Monday, May 18, 2020

The start of new normal?

Here in Nevada we are in Phase 1 of a return to normal.  At this point restaurants are starting to re-open; casinos are down the road a bit.  We tried going to our favorite Japanese restaurant but they are still only doing takeout.  So we went to a Thai restaurant who is open.  They have removed half of their tables and have you sitting well over 6 feet apart but they were open.  Unfortunately we were the only customers during the time we were there.  Being open and not having customers has to suck!  We have also checked out our favorite Mexican restaurant earlier in the week.  They had plenty of customers and had half their seating marked off as unusable.

We had an earthquake last week just to prove nature is still with us.  It was up by our county seat, Tonopah, which is 167 miles from here per Google Maps.  However it was also at 4 something in the morning so most people including us just snoozed through it. 

We did have one taste of normal:  a balloon landed just down the road from us.
We were getting ready to take our morning walk so got over there while they were still getting the balloon flattened out and stuffed in it's carrier.  It was just a 'joy ride' because there were only two people taking the ride.  Still, it was nice to see people having fun.  The walking is our version of fun.  I had a pain in my hip and was unable to take those walks until just recently.  It feels great to get out and about again.

Spring in the desert does bring signs of life just like anywhere else.  One of our cacti is happy.
The bees were really  enjoying those flowers too!  I was glad they were more interested in the flowers than in me.  The flowers will be gone in a week or so but something else will come along; something we would consider a weed but I'm sure the bees will enjoy it.  If you look beyond the cactus you will see what 'normal' land looks like around here:  flat and dry.  There are trees in the far distance.  Those trees were planted and watered for many years.  People have wells out here so the only cost for water is the electricity used to pump it.  The result is that many people have trees surrounding their home.  My wife and I consider it a waste of water to have all those plants that have no business growing here.  Farmers in the valley used to grow cotton here; now there is hay to feed dairy cattle.  At least those people are using the water to support themselves.

Gotta go.  Stay safe and keep up that distancing.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

WOW, that was fast!

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak finally announced that restaurants could re-open last Saturday, May 9.  We weren't going to go anywhere on the first day of re-opening and the Sunday was Mother's Day so we thought there would be crowds but now it is Tuesday and we have eaten lunch out two times!  It didn't take us long to check things out.  Both places were doing a good job of giving people room so that should keep everyone happy.  Some places seem to be having trouble getting open; hopefully that doesn't mean we have lost them forever.

Our public library has been closed for some time but yesterday my wife got a call from them saying that a book she requested had come back and she could pick it up today.  It was actually pretty cool.  They have a person in front of the library for one hour with a trolley of books so you just drive up and give them your name and they get the book off the trolley.  You don't even have to get out of the car.  What a deal.  Of course if you can't get there during that one hour it might be useless but with retired and out-of-work folks it works.

We saw a trailer set up in a parking lot with a big flag:  Women for Trump.  I simply cannot understand what they are thinking.  He treats women badly even when he isn't grabbing at them.  Today he insulted two female reporters.  Here is a video of the Idiot in Chief.  Really???

I went to the store the other day and saw this Dover Sole.  I cannot imagine who thought this was a good idea!

Yesterday morning we were out walking and I saw a lovely cloud formation.  Could we call it a bird-wing cloud?  Or could it be aliens in a great disguise?
That's it for today.  Thanks for stopping by.  Keep staying safe!

Saturday, May 09, 2020

Boy, isn't this exciting!

We are in a little contest with ourselves here trying to figure out when we will have our first 100F  (37.7777C according to my converter) day.  Yeah, that's the limit of the excitement around here!  So far today we have 99F(37.22C) but since it is 15:30 I don't expect much increase.  Who knows. 

My wife and I have finally restarted our morning walk routine.  We stopped after I got all screwed up flying over to Norway last fall and haven't walked (for exercise) since.  I'm cautiously hopeful that we can turn this into a habit again.  Right now we are only doing a bit over a mile (1.6km) but we have a nice 2.5 mile (4km) loop here in the neighborhood that we were doing last year.  Hopefully we can work our way up to that again.

There are approximately 43,000 people in Nye county with most of them down here in the Pahrump area.  We are supposed to have had 44 covid-19 cases in the county with 18 of them recovered.  There is something to be said to be living out in the boonies! 

The big news is that Nevada is getting ready to re-open some public areas - carefully!  Casino's will have limits on the number of people that can be in the building and how close they may be; likewise restaruants, etc.  I haven't read anything about personal services like hair dressers or barbers. 

Construction workers have just kept going through the whole thing though they were supposed to be observing 'social distancing' sorts of criteria.  We have a wall around the back portion of our property that has had some cracking problems and we have managed to take this time to get it fixed.
You can see where new blocks are in place.  They took the wall down farther than that but apparently re-used some of the blocks.  We don't care, just so they did a good job and we believe that they did.  The contractor was an idiot however.  First they gave us a bid for taking 80 feet of the wall down including the footing and replacing it all.  That was clearly wrong and we complained.  Then they gave us a bid for taking down 120 feet of the wall but not the footing.  Dumb and dumber seem to work there!  Finally they came up with a reasonable sum and we just paid it.  Still, it might be a really long time before we have anything to do with them!

In addition to the wall we had problems with both gates into the back yard.  The first one was done beautifully; the second required TWO additional visits from the guy who did it.  Honestly!  No photos; I was too disgusted.  How these people think they are going to make a living is beyond me.  The first gate proved he could do it so why did he screw up the second?

Well, gotta go do some cooking.  We aren't actually getting tired of home cooking but sure are missing our favorite restaurants!  It's nice to have someone bring you different meals; give you leftovers and clean up the plates.  Maybe in a week or two.  Keep on washing those hands and thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Well that should show me!

Here I was talking about the unseasonable weather and, sure enough, we went from 70's to 90's almost over night.  (That's like 22 to 32 Celsius.)  That will show me!  I guess that's why we have lots of a/c around here.  Also I suggested our soil is light and  loose; I've been corrected by a local guy who says this is a type of clay.  I can see where he is correct because 1) this stuff doesn't blow around and 2) that's why it is so nasty when a little water is added.  So, I'm an idiot.  If you hadn't noticed before.

Otherwise it's life in the same place for us.  I did manage to go to both of our grocery stores yesterday and scored the last package of paper towels.  I'm going around the store wondering if someone is going to try to steal them out of the cart.  LOL  It's a strange world out there!  Only saw three guys wearing firearms though so it hasn't changed that much.

I've been reading about China creating a 5G blockchain network.  I'm a former IT person and this stuff is way beyond anything I can understand.  It starts out as understandable but then when you think about where it might go; it gets weird.  I understand China's desire for secret communication within their government but this gets dangerous when it is opened to others.  It is a Communist state that keeps a close eye on it's citizens.  What are they doing making this impenetrable communications network that will be available to major companies?  And, of course, what happens when it is breached?  As far as I know no one knows how to break a blockchain today but we all know that someone will figure it out one day.  Yeah, I'm reading too much on the internet!

Speaking of too much internet, I've read that fentynal comes from the Wuhan area so having most of the world in lockdown reduced the availability of the stuff.  That would be great if drug dealers weren't just raising their prices.  Hopefully some people will get help and get off the train. 

Gotta go.  I'm going to try reading a book!  Take care & keep washing those hands.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Quiet times

I guess we aren't the only ones having quiet times these days.  We are trying to order take-out from a couple of our favorite restaurants every few days.  Ordinarily we eat lunch out practically every day; I wonder of those days will ever return?  It has to be very difficult for these small places to survive this closure.  Some will certainly not re-open.

My wife made masks for us to wear when out in public.  I feel pretty silly wandering around in it and it is really warm but what the heck.  She went to the effort to make the darned things.  Actually, she has never worn hers; she lets me go to the store unsupervised!  It usually works out ok.  I'm really lousy at finding paper towels though.  She hasn't really been out of the house in over two weeks and I'm just as glad.  She had bronchitis a couple years ago and we aren't sure she ever fully recovered.

We are gradually getting to 70F (21C) around here and nights are around 45F (7C).  That is kind of cool for this time of year.  Usually we are in the mid-80's (29C) by now.  It has been a rather wet spring for the desert though which means the weeds are growing really well.  I sprayed them about a month ago and just got done doing it all over again.  Grrr!  When I say wet weather, we are talking about .7 inch (18 mm) in the month.  That isn't much, of course, but the ground around here is a very loose, light soil.  With a little rain it turns into mud that will stop a 4WD in it's tracks.  I always get a kick out of some idiot who had to prove what a great offroad vehicle he has and it is totally covered in mud! 

We live in a very conservative area; we pass at least 3 or 4 'Trump 2020' flags or banners in the 2 miles to town.  Who are these people?  How can women support the sexist jerk?  How can Christians support the golfer-in-chief?  How can veterans support the draft-dodger-in-chief?  How can people of color support  Mr. White-guy?  Look at his advisors!  White and related to him are the outstanding qualities of most of them.  Knowledge, not required.  Intelligence, not required.  Good looks, oh yeah, that is important.  Oh well, it gives me a chance to think about something other than the virus.

Take care and keep on washing those hands!  Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

The good old days!

I must say that self-quarantining isn't the most exciting thing we've ever done.  We are trying to limit the trips where we actually go into a store to a couple a week.  We are also trying to order out from a couple of our favorite places at least two or three times a week.  My wife has been working on making protective masks for us (at least for me, she hasn't been out yet).  Dumb and ugly but perhaps workable.  Generally people are being pretty good; they don't crowd much and all that.  I was in the store buying vegies the other day; those darned plastic bags you have to use are difficult to open normally but when you are wearing a mask and can't moisten your fingers!  Damn!  Then I figured out that the store has misters that blow mist on some of the stuff.  A water source!  Hurrah!

One of the things I have done in the past is to build a file containing photos from our past.  Then I use that file in the Windows Settings-Personalization-Background.  I choose a 'Slideshow' then use that album for my slideshow.  That way I get to see a different photo from our past every minute.  I've done various themes:  countries we have visited; places we've lived; our family.  It's not rocket science but it is kind of fun to revisit those memories.  Seeing as how I have so little to say these days I thought maybe I'd post a few photos from those olden times.  Back in 1970 I had a little time before I needed to report to the Army, I had a little money and I decided I wanted to see as much of Europe as I could.  I managed to see a little of most of Western Europe.  When my wife and I decided to visit Europe in 1990 I knew she was going to be in for some really eye-opening moments.  I'm talking simple things like not recognizing the money in your hand and not being able to read simple signage.  So for that first trip I told her we'd only do England.  I dearly love Great Britain and there, at least, we could read the signs!  So here I'm going to start with a couple photos from our 1990 trip to Britain.  Let's start in London.

Then there is the beautiful countryside.  With the appropriate not-sunny weather.

Then there is that first trip on the wrong side of the road!
You've gotta visit some castles.
More amazing scenery.

This, believe it or not, is a section of Hadrian's Wall keeping those nasty Scot's in their place.  (Well, their ancestors anyway.  Hmmm, my ancestors as it happens.)
We aren't in Kansas anymore!
And ending up in London again ready to hop on the plane for home.
Hope you've enjoyed the ancient photo tour from 1990!  Take care, wash your hands a lot, use sanitizer and stay healthy!

Friday, March 27, 2020

More hanging around....

I'm pretty good at staying home but I have to admit that this Coronavirus self-isolation is a bit of a strain.  We are going out every two or three days mostly to visit the grocery store.  That's always a hoot.  We have two major grocery chains represented in town plus Walmart.  What we are finding is that one store will be out of something, like eggs, and the other will have every kind of egg you could desire.  The one universal trait is that meat seems in short supply. 
No, they aren't cleaning the shelves.  No, they don't have a refrigeration problem.  They just don't have product.  I've no idea WHY but there it is. 
Sorry about the blur but that is the papergoods aisle.  They have signs about you can only buy x number but since there aren't any at all, it's kind of a moot point. 

And only a couple weeks ago things were kinda normal.
These folks used to do balloon flights in Las Vegas but the local authorities changed the rules making it more difficult for them to do business.  I mean McCarran International is a very busy airport and Nellis Air Force Base is up in the north part of town so the areas where you could do balloon flying were getting smaller and smaller.  Here we don't have any of that.  There is a small private airport but we are talking 2 private planes a day rather than the over 4,000,000 people who went through McCarran in January of this year. 

Speaking of Las Vegas, this story has some great photos of the city as it is today!

We should get back to normal one of these days.  So just keep on washing your hands and keeping a good distance from others.  Oh, and don't listen to President Trump; listen to Dr. Fauci!