, eateries and parties. As for us, we managed to take in one "tea" at the Boatslip, and Tuesday night's Blowoff. The Blowoff was our first, despite them originating basically down the road from us in DC. It was a lot more fun that either of us expected, Jeff got a chance to shake his bootay on the dance floor. Of course, I could not even try, having a difficult enough time just getting around. Still, it was a ton of fun for me. We attempted to go to the tea dances again the rest of the week, but found them way too packed and turned right around and left. I can't handle that kinda stuff anymore, and we didn't attempt any more.

We had way too much excellent food, Kodi was a total rock star with everyone he met, and despite having to make my way around with a walking stick, I made good use of my time by taking it easy. I hope next year these medical problems won't be an issue.

I have three cameras worth of a few hundred pictures to go through, but found this one in my first go-round. If one picture best describes our little vacation in P-Town, this would be it. Happy, smiling, having a good time, and a truckload of seafood. Kodi helped Jeff with his ice cream, mine was melting faster than I could eat it. I seem to be storing some of it in my beard.

IMGP0642


And, yeah, that's my ever-present walking stick in the pic. It sure beats that old medical cane by a mile. I managed to wear the rubber tip of it off, and tried to make do with stuff from the local hardware store to fix it.

We will do this again.

Edit: Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] putzmeisterbear for correcting me. *blush*
greatbear: (Default)
I have been away for a little more than a week, first to Hillside then up to P-Town in spite of for Bear Week, in our first true vacation in three years. I'm happy to say that, despite the circumstances with my health, we managed to have a great time. I managed the walks to and from the center of town using my walking stick, and I discovered that bicycling is not a lot different that when I was "healthy" by the simple fact that the hunched over riding position puts minimal stress on my spine and the low impact pedaling beats even light walking. I was unable to try out biking as a form of locomotion (not to mention as exercise) since the bikes had been stored up in PA at Jeff's parents' house since last year. While not nearly as energetic as I was in years previous, I still managed to surprise myself by having a minimum of problems until the end of the week, where it finally caught up to me. Still, the time to relax and get away for a bit was excellent therapy in itself. The weather was decent, with only one rainy Tuesday night to contend with. Despite not doing quite as much as years past, we did manage to take in our first Blowoff, where I watched Jeff sinfully gyrate on the dance floor while I managed to stand against a railing holding it for support and mildly sway to the beat. The walk home in the pouring rain replaced the shower I was going to take afterward, and was not entirely unwelcome either. In fact, it was a perfect Cooloff.

Our biggest surprise of the week came not from the excellent food, friends both expected and unexpected, acres of eye candy or other sights, but from Kodi, formerly known around Casa Mayhem as CrazyDogInsanityPooch. At our first weekend at Hillside, Kodi was the usual skittish bother with his typical separation anxiety any time either (or both) of us left the campsite as well as a bit too much barking at people and other dogs. This had us reconsidering our decision to take Kodi with us to Provincetown rather than leaving him with Jeff's mom and dad for the week like we had done prior. We decided to give it a try, with me thinking that he'd have a good time and not be too much of a bother. Well, we soon begun to question whether we had accidentally picked up someone else's dog. Since the beginning of the trip, Kodi was a bit calmer than usual, and during the dreaded 9+ hour ride from Hillside to P-Town Kodi quietly sat in our laps or napped quietly in Jeff's lap (a total first), not fussing one bit between the couple stops for food or fuel. More importantly, no tossing his dog biscuits all over the interior of the truck! He was perfectly behaved during stops, and once up to the campsite, pretty well behaved for completely unfamiliar surroundings. We were beyond impressed.

The surprises continued as we took him into town, where he was not only well behaved, but an absolute rock star with the people we encountered. This was magnified even more as Jeff carried him in an over-the-shoulder bag made expressly for carrying pets, and even more so when he rode in a specially designed bicycle basket. People stopped us to pet Kodi and ask about him, kids adored him, and the gheys even more. And the wake of comments, finger pointing and photos that accompanied him while he rode in the bike basket was unmistakable. And he soaked up every minute of it. When it came time for us to go into the center of town without us, he dutifully climbed into his crate without the slightest fuss or peep and cheerfully awaited our return. We were both totally dumbfounded. And this was a daily occurrence! We even took him to a restaurant (Bubulas) where we ate outside and Kodi sat next to Jeff near the sidewalk. The only disturbance came as a drag queen rode up on a little motorized tricycle and began making a loud, humorous fuss over Kodi to the delight of everyone nearby. Kodi did some barking, but it was all in the fun context. :)

Sadly, our time in P-Town had to draw to a close, and, for me at least, not such a bad thing. My legs were giving out on a regular basis, and the effort I undertook earlier in the week caught up to me and left me exhausted, but in a good way. Our trip home was uneventful, with our one and only Kodi Moment happening in Connecticut whereupon Kodi blasted the center console of the truck, along with my cell phone, one of two GPSs and everything else with the lunch he had about a half hour before. This was entirely our fault, as we had stopped to make ourselves some lunch at this midpoint of the trip, giving Kodi just a little bit too much food and delaying our rest stop just a bit too long. This resulted in at least a half hour of cleaning up stuff before heading back onto the highway, where our planned rest area lay about a mile further down the road. This is where Kodi's impeccable timing reigns supreme - he will usually lay waste to a vehicle interior within scant minutes before arriving at the destination. We could not be angry at the poor pooch, after all, it was our fault overfeeding him and delaying the break, and he continued to be his amazingly perfect self the rest of the trip. We ended up in PA where we spent one more night of trailer camping in mom and dad's driveway in air conditioned comfort, and today we headed home. All in all, it was a great trip, much needed, and therapeutic.

Since it's been over a week since I have checked my LJ f-list, the sheer number of posts is overwhelming. I am trying to catch up, but am only able to make it back a few days. I have several tabs full of posts to comment on, and will do so in the next day or two. Still, I missed out on a lot. If there is anything of note that you want to inform me of, let me know. I'll be making some P-Town-specific posts soon.

It's fun to take trips, but it's always good to be back home.
greatbear: (walken)
Today was partially spent digging out of over 2 feet of Mother Nature's dandruff. This just might be a record setting snowfall for the area. It was not easy getting started, as Jeff and I shoveled and trudged our way around to get to the firewood and all the way to the garage, where I keep By-Tor the Snowblower. Kodi, despite is small Poweranian stature, loved the snow, despite how deep it is. It was fun dropping him into the deep stuff, with a muted "foop" he would vanish, then start jumping up trying to plow his way through. He would follow us in our footsteps as good as he could, enjoying every minute of it all. We were all dug out after a couple hours work. There was one casualty so far due to the snow, one of my 40ft blue spruces toppled to the ground from the lopsided weight. I expect a lot of broken branches and ruined shrubs as well. but the stuff is too deep. We tried our best to dig out or unburden some of the trees and shrubs, but this snowfall is going to be too much for some of the trees to handle.

Snow for me is almost always beautiful, interesting and fun. Here's my one lamp post doing it's best Marge Simpson imitation:

IMGP0471


A few more are behind the cut... )
The whole set can be seen on Flickr.

Not all of the day was spent frolicking in the white stuff. I fitted a new heatsink to a (yet another) new PC build and did some overclocking action, plus took a nap. The latter was needed since an electrical surge scrambled the alarm clock/radio, blasting us with the local classical music station and leaving us unable to shut it off. Turning down the volume fixed it for the time being, the next little power failure reset it to working normally. At least we kept the power through the whole event.

Tomorrow will be a little bit more digging out and cleaning of vehicles, and, hopefully, the street will be cleared as well. I also got a bit of work I want to do in the attic for the support of plumbing vent pipes in preparation of the new roof this spring. It's always something, being a homeowner.
greatbear: (post bear's life)
Pretty productive weekend for a change. T-Day was mostly eating and big screen, hi-def football and Xbox, and Friday was spend staying as far away from crowds as possible and surfing Black Friday deals online (and getting royally screwed out of a nice home theater upgrade in the process). The weather cleared up nicely for the actual weekend. Saturday morning we took Kodi to the groomer. He came back looking fierce:

_MG_2646


The rest of the day was spent working around the house, garage and on vehicles, and explaining the finer points of drag racing to Jeff, who got somewhat 'forced' into watching a few installments of "Pinks: All Out" on Speed Channel. Hey, I get the Food Network marathons, it's all in the interest of fairness. ;)

Today the weather was fantastic, so after a few errands the day was spent cleaning up the yard. I discovered the tractor engine was run almost completely without oil in the crankcase the last time Jeff was cutting grass. Luckily, the tough little Kohler twin is none the worse for wear. The yard still needs some more work before winter socks us in for good, I hope to take care of this in upcoming weeks.

Much busy-ness is expected for both of us this week, as it always seems to be after long weekends. Hopefully it won't be totally crazy.

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greatbear: (Default)
Phil

December 2016

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