Thursday, December 31, 2020

Happy New Year!!!

 Don't have much to say, like I ever do, but wanted to post the world a Happy New Year message.  It's been quite a 2020 and we are all looking forward to 2021 being better.  I can't tell the future so I can only hope!  

For us personally it has been fine.  We are retired so there are no jobs to be lost and our income is from pensions and investments.  We are healthy in general and have been working hard to protect ourselves from the pandemic.  At the same time we are going out to lunch quite often:  we enjoy it and the restaurants sure need the custom.  Our kids are both doing well:  one is in the pre-cast concrete industry and the other is in the IT department of a builder who does governmental and commercial properties.  Neither of those industries are having difficulties. 

So tonight we'll be raising a glass to a better 2021.  A year when we'll have a President who actually thinks before speaking; a year when we'll have vaccine that may help prevent covid; a year when maybe even travel will become possible again.  Talk about sounding hopeful!  

Happy New Year everyone.  And may 2021 be great for you and for us all!  Keep washing those hands and wearing those masks.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Just an early Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!  Obviously I've been kind of slow with the blogging lately and I don't really see that improving.  I'm blaming it on all the covid-19 crap even though I'm spending more time lately at the computer.  I'm not doing anything really earthshaking, just getting records ready for the new year.  

Like many people we were out trying to see the Super Star created when Jupiter and Saturn came into line.  Our telescope is more of a spotting scope so the view wasn't the greatest but it was kind of interesting once we managed to aim the scope properly!  That took way too much time.  I have to admit seeing the rings around Saturn is pretty cool.

We had been planning on a visit over Christmas from our daughter however a co-worker of hers has come down with the covid virus so she decided to do the responsible thing and stay home.  My wife and I were both happy with that decision.  Our daughter has been one of the doubters about the illness and I guess now she has decided that it is a real thing.  Honest, she didn't vote for Trump!

Just to keep things 'normal' here in our little town, there was a story in the paper about some bags of marijuana that were found dumped off one of the roads out in the desert.  Apparently it wasn't very high grade stuff but, still, if nothing else dumping it like that is littering.

This is still Trump country.  Every weekend there are 20-30 people on the main corner here in town waving flags, Trump banners and No Biden signs.  It is really amazing to me that these people are still all worked up.  I mean 4 years ago Mrs. Clinton got more popular votes than Mr. Trump but because of the electorial college he won the election.  There weren't any people demonstrating then.  Maybe it just happened in another state and I missed it.  Well, in 4 weeks and a day we should have a new President.  I know Mr. Trump is still going to get plenty of headlines but at least he will only be a private citizen.  

Gotta go.  Once again, have a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 09, 2020


 So I wake up this morning to read yet more crap about the President refusing to acknowledge his loss to Joe Biden.  OMG What is this idiot going to do next?  But more importantly, what kind of people are supporting him?  In state after state the courts are being asked to overthrow the election results and in state after state the courts are saying 'it was a valid election, you lost'.  STILL people are supporting Trump and even wandering around with guns trying to intimidate election officials!  What the hell is going on?

I read an article some years ago that suggested the two party system was being run by groups that kept each party on a ideological track and that any diversion was not allowed.  It seems to me that now the Republican party IS on such a track; I'm not so sure about the Democrats.  They seem to have disagreements with some wanting light social support for people and some wanting something close to socialism.  My concern with the Republicans is that they are coming close to, well, I don't know what, some kind of martial law maybe.  People are supporting Trump like he is above the law.  Well, I sure don't believe that.  What is this country coming to?

On a lighter note, we ordinarily have pretty clear skies around here where the sun comes up lighting the mountains gold then it gets busy raising the temperature.  The other day we had something different:  clouds!  So I needed to take a picture of that.

And I promise there was NO manipulation of that photo.  Actually, in about 5 minutes the clouds had just become a gray overcast with no drama whatsoever.  

This is 'Decorate for Christmas' week so we'll be dragging all that stuff out.  Our tree is one we bought when we lived in the Netherlands in 1998 so it's old enough to vote.  Much of the other decorations are equally old if not older.  A few of the tree decorations were made by the kids when they were little; and they are on either side of 50 now.  Other decorations are momentos from our travel or of places we lived.  For a couple of atheists we rather enjoy the celebration. 

Well, 43 days and we'll see.  Here's hoping that there won't be violence on the day!  Take care, keep wearing those masks & social distancing.

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Hmmm, not a lot to report these days.

 I hope everyone had at least an acceptable Thanksgiving; or acceptable Thursday if you don't live in the states.  We did ok.  We couldn't find a small turkey so we had a chicken.  We decided to go all crazy and get an organic chicken; it was fine but I'm not so sure it was $14 fine.  We tried a recipe my wife found where you wrap brussels sprouts in bacon and paint them with maple syrup.  We cooked it for less time than recommended but they were still burned to the point of tasting of nothing else.  We may try it again at a lower temp and without the syrup but it was not a pleasant side.  My wife did do a key lime pie which was excellent so that is the important memory.  We aren't football fans or particular fans of the Macy's Parade so we watched a movie or two.  Like I said, not a lot to report!

It has been cold lately, like 24F (4C) in the morning and 60F (15C) at mid-day.  We desert dwellers find that kind of chilly so I did what all good Americans do:  I ordered a warm shirt and another pair of jeans from Amazon!  I'm not even complaining about wearing long pants.  

My computer is doing weird things lately so it is probably headed for some time in the shop.  My microphone doesn't work at all.  My calculator app disappeared and every time I start the machine it give me a message about trying to download it then I get a message that the download failed.  The same thing happens for a mahjong game that apparently came with the machine.  It makes me feel REALLY OLD when I can't fix things like that; I mean I did earn my living programming computers but I guess that was quite a while ago.  

It wasn't quite that long ago!  The photo is supposed to be from 1956 but 20 years later the computers I was programming were about that size!

Our area was totally behind Mr. Trump so there are a lot of mad people around here.  We've had people on the main corner in town with signs about Biden cheated and other pro-Trump banners.  We can only hope that the sane Republicans manage to get that idiot to just leave the way he is supposed to do.  Actually I'm currently a registered Republican; if you aren't you just don't have a vote in the preliminary elections around here.  I heard an advertisement on our local radio station for  One America News Network where you can hear all the important stuff from Mr. Rudy Giuliani and others of that sort.  Jeez.  Just what we need:  billionaires telling people what they should be thinking. 

I've talked about balloons flying around before and the other day one landed just across the street.  That's our gate at the bottom of the photo.

The land where it landed is just empty; I think it is part of a 40 acre section that is open for retail development but it could be just residential lots.  Anyway there is a rough road over there and the cars used to transport the balloon crew and their passengers can be seen waiting for the landing.  Some people have been bothered by the balloons landing either on their land or very near by so the county is talking about a balloon ordinance.  Personally I think the balloon people are idiots if they can't stay away from people's yards.  I mean, another two minutes flight and you'll be far away from houses in our valley.  And, of course, if it is an emergency no normal person is going to bitch about them landing anywhere.  (Hmmm, there I go assuming we have normal people in town!)  

So there is all the news from Nowhere, NV.  Keep on washing those hands and wearing that mask.  It might come in handy if you want to rob a bank.  Good luck!

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Learning things...

 We got Ollie, our dog, almost a year ago.  In March we took him to Las Vegas with us in the trailer just for a couple of days.  In fact, the govenor declared a shut-down during the three days we were there!  So, he hasn't been in the trailer much; hell, neither have we!  So we decided we wanted to take him on a trailer trip just to see how he would act.  

My wife found a park she liked in Morro Bay, CA and called to ask about a reservation.  She was told that making a reservation a year in advance would be normal.  Well, that isn't our style for sure!  So we decided we'd just go over to the Las Vegas RV Resort, our go-to place in Sin City, and spend a few days.  It is a nice park and we had some nice sunsets.


 Hmmm.  Well, we did learn one thing.  When we are gone the dog howls!

We went out to breakfast at Blueberry Hill, our go-to breakfast restaurant, and about 3/4ths of the way through our meal my wife's phone rang.  Yep, someone had complained to the management that our dog was howling.  I can't blame them.  The park is an adult-only place and all those old folks seem to have dogs.  Actually the dog area is GREAT.  There are four separate fenced areas and one that is unfenced plus another unfenced area on the far side of the park.  It is really unusual to have so many places for the 4 legged ones.  

The park is basically paved with little graveled areas for the trees.  This was our site.

It was kind of funny.  It was a triangle with roads on all three sides.  There was noise from rigs going to and fro but the view out our windows was clear of other rigs.  We were at least 50 feet from any other rig and that is unusual!  Anyway, we really liked it. 

So, our dreams of wandering around and seeing some sights in Las Vegas were cancelled:  we'd be either at home with the dog or taking him with us.  So, we drove around Vegas seeing some new things & some old with the dog.  Hmm, a new definition of life in the fast lane!  Anyway, we ended up driving 145 miles around in the town.  We did stop a couple times and leave him alone in the truck & he seemed ok with that.  I'm not sure why but maybe it is just someplace he is more comfortable.  Or, there isn't anyone to complain about a howling dog in a store parking lot.  

Then, just to make our visit more memorable, there was a spike in corona virus cases and the govenor asked that everyone stay home as much as possible for the next couple of weeks.  Is there a curse about us visiting Las Vegas?  We did manage another breakfast out but mostly stayed in the rig and Saturday we came home.  

Since then my wife, who has had some minor lung issues, has stayed home while I do the shopping, etc.  The local VFW has a food bank that we like to contribute to so yesterday I went out and bought a few turkeys & stuff for them to distribute.  I even managed a couple of hams for those who can't manage a turkey.  We ordinarily get there when the distribution is almost over so we don't see many people; yesterday there were easily 7 or 8 times as many people there as I've ever seen.  I guess there are more people in need that I'd been thinking.  

So that's what is going on around here.  Staying home and washing hands a lot; now that is exciting!  Take care!

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

We are breathing again....

 It looks like Mr. Biden will be our President for the next four years and my wife and I are slowly relaxing.  The vote count was a lot closer than we would have liked but, hopefully, most of the drama is over.  I'm certainly hoping for four years of relative normal behavior from our newly elected leader.  He seems like a much more normal person than the idiot we've had for the last four!  (Big sigh of relief!)

So otherwise, in one week our high temps have gone from the 90's to the 60's (30 to 15C).  We did have a drop of rain, the first since April.  Now we even have snow on Mt. Charleston; it's been bare rock all summer.  The cooler weather also means we are using the oven so we had a baked pork tenderloin for dinner last night rather than one cooked on the barbecue.  My wife found a recipe for baking those tiny potatoes (1 inch diameter) after soaking in an egg white & herb mix that was really quite nice as an addition to the tenderloin.  It was a lovely dinner.  

One of the amazing things about where we live is that we are in a valley with mountains on the east side and the west.  Ok, sounds fairly ordinary, right?  But it isn't!  Everyone knows that the Tropic of Cancer is the northermost area on earth where the sun can be directly overhead and the Tropic of Capricorn is the southernmost area.  Well, that is great in a book but HERE we can count the change by mountain tops.  I've been looking through my photos and I just haven't got  the right photos but you look at the sunrise and at one point it is way north of Mt. Charleston and then it is way south of the mountain.  It is AMAZING!  Of course the same is true of the sunset but the same idiot is unable to get those photos either!

Our son gave us an Echo 5 Show last year for Christmas.  Well, I guess I'm a sucker for those things because I bought a 10 for the kitchen and another 5 for the bedroom.  It isn't that I use them much but they are interesting.  The 10 was mostly so that we could talk with him and his wife more easily.  The larger screen just makes it easier.  The 5 in the bedroom is basically a glorified alarm clock.  Once in a while we use it to play soft music but so far that's about it.  Isn't that all about life in the fast lane?

 Today, as usual, we'll go out to lunch then come home to a quiet dinner.  What the hell.  Best wishes to you all!  Keep washing those hands!

Sunday, November 01, 2020


 There are a couple things I forgot to mention.  First of all, we were taking our walk the other day and saw this poor witch.

I was hoping that the bottle next to her had contained vodka!

Then we visited Vegas a couple days ago.  I saw this vehicle with a life story pasted on the back window.  I liked it though I suppose it is a little off-color.

Well, pretty realistic anyway.  Take care!

Just a beautiful day....

 Daylight Savings Time ended this a.m. so everything is kind of weird BUT the sun is shining on the mountains and making them look so good!  That makes everything ok.  

Well, I sure wish the election was over and way beyond anything close.  I'm tired of being represented at the 'world level' by a pussy grabbing a**hole!  Where we live there are SO MANY Trump flags; I cannot understand how anyone can support such a fool.  But, I guess I don't understand a lot of things:  chemistry for example.  Anyway, I sure hope we get a new President.

I imagine I've said it before but I sure wish that we weren't choosing between two guys in their 70's.  I'm 72 and I think I'm slowing down.  I think the "Leader of the Free World" should be younger.  Not like really young but maybe in the 50's.  And I'd like them to have some experience in government at the national level; like Congress.  I believe that being in the government is different from being in the corporate world or anywhere else.  Knowing how to talk with the people you are working with; or who are working for you, is important.  Having someone from 'millionaire row' being President means that he or she doesn't have a clue about what really happens in the government (have you noticed that lately?).  It would be like me becoming the mayor of our town; I don't have a clue about how much the Roads department needs or the Police or the Parks.  

Someone sent me a PDF about how the Chinese are doing so much better than we in the US.  It talked about Chinese railroads, dams, bridges, roads, etc.  First of all, they do have a country that needs lots of upgrading and they can finally afford it however, it is certainly true that the infrastructure in the US needs upgrading.  Anyone who has driven I-70 in Colorado knows that!  Not to mention things like the dam in Michigan that washed away.  I'm sure there are plenty more that could use upgrading.  Then there is the whole sustainable energy problem.  Sticking our collective heads in the sand and saying global warming is a 'lie' won't work for us in the long term.  It's about as true as saying the coronavirus isn't anything to worry about.

My wife and I are planning our next trailer trip.  It's going to be a biggie - 3 or 4 nights in Las Vegas!  Yeah, well, we go to Vegas every week or ten days but we never take the time to see the sights.  There are actually some interesting places and we just never take the time to visit them; this time we will.  And it will give the dog some time in the trailer which he needs.  He won't learn about it if we don't take him.  Anyway, I should have a few Vegas photos next time.  

Gotta go.  This 1st day of November is zooming away.  Take care & keep washing those hands!

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

I Voted!

 Yeah, life in the fast lane and all that.  We had mail in ballots but you can also turn them in to the County Clerk's office so we did that.  We did NOT go to the early voting place because:  

That was the first day of early voting; it's been worse since then!  Besides, the volunteers who run the early voting are just not that great.  We had one a couple of elections ago who was having trouble with the alphabet!

Anyway, we are hopeful that Mr. Trump gets a nice strong message about what an idiot he is and how many people in this country wish he'd just disappear.  Besides that there are FIVE prospective ammendments to the Nevada Constitution.  I mean, does everything need to be addressed in the constitution?  Don't we have any other laws?  

Other than voting, it's been a quiet time.  The high temps are still in the 95F (35C) range but when we walk in the morning it is more like 50F (10C).  This is one of those places where the heat just keeps growing all day so our high will be between 4 and 5 in the afternoon and sunset is at 6pm.  We are still required to wear masks when in public places and most people wear them.  A certain number will wear them incorrectly so the nose isn't covered but you just have to hope that they catch something nasty.  We continue to visit our local restaurants; they are working at half capacity so they can't be doing more than hanging on.  I've upped tipping to 30-35% because the wait staff has to be hurting too.  

Eric Trump came to town to star at a meeting at one of the local winerys.  Needless to say people weren't wearing masks and weren't social distancing.  Happily our local government was paying attention and the winery was fined something over $8,000 for hosting the event.  I liked that.  Of course this is a winery who has lost their liquor license.  The business changed hands and the new owner was given something like 18 months to get the license but they just didn't bother so finally the county commissioners did their job and yanked the license.  What idiots!

I guess that's all the news from this end of the lane.  Keep trying to be careful & stay safe.

Thursday, October 08, 2020

Exciting stuff!

 Today we received our mail-in ballots for the election!  Ok!  Here's hoping we can Dump Trump big time.

We have been doing our usual thing:  walking in the morning; going to one of the local restaurants for lunch; cooking dinner at home.  All very normal stuff except for extra hand washing; antiseptic in the car glove box; and wearing masks.  My wife made 5 or 6 masks way back when this stuff started but eventually I bowed to reality and bought extras for us.  Most people are pretty good about wearing their masks but there are a few who either can't manage it or wear them like over the mouth only.  Dumb shits!  

We do like to walk in the morning and sometimes we see something special.  A neighbor has a large cactus in their yard and once in a long while it flowers.  Late last month was it's time.

A few weeks ago we managed a road trip and stayed in a couple motels.  Part of the trip was just to see how our dog would manage travel; turned out he did great!  But there was this one motel that had added a little humor to their decor.  Found on the bathroom wall.

And a rather interesting shower curtain.

Yeah, some people have too much time on their hands!  Really it was interesting traveling during the pandemic.  Restaurants seemed to all have reduced menus and not a good number of employees.  (That isn't happening here in the Valley; you can order anything on the menu and it is as good as ever.)  We had no real trouble finding pet-friendly motels.  We ordinarily don't stop for lunch unless it is something like a sandwich so that was no problem.  (It was way too hot to leave the dog in the truck!)  

Anyway, that's it for me today.  I've gotta go cook dinner:  Choucroute Garni complete with some skinny little pork chops that I smoked for an hour or so the other day.  It should be good.  Take care and be careful out there!

Sunday, October 04, 2020

More quiet times!

 We have been pretty quiet lately.  Not a lot to say except that while I hope the President regains his health I sure hope he loses the election!  I cannot imagine a President refusing to acknowledge that he failed to win re-election but I know what my response would be if I were in charge of the White House security team.  And, no, it wouldn't take long for that stupid fat head to be on the way out the door.  I'm pretty sure I'd order a transfer to the nearest golf course; he wouldn't complain about that.

Anyway, it's pretty quiet around here.  The highway department has decided to put a crosswalk across our main street:  they are saying it should be done by the end of the year!  Jeez!  It's not an overpass!  Oh well, it might save a life or two in the next century.  Speaking of traffic, there are people on the sides of the road who are trying to sway your vote.  There are people around saying stuff like 'Women for Trump' - but all the people at the stand are men!  Hmmm?  Then there are the ones who want to recall our Governor Sisolak; gee, he told us to wear masks.  Is that your big problem?  Hmmm? 

We are going to all our favorite restaurants regularly and unless something awful happens I'm tipping well over 30%.  Those servers are living on 50% of the usual load of customers too!  Of course we've managed our usual monthly visit to the VFW's Food Bank and are thinking we should double our donation.  We've got plenty of vets in the area.

The air has been pretty clear around here but the California fire smoke has been covering the valley at a very high altitude from time to time.  You can't smell it but it sure colors the sky.  That is such a horrible thing; losing the wilderness is bad enough but all those people losing their homes and businesses just makes it so much worse.  (On a side note, all us wine drinkers are scared about where our next bottle is coming from!)  More seriously, why the hell didn't anybody in the government think about the dead trees causing a fire hazard?  I mean trees have died from bark beetle and no one thought that might be a problem?  Hmmm, this quote is from back in May.

Anyway, it's late and I need to shut up.  Have a great day!  Take care. 


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Life in the REALLY fast lane

 It's been a bit since I updated the old blog but at least this time I have an excuse:  we went to Texas!  Yep, movement is possible in the good old USA these days.  The thing is that our daughter moved to the Austin, Texas area and we wanted to check out the house she has been renovating and the area in general.  We did visit Austin a few years back but we were more interested in the Presidential Libraries and stuff than the town itself.  Besides, she doesn't live in the city but out a bit.  The other thing we wanted to learn about was taking our 'new' dog for a long journey.  

Ollie, the dog, is a rescue; probably 8-10 years old.  He has trouble moving and has had more than his share of bad treatment by humans.  Even the rescue shelter managed to shave his fur off so closely that the hair folicles were damaged and some places may never grow back!  Anyway, we wanted to know what his reactions would be to traveling all day in the back seat of the truck.  Also, how would he deal with motel living?  And what about stopping in rest areas?  I can lift him in and out but neither of us likes it much and my wife cannot.  Therefore because he has trouble moving, I built a little stair for him to use to get into and out of the truck.  He had used it once or twice but a trip would give it a real workout.

So off we went.  It turns out Ollie did very well.  We had his dog bed and he slept on it every night.  He had some trouble with the stair but by the return side of the trip he was just fine with it.  He loved our daughter's back yard which is fenced and has grass which our's does not.  She has a swimming pool and I was thinking he might fall in because he was so interested in the water but he managed to not do that.  He even managed rest areas and such well.

The trip was actually very good.  The 'Really fast lane' I refered to in the title is the fact that the speed limits on the highways were usually 75 or 80mph(120-130kph).  I haven't driven that fast in a while!  Weather was great.  We did get to drive through a rain storm that was heavier than anything I've seen in a long time.  We also got to drive some of the Texas Hill Country which was very pretty.  Then on the way home we went north from I-10 to I-40 via the Salt River Canyon and  Show Low, AZ.  The canyon was spectacular.  I took a few photos but nothing that really reflects the place.  I've always wanted to go see Show Low; no real reason just that it has a neat name!  It seemed like a nice enough town and they have real trees!  We don't get a lot of real trees here in the desert.  

Anyway we had a great trip and are now primed for staying home a bit.  The California fires are still covering us with smoke usually at a high enough level that you don't really smell it.  This morning we can smell it; it isn't pleasant at all.  I feel for all those folks who are losing their homes and livelyhoods and sometimes even lives.  

Of course this morning I get to read about Mr. Trump telling the folks in Minnesota that they have 'good genes'; meaning basically that they are white.  What an a$$!  How the devil people can vote for that idiot is beyond me.  Especially, black, Hispanic, Asian and female people:  what the hell can he be doing to earn their votes?  It just doesn't make sense to me but he's doing something right or this election would be a shoo-in for Biden.  Don't get me wrong; I'm not really crazed about Biden but at least he's not a closet Nazi.

Gotta go.  Have a good one and thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Did I mention it's kind of quiet?

 Yep!  It's quiet.  Hell, we don't even have as many airplanes flying over as we used to have!  I used to take the dog out at night and see at least 3 or 4 airplanes taking folks to or from California.  Now if I see 1 it is unusual.  What a change.  We are still going out to lunch quite often.  Yesterday the waitress had to ask two guys to go find masks because they thought they didn't need to wear them.  Today we saw a woman who pulled her shirt up to use as a mask.  People are just so dumb.  The place we visited today was closed for a couple weeks.  It turns out that the owner, who is also the chef, came down with the virus and had to be hospitalized.  Of course the whole staff had to be tested and all that stuff took a couple weeks.  Happily the owner is doing better but he is still using a walker to get around and, of course, hasn't returned to work.

My birthday is coming up and my drivers license expires on that day.  Since I'm so ancient I have to have as optometrist testify as to my eye sight and a doctor testify that I don't have any medical conditions that would make it unsafe for me to drive.  What a pain in the ass!  But, what the heck, it might keep one of two idiots off the road.  Anyway, the doctor has a new assistant and she had a greeting for me.

I thought it was cute even if it's a little strange. 

We like to take our walk early when it is so warm.  It's about 2:30 in the afternoon and it is 102F (39C) now.  Believe me, walking at 06:00 when it is only 75F (24C) or so is a lot more pleasant!  And you get to see the sunrise!

One of the advantages of living here in the valley is that we get to see the sun move as the seasons progress.  On June 21 the sun would be nearly to the far left in the photo above.  By December 21 it will be fairly close to the right edge.  We've never lived anywhere before where the changes were so visible to us.  It's pretty cool!

Well, that's it for today.  Have a good one and be safe.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Quiet Days

 Things are pretty quiet out here in rural Nevada.  Like most of the Southwest US we've been under a heat warning which, around here, means temps around 115F (46C) though Death Valley which is 50 miles away got up to 130F(54C) the other day.  

I went into town to get gas the other day and looked over at this group of birds sheltering under the plant trying to keep out of the sun.  They even have their mouths open trying for a little more 'cool' air.

We also are getting a lot of smoke from the fires over in California.  It doesn't smell like smoke but there is a haze and you can't see the mountains like normal.  Heaven knows how many thousands of acres are destroyed and how many more will be!  


This was our sunrise this morning.  You could actually look at it with your bare eyes!  I haven't done anything to that photo except reduce the size.  As I said, you can't really smell the smoke but it is certainly there.  There were a couple balloons flying but they were too far away to photograph.

Bars are closed by the coronavirus pandemic.  Some, in the really really rural areas, are being allowed to open but none in our town.  We are going out to lunch as usual.  Well, except for wearing masks and tipping quite a bit more than usual!    California had rolling blackouts recently and we were warned that we might have some but so far not.  Of course I'm happy enough about that!  Gee, I might have to sit here in the dark with my wife and a candle.  Horrible!

Our daughter, who is unmarried, is always asking my wife what we find to talk about.  I guess it must feel strange to her but for us, there's always something.  A couple weeks ago my wife took the car to a doctor's appointment.  She didn't make it a mile before she saw something that she just had to tell me about and she called me.  The same thing happens to me:  if she isn't along I just see so many things I want to share with her.  Weird, I know, but at least I'm pretty sure that sitting in the dark with her would be ok.

The election is getting closer and closer and I'm worried.  All this crap about the postal service not being able to deliver ballots; removing sorting equipment; allowing things to sit around spoiling (and in the case of baby chicks, dying) because it's been de-funded is so stupid.  I swear I've moved to some 3rd world country where they just can't afford modern convienences like mail service.   Of course having Steve Bannon arrested was interesting.  I wonder if Mr. Trump will try to pardon him before his trial just in case Biden wins the election.  It fits in with lots of other things he's done.

Gotta go.  Keep washing those hands, wearing those masks and, if you are eligible, VOTE!!!

Sunday, August 09, 2020

What a slow poke!

 I've been wanting to add a list of SOME of the blogs I read for quite a while but was too lazy to work on it.  So today I attacked Blogger to try and add that list.  Oh shit!  Sorry about the language but I'll bet it took me an hour to get that little list added.  And it's not nearly as long as it should be!  I'm going to work on making it longer now that I have the secret but OMG it took a while to figure out that seemingly simple thing.  Ok, I can breath again.  

Not much going on around here but we are having fun anyway.  We have almost always had a dog but our last dog passed away late in 2013.  Before she died we had purchased tickets for a Viking cruise in China and that was the start of six years of heavy travel.  But we missed having a dog so we decide to adopt one from our local animal shelter.  This is Ollie (Oliver) when we got him at the end of November last year.

They said he was a year and a half old.  Well, that's obviously wrong.  They said he had stickers so deep in his fur that they had to shave him.  They said they did that in September when he was taken in 2 months before that photo was taken.  Our vet said they had shaved him too closely and his hair follicles might be damaged and the hair might not grow back!  Well, after two months there wasn't much there. 

 Anyway, we kept on feeding him and giving him medications and now we've got this.

He  has grown hair differently in different places:  his neck hair has guard hair but not fur; his shoulders haven't grown much at all; his butt is totally regrown; his back is spotty but coming along.  What you don't see is his limp.  He simply cannot walk normally and after trying three different kinds of pain medication we are kind of giving up.  He also cannot walk long distances.  Going down to the mailbox has him ready for a nap.  Of course we've over fed him; he's gained 20lb!  

He is also definitely MY dog.  He will put up with my wife but she certainly isn't his favorite.  We come home and he will walk right past her to come up to me.  It is embarrassing!  Of course it annoys her too.  But we are getting along.  

We don't expect much time with Ollie.  He is clearly more of a 10 year old dog than a year and a half.  If we have him for another 2 years we will both be amazed.  In the mean time, we'll try to show him some of the western United States in our truck and trailer.  I've build a little staircase so he can get into the backseat of the truck.  I was worried about hurting him lifting him in and out and he certainly couldn't jump!  

I'll keep updating you on Ollie as we go on.  In the mean time, this is his usual position.

He sleeps a LOT!  Take care and keep washing those hands!

Thursday, August 06, 2020

Wow! It's been a while!

I'm not sure why it's been so long since I updated this; I guess the general dullness is setting in.  Anyway I don't really have much to report.  It is quiet around here.  Our county has a population of only about 40,000 but we have managed to become a 'yellow' county in terms of the coronavirus.  That meant that the bars all got shut down again.  It is too bad but realistically if they weren't closed they would probably be filled with people from Vegas which is in a 'red' county. 

We still have a few people who are convinced that it is their right to not wear a mask even though the govenor has made it a rule.  It seems simple to me:  wear one and maybe not get sick or skip it and have a much better chance of catching this crap.  It is inconvenient and uncomfortable but I really do not want to catch something nasty like coronavirus.  In fact I heard that mask wearing might very well reduce the number of flu cases this winter since it too is a virus.  Who knows!

My wife and I usually get up and get on our walk before the sun rises; or about 05:50.  It is a pain to get up so early but it is a lot nicer walking when it is 65-70F(18-20C) than 105F (40C).  We also get to see the sun gradually light up the mountains in the west.  They absolutely glow golden starting at the very top and slowly moving down the mountain side.  We also get to see the local balloons if it is calm enough.  Usually they get slowly blown north but once in a while they land near us. 
This guy was landing but he must have been coming down too fast because you can see the flame from his burner slowing his descent. 

We have been getting quite a bit of smoke from the Apple fire over near Los Angeles.  You can kind of see it just above the mountains in the photo of the balloon.  They say it is 30% contained so there are still 20,000 acres burning.  We could have this stuff with us for quite a while yet.  It is only about 150 miles (240km) from here as the crow flies. 

We here in the US have just under 3 months until we get to vote.  I'm hoping that Mr. Biden can manage not to screw this up.  This is Trumpland around here.  We pass at least 8 or 10 Trump banners when we take our morning walk.  Of course there are more whenever we go other places.  I just cannot understand how people can support that idiot.  Of course I keep reading all kinds of things about how if Mr. Biden wins the economy will collapse and we'll all be living in a socialist society.  Bah humbug!  Yes, there might be some movement towards more social programs but I can't see any of them being very revolutionary.  Yes, rich people might have to pay more tax.  They can afford it!  Companies might have to pay more tax; hell, some have been getting away with paying NO tax.  That isn't right either.  Illegal immigration bothers a lot of people and I can understand that.  I think we should make the path to citizenship easier; then compelling people to do it makes more sense. 

Well, I'm going to quit whining.  Thanks for stopping by & keep washing those hands!

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

It can be a lovely world!

The last few days we've been in the 105F (40-14C) area in the afternoon.  My wife and I take care of that little problem by 1) taking our walk early in the morning and 2) staying in our air conditioned house in the afternoon.  It is running between 75-80F (25C) at 06:00 but that is a bunch easier on the old bodies.  It is also a great time to enjoy this lovely corner of the world. 

We live in a valley with mountains all around us.  Watching the sunlight slowly creep down the mountain side to our west is something that I'll never tire of seeing.  You can just watch the light moving down the mountain as the sun comes up over the mountains in the east.  It is amazing.  It is also a good time to see what little wildlife we have around here:  rabbits, jack rabbits, ravens, doves and lots of other birds.  Once in a while we'll see a coyote but that is quite rare.  It is also quiet with little traffic which is important because we have no sidewalks and have to walk in the road.  By the time we finish our walk the sun is really warm.

Today I went out to get the mail and saw a burrowing owl.  They are super shy and I didn't see the owl until it flew away.  These owls don't really dig burrows but borrow used holes in the ground from others.  They will even use the culverts people have at their driveways; which is where this morning's owl was hiding when I scared it.  This is a lousy photo but it's the best I could manage. 
Wikipedia, as always, has a much better photo and lots of detail on the little guys.  Weve seen them on our walks before and we always cross to the other side of the road to give them some space.  It usually works. 

Keep on washing those hands and doing your social distancing.  Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, July 05, 2020

Happy 5th of July!

Well, apparently I missed posting on the 4th but, well, it is such an odd year maybe that just fits in properly.  Happy 244th Birthday USA!  I was reading a couple blogs this a.m. and one that I often enjoy is Sightings Over Sixty and yesterday's post was no exception.  The post, entitled "More Stuff I Don't Understand" was about the strange, strange times we are living through.  It's true:  horribly high unemployment but the stock market is fully recovered from the Covid-19 scare; there are more people with the virus but no one seems to care; the President seems totally unaware of the rest of the world; people still think he is doing a good job.  WTF??? 

Another blogger quoted this line:  We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.  So what the hell happened to that idea?  Equal??  Rights??  Liberty??  Why does it seem that black people not included in that sentence?  They seem much more likely to be arrested than white people.  I was checking out a fact sheet from the NAACP web site.  It has some really amazing statistics!  For example, African Americans are incarcerated at more than 5 times the rate of whites.  As of 2015 African American and Hispanic people comprise about 32% of the population but comprise 56% of the prison population. 

I don't pretend to know what is going on there; certainly discrimination by the police is part of the problem but I'm sure that poverty is a much larger factor.  26% of African American families live in poverty compared to 11% of white families.  And that isn't counting single parent families where the rate is much higher.  It is a shame that in this wonderful land that such discrimination exists.  Education, or the lack of it, is certainly a critical factor.  The same article suggests that a family headed by a college graduate makes nearly two times as much as a family headed by someone whose education stopped at high school.

I hope I haven't been too dismal here but these days are not 'our finest hour'.  The government isn't totally to blame but there sure are things that could be done differently.  The way everyday people interact is nothing to do with government but it doesn't make me proud.  Here in Nevada we've been ordered to wear masks while in public areas so, of course, we had a demonstration against wearing masks.  A large number of the people demonstrating were wearing firearms because that is legal here.  Inspections suggest that only about half of businesses are complying.  What the heck, the mask may keep you from getting ill but one's right to not wear one is oh so important.  What a place!  Take care & keep washing those hands.

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


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


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!