Doing some errands last week – had been raining all day. Waiting for the left-turn arrow at an intersection, I noticed that on the berm between the street and the parking lot, the automatic sprinklers had turned on.
Thinking of all the technology we have these days (people on the moon, 3-d printing, chatbots, apps that can track your heartrate – the list goes on and one), why can’t they program automatic sprinklers to know when it’s raining?
Ever heard of a Da Vinci Glow? I hadn’t… even with my dad’s interest is all thing astronomical!
It’s a real thing… It’s happens around sunset when a crescent moon is on the horizon, but the outline of a full moon is visible. It’s called a DaVinci Glow because… wait for it… Leonardo was the one to hypothesize why it occurs.
The glow is caused by light reflecting off the Earth onto the moon. Sounds weird, right. Earthshine is light emitted by the Earth after the sun has gone down. Because Earthshine is actually brighter than moonlight, the reflection “fills in” the crescent.
Although Da Vinci Glow is not rare, there are a few requirements. It’s easier to see when there is a waxing or waning crescent during clear skies. The fly in the ointment is that enough of the Earth needs to have cloud-cover to get the best view. Apparently Earthshine is reflected more by the clouds of our planet than by the land or water.
Since we have a waxing moon starting later this week, we’ll have the best chance of seeing the Da Vinci Glow this month!
Have you ever noticed this phenomenon? Anything else in the night sky interest you these days?
Normally I’m pretty careful in the yard. Obviously you’ve heard a few times where I wasn’t as careful as I should have been, but those are actually pretty few and far between. It’s been two years since I dropped the patio stone on my toe.
I have two pairs of red clippers and they stay closed most of the time, especially if I’m walking around or doing steps. Kinda that old “don’t’ run with scissors mentality. The reason I have two pairs is that when one has to go to the hardware store for sharpening, I still have one at home. Can’t go a week without my red clippers!
But last week something new happened with the clippers. I was trying to get as far down on the root of a “volunteer”; I probably should have used a bigger tool for this project, but the bigger tool was in the garage and I was in the front yard. Enough said. Anyway, it took a bit of force and then suddenly the root gave it up and the clippers slammed shut. Unfortunately my index finger got pinched between the handles. I mean seriously pinched. I said some very colorful things, pretty loudly and had to sit down for a minute as I got a little dizzy.
The mishap didn’t break the skin, but the blood blister rose up immediately and the whole tip of the finger turned a few ugly shades of purple. And it hurt like crazy. Right about then Jenai came home from some errands and brought me a wet paper towel, some antibiotic ointment and a bandaid. The rest of the gardening that day was done left-handed.
It looks much better now but still hurts if I put any pressure on it at all. I have to say I’ve been VERY careful about the red clippers since then.
Saturday was blustery and rainy here, a good day to stay home and clean and cook. I made some Tuscan white bean and chard soup, and Husband made goat leg in the tagine.
We stream MPR classical when we are home. About 3:00 the music went silent. We had lost wifi and the Internet, and our land line phone went dead. I waited about 20 minutes for it to go back on, and then phoned the local phone company that provides our cable, land line, and Internet. First I talked with an Internet guy who transferred me to a phone woman. I guess phone service takes priority over Internet service and he thought I would get better results talking to the phone person. She had me unplug and then restart the modem that controls all the services, but that didn’t help. She then transferred me to a very nice man named Leonard, who said we probably needed a new modem, and that he would get in his truck and come right over to replace it.
All the support folks I spoke with said there were no reports of service interruptions in my neighborhood. We waited for Leonard for more than an hour when he finally phoned and said that something on top of a utility pole at the end of our street had melted, and that he and another guy were fixing it. All their custmers in our neighborhood had lost their service and I was the only one who phoned to report it. Husband took the dog for a walk and saw Leonard and his coworker up the pole fixing whatever it was that melted. By 6:30, everything was working again.
I am waiting for the neighbors to hold a parade in my honor for saving the day. I also am impressed with the local phone company for sending out service technicians on rainy Saturday afternoons.
What are some positive and/or interesting customer service experiences you have had? Have you ever saved the day?
YA came into my room on Friday and asked me if I wanted to go to Lowbrow for breakfast on Mother’s Day. Lowbrow is her favorite. My favorite breakfast place is actually Black Coffee & Waffle but I would never attempt going there on a Sunday. It’s a very small place and they only make the waffles when you order them, so service is slow. Since my favorite was out of the question, I said sure to Lowbrow. YA wasn’t able to do a reservation online so she was forced to use the telephone and talk to the restaurant live (horrors). They said all their reservations were full but they had a few tables held for walk-ins.
We decided to go right away at opening (9 a.m.) but I was dismayed when we turned the corner and there was already a robust gathering outside the door…. In the rain. As is always the case on Mother’s Day, there were quite a few large groups – you could see through the windows that the tables were already pushed together and set. It took about 15 minutes before we made it inside and the couple in front of us took the last free table. 90 minute wait. Believe me when I say that spending 90 minutes with YA before she has eaten is not a good way to start off your Mother’s Day.
There is a new little restaurant across the street from Lowbrow; it looked fairly empty so we headed over there. They did have a table for us but before we sat down they showed us the Sunday brunch menu – a prix fixe with a starter board, a choice of three entrees (only one of which was a vegetarian option) and a choice of two desserts. Neither of us was too interested and the $45 per person price tag pushed us right out the front door.
It took us about 2 minutes to decide to drive to Perkins, where we know they don’t take reservations and where there are lots and lots of tables. No wait and a special Mother’s Day menu with lots of strawberry options. YA had the Fresh Strawberry Pancake stack and I had the Fresh Strawberry Belgian Waffle. It was farther from home than we had planned on, different menu than we had planned on. It was more crowded and noisier than we prefer but we had a very nice time. We topped off our experience with a quick trip to Trader Joe’s (YA adores Trader Joes), which was also very busy, doing a whopping flower business! Ya gotta love Mother’s Day!
When was the last time things didn’t go as planned for you?
Talking about animals…. Again… I heard the song ‘Sky Pilot’ by The Animals.
How many of the baboons have served in the military? Thank you for serving.
Anything you’d like to share about your service?
Any comments about the song?
I got started planting corn on Friday. Checked seed depth and placement.
Then I got rained out. It wasn’t supposed to rain until 7:00 and then only a little bit. Well. It started raining about 4:30. And it doesn’t take much before it’s sticking to the wheels of the tractor and planter, and the press wheels and closing wheels. And once that happens, seed depth is affected and it’s time to stop. And it rained all evening and we got an inch. Then another half inch the next day. And another inch Thursday. And I was dealing with Commencement Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday so the rain was OK. A lot of other guys got corn got planted though. Big equipment and many guys working a lot of longer hours than I do. Kudo’s to them. I talked to one guy who not only finished planting corn but finished planting soybeans as well. He said, “When we start something we go hard.” I guess. And it’s more than just him working it too. So it goes. We’ll get there.
Commencement went well; a good bunch of people, and while there were some minor technical issues, nothing serious. My work student, April and I hung a few lights last week, before they placed the stage. Monday, the IT guys had the projector hanging and running and the screen up before I got there at 10:00 AM.
April and I then hung the rest of the main lights, we got all the ground stuff running before I went home Monday evening about 7:00. It should have been sooner, but I had some issues. There was a high impendence air gap* in one of the fixtures that daisy chained to several others. And I numbered some of them wrong. Twice. I spent two hours trying to figure out what the heck was going on. Part of me just wanted to go home and deal with it in the morning with a fresh mind. But I knew I’d lay in bed thinking about this. I knew I had to fix it before I went home. Ah. Yep, Brain Fart. Numbered them appropriately and I went home and slept well.
It always comes down fast; a lot of helpers picking up chairs and the IT crew get their stuff down quick, and April and I got our stuff down quick and we were done with the hard part by 9:00 PM. Hauled my stuff back to the theater and the truck showed up for the rental stuff and I was home having ice cream by 10:00 PM.
AND! None of my appendages or internal organs fell off, or plugged up, or turned red, or swoll up! Yay me! I can do this!!
Last week was Kelly’s birthday. This week was my birthday. And Friday the 12th was our 33rd wedding anniversary. We don’t celebrate too hard. (we all took the day off and slept in) There’s a big family reunion happening on Saturday. It started as a ‘cousins get-together’; my nieces and nephews; that set of cousins. Some from Florida, some from South Carolina, Pennsylvania, North Dakota, and various places in Minnesota. The cousins getting together turned into the whole families getting together and we’ll celebrate all the birthdays in May (There’s at least 6), Mothers day, our anniversary, our son and DiL’s anniversary, and our matriarch, my mom, turning 97 on the 16th.
Kelly and I always laugh about going to the all-night grocery store about midnight before our wedding because she wanted 3 gallons of lime sherbet for the punch the next day. I remember saying “Where are you going to put it!??” in her tiny little apartment freezer.
Kelly’s taste and smell are coming back after her covid. And she’s got a bit of a cough yet. My nose still runs, but I’m good otherwise.
We were running errands the other night and taking the scenic route and heard, off in the corner of a parking lot, a Jazz band. They were playing New Orleans jazz and it was really fun and we parked and listened to them for a few minutes. We tried to find out if they do this every Sunday night or it was just a jam session, or what, but we didn’t find anyone that spoke English. Man, they were good!
Signed a contract for insulation for the shop. Found some ‘reject’ windows at a lumber yard that I decided to add. Used some chalk and marked out the floor for the walls and doors. Talked to some HVAC and LP guys about how big of a heater I’d need and where to put the LP tank.
My college boss made a comment about the next show opening in 2 weeks and my head kinda went blank for a minute. Heck. My focus was just on getting through commencement. I knew there was another show at the end of the month, but I hadn’t really looked at the calendar yet. It’s fairly small, and fairly easy. (and to be honest, I’m waiting for this whole thing to fall apart, but I didn’t say that out loud). So, I better work on that next week. I still haven’t gotten the college shop cleaned up from the play we closed on April 29th because we went right into concerts and then right into commencement. It’s making me crazy.
Then I’m doing another show opening the first week of June. Another in July, another in August, and then summer’s over and I’m back at the college. Bother.
What are your summer plans? Did you play with matches?
This is the first year that I’ve done the major spring clean up without YA. Even when she was very young, she could come behind and put clippings and yard waste into bags. These days she particularly likes to spread out mulch; most of the seriously dirty yard work she leaves to me.
It’s been rough to have her out of town this week – no one to pick up after me and no one else to sling around bags of mulch. The fact that it is suddenly quite warm has been a shock to my system as well. In fact, on Tuesday afternoon, after I had been working in the back yard, the idea of carrying the full yard bags down to the boulevard was more than I could stomach thinking about.
The picture above is real. I put the bags into the back of my car and drove them down the driveway to the boulevard. So sad although to my credit, the car was already backed out of the garage and the keys were hanging right there on the fence.
Makes me think that if YA ever moves out, I’m going to have to bribe her big time to come help me with the yard every spring!
What home projects do you wish someone else would do for you?
Man, this week. Or this month. Or this year. Or maybe this Spring. Whoosh. There it goes…
I had that equipment up at the online auction that ended on Tuesday. But the corn head for the chopper (the part used when chopping up corn. Just like it sounds I guess) was in a part of the old shed that I never try to get into until June. It was quite the deal getting the corn head out on Sunday evening. (Saw Hamilton Sunday afternoon. Yes, it was as fantastic as I expected).
There was still ice and snow back on Sunday. Remember that? I chopped and dug and eventually cut 6” off the bottom of one door before I got them open. Then moved the hay rake, and thank goodness the swather started, and I had to chop out more ice because the swather has no traction. Then moved some other junk, THEN was able to get to the corn head out and load it on the trailer. It was kind of a process.
Hauled that to the auction lot on Monday, went to the vet’s office across the street and spent too much money on tick prevention and heartworm pills for the dogs. Talked to the agronomist about getting fertilizer spread for the oats, ordered diesel fuel, and picked up oats seed. Had a township ‘Board of Appeals’ meeting regarding property taxes in the afternoon.
After the meeting, Daughter and I picked up driveway markers, I moved the snowblower out of the shed, and Kelly and I cut some brush behind the shed. It was a good day.
The auction. My stuff didn’t sell as good as I wanted it too. But the chopper was 40 years old and been in the shed unused for the last 20 years, so at least it’s gone. The rear blade sold pretty well. And the old tools of dads went for a couple bucks.
The ‘vintage’ item I had were old cultivator shields. Sold for $2. Scrap price might have been $3 or $4…I thought someone might have a unique use for them. No one would use them as cultivator shields anymore. And I bought a rock “grapple” bucket for my loader. It’s like ‘fingers’ to grab trees and rocks and “stuff”. Always wanted one. I’ll need to add some more hydraulics line to run it… you remember how the last hydraulic project went. I will pay more attention to this one.
The killdeer have returned. The Sandhill Cranes are back (Hi Steve!) and Kelly has been listening to them call during the day since she has the windows open in this warm weather. The chives are coming and Kelly found a deer shed on one of her walks.
I haven’t seen the female duck lately, and there’s two males here. I’m hoping she’s sitting on a nest. I saw eggs in the pond and when I googled “Why are there duck eggs in my pond”, the thought is ducks are lousy moms. Eggs just sort of ‘pop out’ where-ever they are. Like the pond apparently. Google also said not to eat them.
When the diesel fuel was delivered, I was talking with the driver that the gauge has been broken since I got this tank and I couldn’t get the old one out. He said it shouldn’t be that hard; “get a hammer and chisel.” And those, along with an 18” pipe wrench and a pipe extension handle, we did get the old one out. The new gauge is nice.
Been hanging lights and started programming lights for the musical ‘Spring Awakening’ at the Rep theater, and finishing up set stuff for ‘Boy Gets Girl’ at the college. Both open next Thursday and luckily college rehearsals are afternoon and the Rep’s are evening.
And I farm between things.
Started planting oats Thursday night! Hope to finish on Friday. It’s even a little dusty. I keep forgetting the thermometer to check the soil temperature, but I know it’s warmed up.
I was sitting at the computer at home Friday afternoon when I heard a loud crash outside. Some investigation led to the discovery that a very large chunk of ice had fallen onto the deck from the pergola atop the deck where there are lots of grape vines.
One of our snowstorms deposited more than two feet of snow on the deck and west roof of the house. The warmer weather over the past couple of weeks had melted the snow which turned into solid ice, which now was falling through the open spaces on the pergola.
The ice chunk that fell could have injured us or the dog. There were lots remaining atop the pergola, so I stood in the doorway and poked the ice through the pergola with a broom handle until it all fell down .
I have always loved doing things like this. It was so oddly satisfying, poking those ice chunks so they crashed onto the deck, comparable to clearing blocked channels of water and unstopping clogged surface storm sewer grates. Odd, I know, but there it is. I would probably love doing demolition work. I also love shooting off fireworks. Perhaps they are related.
What do you find oddly satisfying? Ever been in an avalanch or had a concussion?
Another sign of pending spring is the ice at my machine shed walk-in door finally melted enough I could get the door shut again. It’s works all winter, but then, due to some poorly executed land grading that I did without forethought, as the snow starts to melt it runs into the shop and the door freezes shut. I used to play a guessing game on when all the doors would freeze shut and try to get them opened the day before. There were a few times I missed that day, and it took a lot of chopping ice with an axe to get the door open enough I could get in. And, more importantly, out.
Three years ago, I added an overhang that solved the ice problem at the big doors. This summer we will regrade the driveway and that will fix the water running through the walk-in door.
We had a Thunderstorm and some hail on Monday.
The drain tile down by the barn that fills the duck pond is running heavy. It doesn’t run this heavy very often. Usually that means the frost is out. The tile is a good thing as all this water would be coming out on top of the ground otherwise and it would be all spongey down there. I’ve had that other years prior to the tile.
Kelly and the dogs took a long walk around the pastures and fields on a warm day. The dogs found a hole they were VERY interested in, and they’ve gone back the last couple days to dig more.
Humphrey got a shower after this. He doesn’t like them. But he doesn’t figure out he should stay clean either.
For some reason, I’ve got a chicken laying smaller eggs. They look like beginner eggs. Shouldn’t be any beginner chickens at this point in time but maybe we’ve got a late bloomer. I know I’ve mentioned before how they seem to like groups of three. More often than not, I find a clutch of eggs in batches divisible by 3.
(Photos this week all from Kelly)
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE NUMBER?
DOES BRIGHT SUNLIGHT MAKE YOU SNEEZE? WHY IS THAT?