Coffee heat rising

Rain! Hooo-rah!

An excuse not to go on the mountain!


Okay, that’s way up there in the “it’s all about me” department, eh? In reality, it’s wonderful to see some rain, even though it’s the tiniest little bit. California is being soaked, people near the burn areas are having evacuate their neighborhoods for fear of mudslides, and us? We’re getting something more like thick humidity.

More like the smell of rain than actual rain…

But it’s kinda nice.

In fact, I didn’t go for the required morning hike because I was loafing with the computer, reading news and social media blather. But when the dogs finally rounded me up and herded me into the kitchen to fix their breakfast, I saw the light rain and felt glad not to have left the house. Even though it’s not much rain, I would not have been happy at having water fall out of the sky a mile from my car.

We need the rain fairly desperately. The drought continues with little let-up — there was some rain and snow awhile back, but that was it. If this continues, as it likely will, the area eventually will not support the hordes and hordes of humanity our greed-blinded honored business leaders and their political hacks have spawned here. It would not be the first time: centuries ago a large tribe of entrenched, technologically sophisticated Native Americans (we still use the traces of their canal works) up and disappeared from the area. The most likely explanation for their exodus was drought & depletion of resources.

Oh well. That’s tomorrow’s problem, eh?

My son dreams of 60 acres in the middle of nowhere, there to construct a hermitage. In fact, he found a piece of land down near the Chiricahuas with grandfathered water rights and a surface stream flowing through it. DAYum! To die for. He actually located two of them but one was a little too far east. Hit New Mexico this far south, and you might as well be in West  Texas. Heaven help you. The east end of the Chiricahuas is absolutely as far east and as far north as you’d want to go in that area…and even there… One would have one’s doubts.

A-n-n-n-d… Our voice instructor just canceled this noon’s coaching session, she feeling a shade overwhelmed by the bouncing Holy Week doings on the way in the door. Sorry for her…but for me that frees up the whole day!

So…I promise to spend part of it (for a change) practicing the keyboard/sight-reading lesson. Honest.

And once the sky clears, the way will be open for a hike, after all. 😀

And it’s time to pay the auto and homeowner’s insurance again…God, I hope there’s enough in the bank to cover that annual headache.


Damned if there’s not!!!! The Honored Internal Revenue Service returned TWENTY-EIGHT-HUNDRED DOLLAH to my checking account!

However, I see that the amount I set aside for 2018 tax & insurance (both) will just cover the insurance bill. Safeco has decided, unilaterally, to revalue my house, thereby creating an opportunity to jack up the homeowner’s insurance through the now very expensive roof.

So there’s another hassle to deal with: will have to call Insurance Dude to see if he can get a better deal for this year. Jeez.

It just flat never stops.

Sixty Acres.
Middle of Nowhere.

“Deal of the Century:…so we’re told…

Dumb Tax: Monster Morning!

Grill, inside-out

Yesterday, after an amazingly hectic day during which I fell off the wagon big time (a glass of wine and two beers!!!), I tumbled into the sack around 10:00 p.m. Weary of awaking at 3:00 a.m., as had happened again in the wee hours of yesterday morning, I dropped an antihistamine hoping to drug myself so as to sleep through the night.

It worked. Didn’t wake up until six.

Stumbled outside to wring out  the dog in the backyard, there to find…a soggy, soggy landscape.

It must have rained all night long. Eighty degrees and the air was just wet. Thick with humidity.

The dog, no fool, refuses to go out. So I have to walk out into the yard trying to coax her (unsuccessfully) to visit the doggy loo. That’s when I notice that…oh yes…

Last night after I marinated and grilled the pound of awe-inspiring prawns I’d nabbed at Costco, I left the grill lid open so the perforated pan that held the shrimp would cool enough for me to wash it. Then, in my exhaustion (not to say inebriation), I totally spaced that I’d done that.

Even when, right before bedtime, I went to let the dog out and found it sprinkling, I failed to recall that the grill was hanging open to the evening skies.


You never saw such a mess in your entire put-together! The drip pan under the burners was overflowing with rainwater and grease. The cast-iron grates, highly rustable, were dripping greasy water into the interior of the grill. Formerly burned-on grease had somehow absorbed water and swelled up into blobs, like greasy puffed wheat. The ignition knob was soaked, as was every other part of the $400 grill. You could hear the meat-eating ants singing, a little squeaky ant chorus, as they danced a jig of joy around the perimeter of Ant City, knowing all this grease was spread across the earth for them to carry home. A gift, no doubt, from the Ant Goddess.

Two hours later…sweat was dripping into my eyes and off the end of my nose, I was drenched with sweat from top to bottom, my shoes were ruined from greasy water and detergent splashing on them, my hands were a wreck (the rubber gloves having died in the last fiasco I had to deal with), and yesterday’s $50 hairstyle was a sad memory.

And the pool was still full of leaves and devil pods.

To enhance the joy of that challenge, the pool needed to be backwashed. The filter was so clogged, the pump couldn’t push water fast enough to mound the leaves and seed pods into discrete piles so they could be sucked up by the hose bonnet. No way Harvey the Hayward Pool Cleaner could manage all those devil pods: they would choke him to death before he could get halfway across the deep end.

And for more joy enhancement: I shock-treated the pool yesterday, turning it into a puddle of Clorox. This meant I couldn’t even dive into the water this morning to cool off from the hard labor.

Backwashed the pool into the alley, hoping the neighbors would imagine the resulting lake came from the rain. Fortunately, most people don’t go out and about in swampy weather like this.

Recharged the filter. Let the pump run while I fed the dog and…and…yes. Cleaned up the little gift she left under the table, since she wouldn’t go outside into the soggy soggy landscape. Fixed and ate breakfast (mostly coffee, annoyingly decaffeinated). Plodded back out to clean the pool.

The hose bonnet is one of the great unsung inventions of humankind. It vacuumed up about a half bushel of leaves and devil pods. Matter of fact, it cleaned the bottom so well, there was no need to put Harvey back into the pool. Which was good, because he’s allergic to hyperchlorination and shouldn’t be crawling around in there until a shock treatment has dissipated.

Jumped in the pool in spite of the no-no levels of carcinogenic chlorine guaranteed to rot away Harvey’s plastic carapace. This left the skin stinging. Stood under the hot shower for god knows how long, soaking and soaping chemicals off.

The barbecue is now so clean it’s almost good as new. The pool pump is running so efficiently it’s almost silent in its operation.

It is almost noon. And I am going back to bed.