Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Boosters, Flowers, and Axle Traps

Today was the second bivalent Covid booster.  After I got it, I looked up how it went last time and sort of wished I hadn't.  Too late now!  Jim and I both are feeling pretty whooped three hours after the fact.  Tomorrow could be bad.  So, this is me, writing it down, so I'll remember in the future.

Wednesday update:  My arm actually hurts more than it did from the Shingrex.  Raising my arm up straight and then over my head is not great.  We're both feeling a little sluggish today.

Here are flowers in the front yard. The fried egg peony has opened up a bunch of blossoms.

The burgundy peony is only putting out two blossoms this year.  Last year was better.  This is a phone macro shot of it, that's kind of cool.

We spent this morning looking for parts to make a bike rack to go in the trailer for transport to Tucson.  Talk about your basic time suck.  We ordered two Saris axle traps from REI that were on sale, but they're going back.  They're a very sub-optimal design.  The problem is that you have to hold the forks up in line with the holes in the axle trap while simultaneously threading the through-axle through the holes and the fork while crouching down in a 5x8 trailer.  The advantage to this style, is that it will fit four different axle sizes.  However, I don't intend to acquire that many more bikes in what time I have left on this planet.

This is better, and more expensive.  Unaka makes stuff for outfitting your van to carry bicycles.  Their design allows you to pull out the through axle, drop the wheel, and immediately replace the through axle.  Then you carry the bike to the rack, open the axle holder, put in the axle, and close it up.  It's better, trust me on this.  The copper colored part is where the axle sits, the gray and black things are spacers that go inside to allow you to carry 12mm, 15mm, and 20mm diameter axles.  You can read about it here, should the need arise.

I have to say, as I have said before, things were simpler with rim brakes and quick release skewers.

Other than this, I have not too much to say.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Cartoons and Photos

Greetings Fellow Humans.  It's the first day of the three day weekend.  We celebrated by applying the hedge trimmer to the Barberry.  It's a great hulking plant that has to be cut back at least once a year.  Left to my own devices, I would put a chain around the trunk and pull it out, but Jim likes it.  This year we took more off than usual, it's shading the grass and the grass dies.  So, that was fun.

Not much is happening here, other than watching the republicans be complete and total ass-hats.  This came from twitter, and it speaks volumes.

WAPO put this up a day or so ago.

Ok, I'm done now.

Things are blooming here.  The bike lane we ride out to the lake is covered in pine pollen, my tires are yellow.  Jim and I are suffering from post nasal drip and burning itching eyes like never before.  Target sells an inexpensive generic anti-histamine eye drop which is helping - it's a store brand.  It's usually not this bad, but we are surrounded by pine trees. 

Here is a purple plant that lives along the bike path.  I'm guessing Lupine?

This is the rhody we just put in the ground.  He's a prolific bloomer, and is putting out new growth.  It would be nice if it would have a long a prosperous life.  Now that the maple is gone, the rhody next to him is also putting out new growth, which it didn't do before.  No one misses that tree.

I took this last night after the thunderstorm.  The thunder was amazing, with each boom, the glasses were rattling in the cabinet.  Not too much lightning, and it didn't rain all that much, but the thunder was good.

My fried egg peony is blooming.

These poppies live next door.  They are so vivid the camera has difficulty seeing them.

Thus far we have three tiny tomatoes.  They're very small, very green.  I'll be surprised if we eat any of them.  This is not really tomato country. 

The people across the cul de sac have the most amazing peonies.  They're large and they last a long time.

Our local rabbit, eating grass.  We haven't seen the baby rabbit we fished out of the window wells.  We wonder if the local owl ate him.

The last few days we've seen three or so vultures circling across the street.  We wonder what they're looking at. 

Currently, Jim is spatch cocking a chicken, which, when cooked on the grill will look like this. It has become his signature dish, requiring no effort on my part.

Other than this paltry offering, I have zippity doo-dah all to say.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

USPS and the Taxes, Smoke Alarm Batteries

This post is so I remember stuff and can find the dates later.  

May 22 our 2022 tax return made it to the IRS in Cincinnati, after 38 days, and four round trips between Spokane and Cincinnati.

Apparently an incorrectly placed bar code sticker was triggering Cincinnati to mail the envelope back to Spokane.  I guess someone in in Cincinnati saw it and took the bar code off the envelope so it could continue on its way.  That saga is over - finally.

We changed the smoke alarm batteries yesterday and today.

Here's a lovely photo of a recent evening sky.

That's it!  That's all I've got.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Garage Improvement, the Garden, and a Site Reaction

No rabbits in the window wells today, maybe learning has occurred and the bunny will stop falling in.  Perhaps the threat of being bundled up in a towel has had an effect.

So, yesterday we spent all day in the garage installing vinyl baseboard.  It was so much worse that I thought it would be.  I had intended to post about it last night, but I was too tired to write that much.  Vinyl baseboard is a flexible product that is glued to the wall and the floor of the room in question.  We had it in the house in Tucson, and it looked pretty good.  Now that I've installed it, I wonder if you could ever remove it without taking the wall board with it.

Here is Jim smearing adhesive on the back.  Note that he is kneeling.  We don't have a work bench, so work is generally done on the garage floor.  Adhesive is applied, and then smeared with a notched smearing tool and then stuck on the wall, and mushed down with a roller.  The trick is to not get so much glue near the edges so that the glue mushes out.  We did do that some, and were happy to learn that it dries clear.

There was a lot of getting down on the floor, standing up, and then getting back down on the floor.  This is what it used to look like.

Now it is much prettier. 

The garage has been bugging Jim since we got here, now he can take this off the list.

My cell phone camera has a macro setting.  It sort of works.  This is our first tomato.  It's actually very tiny.

A lady bug on a peony blossom.  At the top of the frame, you can see the fluid it's oozing.

Close ups of the new rhody which is blooming.

Today we rode the bikes to the lake.  It was our fastest time yet, despite the lingering fatigue from yesterday because thunder storms and hail were in the forecast.  We did not dawdle, hail on a bike is bad.  We saw this on the road leading to the trailhead.  It's a boat whose trailer detached from the tow vehicle.  The trailer and boat went into a ditch, and the boat has slid forward and is no longer attached to the trailer.  That will be difficult to recover.

Yesterday I was bemoaning my lack of response to the Shingrex vaccine we got on Friday.  Finally, today, there is some movement on that front.  I have a site reaction.  So, I think that's good.

Other than the usual depredations of the republican party and their attempts to hold President Biden hostage to their insane budget cut demands in exchange for raising the debt ceiling, or travel advisories being issued for Black and LGBPTQ people against going to Florida, or the Border Patrol shooting at an Arizona tribal elder 38 times in his yard after he called them for help removing some migrants from his property and killing him, or any of the other daily atrocities in the country, I have nothing much to say.

Saturday, May 20, 2023

More Rabbit and No Response

The rabbit is back in the window well.  I guess this will be a daily occurrence.  He was moving fast this morning when I was throwing the towel over him.  When he's trapped under the towel, I push it around him until he's restrained.  Then it was back to under the big trees.  We saw him on the edge of the grass eating later, so he's still alive.

We're pretty sure it's the same rabbit, with an inability to learn.  Note the black spot on the top of his head.  Or it could be a coincidence.

Here is a photo of a maple that has been viciously and incorrectly pruned by the previous owners.  We try not to prune anything so it has enough leaves on it to stay alive.  It does look more sparse this year than last.

Thus far, Shingrex is a non-event for me.  Jim is slightly more affected, but not much.  I suffered more with the Pneumovax and Prevnar 13.  I asked the pharmacist yesterday, and she said if you had those two, you don't need the Prevnar 23 that is currently being advertised on US television.

So, either I have lucked out, or this has happened to me as a result of having Covid, and I am unable to mount an immune response.  There's really no way to find out, or do anything about it, so we are where we are.

It's going to be 91F (32.8C) today.  91!

Friday, May 19, 2023

Rabbits and Vaccines

We have rabbits living in the yard.  There is one adult that lives under the giant trees, and likes to sit in the yard and eat grass.  I walked by him yesterday, froze, and did a side step to move away from him.  He didn't bolt, just sat there and looked at me.  Really, he's too comfortable being out in the open.  Anyway, we were down stairs yesterday and I raised a pleated shade to let light in to the room.  There, in the window well, was a baby rabbit looking at us.  Window wells provide emergency egress from rooms that are below grade.  It's a common building style in Spokane, along with concrete curbing in peoples' yards.  Ours are about four feet deep.  No way was the baby rabbit getting out.  We went out, threw a towel over him and scooped him up.  This morning, on a whim, I went down stairs to check the window wells.

He's adorable.  We don't know if it's the same rabbit as yesterday, or if there are multiple bunnies falling in the window wells.  This time we moved him farther away.  However, I saw a baby creeping around the foundation of the house this afternoon.  It's my theory that they creep along and then fall in the window well.  This may be an on going thing.  Next it will be he baby quail needing to be rescued.

Here is the new rhodie we planted.  He arrived with buds, and they've opened.  It would have been nice if he'd bloom with the other rhodies, but no.

Morning sun on the new red twig dogwood and a large decorative boulder.

 From this NYT article, we learn the following about Senator Feinstein.

Ms. Feinstein’s frail appearance was a result of several complications after she was hospitalized for shingles in February, some of which she has not publicly disclosed. The shingles spread to her face and neck, causing vision and balance impairments and facial paralysis known as Ramsay Hunt syndrome. The virus also brought on a previously unreported case of encephalitis, a rare but potentially debilitating complication of shingles that a spokesman confirmed on Thursday after The New York Times first revealed it, saying that the condition had “resolved itself” in March.

Characterized by swelling of the brain, post-shingles encephalitis can leave patients with lasting memory or language problems, sleep disorders, bouts of confusion, mood disorders, headaches and difficulties walking. Older patients tend to have the most trouble recovering. And even before this latest illness, Ms. Feinstein had already suffered substantial memory issues that had raised questions about her mental capacity.

Admittedly I am not yet 89, but the thought of Ramsay-Hunt or encephalitis were enough to finally get me to go get the Shingrex vaccine.  I had the original shingles vaccine years ago, and suffered a pretty good site reaction for about a week, and so was not interested in a vaccine that was known for significant side effects.  However, I was now motivated.  It's three hours in, and thus far nothing terrible has happened.  Apparently tomorrow will be the no good, terrible day. 

It's warm here, and humid.  We have an air quality alert due to smoke from the fires in Alberta.  Maybe it will rain and knock it down; between the pollen and the smoke my eyes are suffering.

Other than this, I have zippity doo-dah to say.