Monday, June 29, 2020

Life in the 'I don't know' lane

Things are still poking along here in Nevada but darned if I know which direction they are going!  The number of people getting ill from covid-19 is increasing but fairly slowly. Our governor has decided we should be wearing masks when we are in public areas which I suppose is a good thing. At any rate the proportion of people wearing masks has definitely gone up. On the other hand some restaurants are having trouble keeping those tables 6 feet apart. Not being able to serve people because the place can't be over 50% full has to hurt! Especially when you've been almost out of business for a couple months. Still, my wife and I both thought this thing was going to be over long ago.

We are going out to lunch much as we did last year; that is 4 or 5 times a week. We are still going to the same 6 or 8 places; most of them have their entire menu back available. During the height of the closures reduced menus were the order of the day. There are occasional times when one needs to wait for a table but mostly the number of customers has declined somewhat.

Our daughter has moved to Austin, TX and is renovating a house. It is taking MUCH longer than anyone could have expected; even getting cabinets delivered was delayed. We had planned to visit her and help her get set up; now they are talking about closing the Texas border. Who knows if we'll get to visit anytime in the near future much less visit to help her arrange things in her new home. That's not going to make any of us happy.

I found a recipe for 'Keto Meatloaf'. It calls for the use of ground dried pork rinds (chicharrones) rather than bread crumbs but two other things popped out. Ordinarily you might use ground pork in meatloaf; this recipe uses Mexican Chorizo (the moist, loose kind not the smoked sausage Spanish kind) and then is wrapped in bacon and covered in tomato sauce! It was really quite good if you like spicy things. (The chorizo has spice and you are to add a chipotle pepper as well.) Here is what it looked like before cooking.

The recipe specifies that sort of pan; not a loaf pan.  Of course there was quite a lot of fat that collected in the bottom but everything got done; even the bacon. 

Of course we've had a few nice sunsets.  This one was especially nice.

Well, that's all the news from this space in Nevada.  Thanks for stopping by; keep washing those hands!

Friday, June 19, 2020

Quiet times

We have always liked going out to lunch so now that the quarantine is loosened a little we have been visiting our favorite restaurants again.  Some are clearly doing better than others with the new restrictions. One of the restrictions here in Nevada is social distancing which basically means the restaurant has half as many tables as it used to have. Most have recovered reasonably well but one in particular has become slow as molasses. It is too bad because it is a nice little place and they are going to lose the business of working people. We retired people can put up with an hour and a half lunch but not people who have a job and an hour lunch.

This whole racial problem has my wife and I just dumbfounded. My wife is more than vocal about the problem of inequality for women but at least she is a white woman. I guess that as a white man I've just been blind to what is very obviously a huge problem. Somehow I thought that the changes made years ago had fixed things. As a programmer and manager I worked with black men and women; not a lot of them but some. I was always more worried about the quality of their code than the color of their skin. Clearly there should have been more opportunities for people of color.

A couple days ago a story was revived about another black man, 50 years old, was killed by police back in September but this one was in Las Vegas. He was stopped for riding a bicycle at about 6 a.m. without a light. Then he ran! Granted he had illegal drugs on him but, really? We take our morning walk before 6 a.m. Should we have a light? What B.S.! You can be darned sure that if we ever see a cop when we are walking we won't be running away!

Then we watched Samantha Bee on tv the other night. She had quite a piece on the fact that a lot of equipment is based on a standard male figure. I don't remember the exact numbers but it was about 5'9” and 150 lb. This figure is used to determine sizes for things; everything from face masks to seatbelts. Therefore, a woman who is 5'2” can't get things to fit right. She had two female doctors on the show who spoke about dealing with Covid-19 patients while their masks didn't fit their faces properly! Talk about a nasty situation. She also had a statistic about the much higher likelihood of a woman being injured in a car crash than a man.  That link claims women are somewhere betweeen 50% and 73% more likely to have serious injuries!  Jeez!

Well, sorry about this being such a serious post.  I'm going to try to go out and take pictures of flowers or something for next time.  Take care & thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Hmmm

I wrote a couple times ago about watching Live PD and enjoying watching the officers try to do the very difficult job of maintaining law and order.  Part of the reason I've enjoyed it is that our Nye County Sheriff's office has been one of the units involved.  This morning I found a bit about the dark side of the show and the departments that are being followed.

Apparently a black man, admittedly a very large black man, was being chased for failing to dim his headlights.  At the end of the chase, he was tased several times and died at the scene.  Here is a link to the story.  Certainly he had existing medical problems but I'm pretty certain the tv show didn't share the footage of him dying at the hands of the officers.  The whole story sucks.  There are so many stupid things going on by almost everyone; it's just dumb.

We can start with the guy, Mr. Ambler, who decided he shouldn't stop for the cop.  Dumb move number 1.  Well, it was very late at night after a poker game so alcohol was almost certainly involved.  He actually hits several objects with his car!  Dumb move number 2.  He finally gets out and raises his hands.  Smart move number 1.  The cop, who had drawn his firearm, trades it for his Taser.  Smart move number 2.  The guy moves back towards his car.  Dumb move number 3.  By now several cops have shown up and they use the Taser several more times because the guy isn't getting his hands behind his back.  Dumb moves number 4 through X.  Unfortunately the guy is dying by this time.

I hate to admit it but I've been stopped for failure to dim my lights.  We have wild horses and burros north of our town and you don't want to hit one of those guys.  I was using my bright lights and just forgot when I got closer into town.  Well, a State Patrol officer was one of the oncoming cars and he flipped on his lights and did a U-turn.  I saw the lights in my rear view mirror as he was turning and figured either I'd done something wrong or he was on a call and I ought to get out of the way so I pulled over onto the shoulder of the road.  I had NO idea why he was stopping me.  Well, he told me and I just couldn't apologize enough and he ended up just telling me not to be so careless.  But, of course, I'm white and I hadn't been drinking.

The thing that really bothers me is that both the sheriff's office in Texas and the tv show have refused to cooperate with the county attorney and the media.  Can you spell cover-up?  What the hell are they doing? 

On a much better note, we had the Strawberry Moon this week and I got this photo.
The moon was just rising and I was out with the dog.  Just lucky timing. 

Thanks for stopping by and reading my rant.  Take care & keep washing those hands.

Friday, June 05, 2020

Just sayin...

We had a lovely cloudbank around sunrise this morning.  I had to take a photo!
My wife and I are trying to get out before 06:00 to be able to take our walk when it is cool.  We've been having 105+ Fahrenheit  (40C) in the mid-afternoon so that ain't the time to walk!  Afterwards we wanted to go out to breakfast but our favorite place had people waiting outside the door so we went to a casino!  Believe me, I wasn't expecting that one but it was actually pretty good.  We've had breakfast at their cafe before and this time it was not only good but very uncrowded.  Cool!

Last night I was watching Conan O'Brian and really liked hearing what some of his black guests had to say.  The first guy, Sam Richardson, is an actor and writer who was born in Detroit but his family is from Ghana and he has spent time there.  Conan visited Ghana and he acted as a guide.  The second interview I saw was with Van Jones, a news commentator and author.  Both men talked very plainly about the expectations of black men.  Frankly it was pretty depressing.  Both these guys are obviously well educated and successful but given an interaction with police neither was optimistic.  Their expectation of interactions with just everyday white people is a bit better but it sure wasn't great.  Of course we have people who are openly anti-Semantic, anti-Latino and anti-Asian as well.  It's downright depressing for me.

Of course demonstrations against something like the Floyd murder are perfectly justified.  It is the riots and looting are a problem.  I've got no idea how much the police presence influences the marchers; much less how a demonstration turns into a riot.  Clearly there is antagonism at the simple presence of the police but, after all, their job is to keep order.  It seems to be a question of how much violence is acceptable on both sides and at the moment both sides seem to be going too far.  I've never marched in a peaceful demonstration much less participated in a riot.  Bottom line, I'm just confused.

Keep on washing those hands and if you are interested check out the Conan links.  Take care!

Thursday, June 04, 2020

Short update today

We still don't have a lot going on around here but yesterday evening as we were eating dinner I felt dizzy.  Then I looked up and realized it wasn't me, it was the world!  There was a magnitude 5.5 earthquake about 200 miles southwest of here in California.  We could feel the shaking and our hanging lamp moved around a little but that was it.  You are supposed to go find cover in a doorway or some such but there wasn't enough time to even move.  It probably lasted 5 or 6 seconds here.  There have been 3 aftershocks but we haven't really felt them.  I haven't heard that there was any damage in Nevada and that part of California is pretty empty too.

The casino's in Nevada got to open at 00:01 this morning and you can bet they did!  LOL  Here in our little town I was surprised at the number of cars in the casino lots.  I guess there are people who were missing the gaming.  We'll probably get in there sometime in the next week or two but we aren't the people that keep the doors open.

The gym we occasionally attend had an ad in the paper announcing that they are now able to re-open.  They went on to say that occupancy was limited to 50% of the possible occupancy but since that never happened in the past they weren't worried about it happening now!  It's great that they could have a sense of humor in the wake of losing two months income.

That's all I wanted to share.  Take care, keep distancing and washing those hands!

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

AFU

Boy, just when you think things are halfway reasonable some idiot comes along to screw it all up.  I'm refering to the idiot cop who killed George Floyd or, to be politically correct, the cop who is accused of killing Floyd.  What an asshole!  And what were the other cops on the scene doing aside from nothing?  I'm a law-and-order kind of guy but cops like that we sure do not need.  I won't even guess at how many hours I've spent watching COPS and Life-PD and those men and women have a tough job every day.  Now we don't really need riots and looting to express our displeasure but I do kind of 'get it'.  If I was black and thought that if I was arrested there would be a chance some idiot would kneel on my neck; well, I'd be pretty pissed off too.  Hell, if I thought that I'd get arrested where some white guy would just get a warning, yeah, I'd be pissed off about that as well.

Ok, aside from that, things are pretty quiet around here.  Our daughter came to visit from her new home in Texas.  It was just a long weekend but that's enough.  She has been remodeling the home she purchased and that is being just a total pain so she had lots of steam to blow off.  We had been thinking we'd be visiting her in her new home around the first of April; now it's looking like mid to late June.  Oh yeah, visiting Texas in the middle of summer.  That sounds just a bit warm.  Of course the restaurants around here aren't fully open so we got to cook at home and do a little takeout.  Life in the fast lane!

I posted a photo of our cactus flowering a couple weeks ago.  Much to our delight our other cactus decided it was going to flower as well.
It is almost like we know how to grow the darned things.

I've been working trying to clean up the room I call my 'office'.  It is mostly a disaster but I am to the point where I can see most of the desk top.  I've got some old things that I got from my parents:  a couple of those 'Empty Book' things that they were supposed to write all the family secrets in; photos of long dead relatives; that sort of thing.  Now I'm trying to figure out what to do with all that junk.  Some people are interested in their family tree, etc.  I guess I'm not there. 

I did see an interesting article in an issue of the American Legion magazine talking about donating one's brain to science.  They are working on trying to find physical reasons for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and other brain injuries.  Here is a link to the place to sign up if you are interested.  Why not donate and try to help the studies to reduce the pain of others?

Gotta go.  Thanks for stopping by.  Keep washing those hands!

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!






Monday, March 16, 2020

Just hanging around....

It's been pretty quiet around here if you don't pay attention to any news source.  The news is, as always, pretty noisy.  This whole coronavirus mess is interesting.  By the way, I do believe there is such a virus and I do believe it will be growing more dangerous here in the USA.  Listening to our esteemed President about this makes no more sense that listening to him about anything else.

Anyway, our little town has lots of RV'ers who seems to have stopped here and they are making shopping just nasty.  Ok, they are spending their money here but they are also clogging up roads, parking lots and even restaurants!  Go away, people!

Sorry, I had to get that off my chest.  Actually, they aren't doing anything too awful.  They are just stocking up for their next month or two of self-imposed isolation.  A couple days ago there was no hand sanitizer left on the store shelves.  Now, I don't use that crap so I didn't care but that's not where it stopped.  Yesterday we went into Walmart for a couple things (dog food and some blackout curtains if you must know) and decided to look at the meat counter.  There was NO beef!  There were only a couple packages of pork chops left!  The frozen food area was half empty as well.  Really?  I should have taken a picture.  People are just going crazy over this.  Now, granted, the media is carrying coronavirus headlines every day but jeez! 

Ok, I'm over 70 but fairly healthy so EVEN I should have a decent chance of surviving this thing.  So who the hell has stripped Walmart of all their meat?  It is just stupid.  I guess I'm not used to seeing panic in the streets.  We were in a restaurant the other day and the two guys at the next table were talking about buying ammunition - lots of ammunition.  Like it is going to be the end-of-the-world and sick people are going to be attacking them and they needed to shoot them to save their hand sanitizer supply.  What idiots!  And, yes, we are still going out to eat.

Of course having the stock market go nuts is only to be expected.  Those traders are just one step away from nuts most days.  Do we have money in the market?  Yes.  Has our investment gone down?  Yes.  Will we be eating dog food next week?  No.  The dog will but, naw, unless the supermarket doesn't come up with more hamburger we'll stay away from his food. 

In the midst of all this our daughter is still in the process of moving to Austin.  Her house sale did go through and the one she purchased is being spiffed up.  I'd be going crazy if I were her having people doing things to my new house and not being there.  But, if it works for her, great.  Of course we'll have to visit her one of these days but Austin is a lovely town and there are lots of other places to visit between here and there.  It should work out just fine. 

Gotta go.  Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Daughter visit

Well, so why is that worth a post?  Well, it' s because she is selling her house in Las Vegas and moving to Austin, Texas!  (I hope, if the sale goes through!)  In the 'If You Can Believe It File':  she has had some trouble selling her house because there is a solar array on the roof!!!!  To be fair it is a rent-to-own set up where she is paying for the array and her regular electric bill is dropping her total bill by about $40 a month but there is an additional bill, like $15, each month.  No one who was reading things could mistake that it was a good thing!  Oh well, plenty of people don't think - I mean, how did we get Trump as a President?   Isn't there a 'Ability To Speak In Public' requirement for the job?  Or at least an IQ test requirement?

Sorry, I've had a few drinks.  I'm so unhappy with the Democrats this year.  We get a bunch of 80 year olds; a gay mayor and FINALLY one younger person with national experience to whom no one is listening.  So why aren't people voting for Amy Kolbuchar?  She is younger, experienced at the national level, REASONABLE, not a socialist:  DAMN she's perfect!   Well, except for the woman thing; the reasonable thing; the not giving everything to everybody thing.  Oh well, what the heck, I know she won't get it.  She just isn't stupid enough to be President!  I mean look at the President!

Gotta go.  It's after 21:00 (9 p.m. to you civilians).  Have a good one!

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Balloon Fest

Every year our small town (if you call 40,000 people a small town) has a Balloon Festival.  This year it is combined with a high school rodeo so that's extra fun.  It is part rodeo part carnival and balloon stuff.  Lots of excitement for us (I really like the photo the newspaper used!)  My wife and I have hit the rodeo before but didn't go this year.  However, we do get to see balloons from our house!
That balloon in the second photo is up north with part of the 'Last Chance' range of mountains in the background.  Of course, today it rained, so there aren't any balloons to be seen.  That photo was taken using a small Celestron C90 Spotting Scope that has an attachment for my camera.  I've had this thing since the mid-1990's.  OMG, I just looked it up and it is still sold on Amazon! 
 
I talk about this being a small town because those 40,000 people are spread over a large area.  Call up Pahrump on Google Maps and you get the outline of a roughly triangular area that is about 35 miles north/south and 15 miles east west at it's widest part.  It isn't all built up for sure!  Those mountains are actually included in what Google calls Pahrump.    It's kind of fun to pick a street in town and call up the photos of that spot.  Often there is nothing to be seen except desert.  If you see a tree you know that it is being watered!

That is something that bothers me a lot.  When you buy a home that isn't in one of the subdivision communities you get water rights.  You drill a well and there is your water.  People seem to think that means you can use as much water as you wish and it will never end.  That is just really unlikely BUT no one has ever done the research to figure out the size of our aquifer.  This area started out with people growning cotton in the valley.  Then people started growing feed for cattle.  Both of these activities take a lot of water.  But now we have lots of people and lots of trees.  It's not unusual for an acre lot to be completely surrounded by trees and every one of those things is being watered.  One of these days Pahrump will have a nasty awakening. 

Sorry about the rant.  Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Puzzling stuff

Our son and his wife visited us last week and the talk turned to home technical stuff since he runs a computer support group at work.  He highly recommended the Google wifi router so I ordered a two pack for our home.  When it arrived we installed it which was quite easy and internet speeds to my office which is way across the house from the base router increased nicely.  Then we figured out that it doesn't like our Wyze security cameras!  They are 2.4ghz and the Google really only likes 5ghz speeds.  It claims to do both but we sure haven't figured out how to make it so.  It's not a big deal, we only use the cameras to keep an eye on our dog when we are gone, but it's a pain in the......  Maybe we'll get them to work together or maybe we'll just pitch the cameras.  We'll see.

In other exciting news, Nevada and Pahrump got mentioned in a Yahoo Lifestyle article.  Of course, it was pretty screwed up but heck we'll take what we can get!  It highlighted a drive from Las Vegas through Pahrump to Death Valley and up through Beatty, Nevada and back down to Vegas.  It would be a really long day's drive but do-able if you didn't stop too long to admire what you were seeing.   Amazingly they didn't bother to mention that Death Valley is in California or that you pass by Yucca Mountain and the Test Site where all the atomic testing was done from the 50's to the 90's.  Of course you can't visit the latter two without LOTS of pre-planning.


Otherwise things are pretty quiet around here.  The dog is growing hair in VERY select places and not growing hair on most of his body.  We'll see.  My wife is already worrying about him getting sunburn next summer.  We are still getting freezing temps at night but 60-something during the day is pretty nice.


We do need to get some work done around the house.  We have a concrete block wall that needs some repair.  The people who built it didn't provide a sufficient base so it shifted and cracked.  We'll just see if someone can 'do it right'.  Anyway, it should be 'fun'

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a good one.

Monday, February 03, 2020

Wow! The year is going fast!

It's hard to believe that the year is 1/12th over already but I guess it's true.  I'm avoiding politics as much as humanly possible but it is totally in my face every day.  Jeez, what a mess.  It is distinctly difficult to see a good outcome for the country regardless of the outcome of the impeachment hearings OR the 2020 election.  Is there another planet I could live on?

Personally things are fine.  The usual aches and pains associated with being over 70 but I prefer them to not being here any more.  Weather in this corner of Nevada is weird.  Yesterday morning I was spraying weeds in my shirtsleeves at 70F(21C); then the wind came up in the afternoon and we had gusts around 40 mph (65kph).  It freezes the birdbath most nights so that's pretty chilly.

Our 'new' dog is coming along.  He had a bad day early in the week where he threw up during the night.  He must have gotten into something we didn't know about but about 03:00 he decided to rid himself of it on the rug in the bedroom.  He didn't even want to eat that morning and we only gave him about a fourth of his usual dinner.  Now he seems completely recovered.  His hair is growing back in small patches which makes him pretty funny looking.  It is still likely, I believe, that it will never grow back completely.  This is his most usual position.



We want to take our trailer to Las Vegas on a shake-down trip.  It's been a LONG while since we've been anywhere in it.  Like I think it was October of 2017!  Wow!  Anyway, we hope to start checking out parts of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Nevada that we've overlooked.  We'll see how that works out.  The dog seems to travel well enough but we'll just have to see how he does in a completely new environment.

Hope the new year is treating you  well.  Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Happy New Year!

I hope that your holidays were everything you could have wished.  Mine were ok aside from being troubled by the general situation of the United States in the regard of the world.  There is also that idiot we've elected President but let's not go down that path to doom and destruction!  I can't say I have much admiration for either party these days.

We had friends visiting between Christmas and New Years.  They are perhaps our closest friends though we live a thousand miles apart.  The guy is great; the woman is as well but can be somewhat trying; but we manage.  This isn't a resort town so we spent a LOT of time together.  I know that one of our first trips with our new dog, Ollie, will be to see them.

I've been doing a lot in the kitchen lately.  Our daughter was here for Christmas Eve and we had a ham so any cook knows what is coming along:  ham leftovers!  Yes, I've done ham and cheese omelettes, ham and bean soup and more - not forgetting the simple ham sandwich!  Of course there is Hoppin' John for New Year's Day.  BUT, I did insist on a rather large ham so I'm not complaining.

We do have a pretty house these days.  Well, especially outside.

Our celebration is rather subdued since neither of us believe in God but we were both raised in Christian households so honor the holiday.  For us it is simply an enjoyable time when all those other people try to be nicer to one another than usual.  Isn't that sad? Why can't they start with being nice to one another?

The dog is coming along nicely.  He is responding to commands and (knock on wood) hasn't had an 'accident' in the house in a couple of weeks.  His hair is taking it's own sweet time growing back - like maybe never!  I guess we'll just have to see how it goes.

Otherwise it it a normal Navada day. A belated Happy New Year to all.  Take care.