Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Proof of Concept

Much of today was spent in the car.  First we had to take the bikes to the shop where we bought them to loosen up the through axles on both bikes' front wheels.  We also had them take the pedals off my bike.  The shop that assembled my bike seemed to delight in frustrating the new owner by putting things on with excessive force.  Jim wanted to know who makes a good bicycle torque wrench.  Giant does.  However, the store we were in did not have them in stock.  They got a different one in stock several hours later, so we went back to buy it.  However, upon arrival, they told us the downtown store had just gotten a Giant shipment, had the set Jim really wanted, so we went there.  The bike frames are carbon, every single place that something can be torqued, like the seat post clamp, has a torque setting written on it.  Carbon can be fragile if you over torque it.   Through axles don't count because they clamp to each other, not the frame.

Anyway, is this not lovely?

On the way to the shop, we saw this guy.  It's 24F, there's snow and ice in places.  He was riding close to 20 mph.  He is way tougher that I ever was.

Why are we so hard over on the bikes being inside on the transit to Tucson, you wonder?  Because we have three days of driving in areas where it snows, and they put down sand and salt.  Having the bikes on an exterior rack would result in arriving AZ with two bikes with rusty chains, rusty brake rotors and pitted paint.  These are all bad things.  As I previously mentioned, we really don't want to tow a trailer.  Today we were finally able to get the wheels off and see if the bikes will fit cross ways in the car.  They'll be stacked on top of each other, with the wheels in wheel bags on top of the stack.  I think we've got enough room for clothing, since it's all going in garbage bags, which will provide peak volumetric efficiency.

It was good that we got all of the driving done today. There is a big storm off the Pacific coming in bringing lots of water.  Spokane is pretty cold due to the air coming in from the Arctic.  When the storm gets here, it will make snow. The talking weather heads are making this out to be the storm of the century, but that's what they like to do.

From now until we leave, most of my head space is going to be consumed with packing.  It will make for boring posts, but I'm documenting the process in case we do this again.

Monday, November 28, 2022

A Delayed Thanksgiving After Action Report

Thanksgiving was good - but I think we're done doing that.  It was a limited menu, but I felt like all we did was wash dishes all day.  Actually Jim washed and I dried.  The stuffing was good.   This year I used the entire pan of cornbread along with  half of the bag of store bought bread cubes.  I still can't tell if using stock rather than just plain water makes a difference.  Jim spatchcocked a five pound chicken.  We had the grill too hot, both sides were, shall we say, blackened.  When the chicken came off of the grill, it was viewed with some dismay.  However, after pulling off the skin, it was tender and not dried out, and we ate it all over three days.  There was also the obligatory walk up the hill on the day of the turkey.

The day after T-day I turned 70.  I can't believe I wrote that sentence, but I did.  It was also the 5th anniversary of my brother's death.  I can't believe I wrote that sentence, either.  Five years has gone by like it was nothing.

Not much has been going on here.  We've been obsessing over whether we want to tow a cargo trailer to Tucson or not.  Right now not is winning.  Mainstream media has a habit of reporting crime stats as way worse than they are.  If you read what they are printing, NYC is nothing but a smoking hole of anarchy, shooting and violence.  Actually red states have more crime.  Anyway, it does seep into one's psyche, and one wonders if the trailer will be broken into, stolen or ransacked.  Probably not, but the bikes are irreplaceable due to supply chain issues.  At this point, we think we're putting the bikes in the car for sure, and if we can't get the rest of our crap in there, said crap will ride in the cargo van.  Remember, we're going from very cold to hopefully warm for two months, doing two sports all of which require their own clothes and shoes.  It adds up.

Jim has the Christmas tree up.  This is all we're doing since we are leaving on the 28th of December.  That's the one we used in the RV.

 Last night we had an interesting sunset.  The light was a golden pinkish color, and it was lightly snowing.

This started in the morning today.  We were up and out after one cup of coffee heading to the grocery store.  We had to go to Winco since they carry the chicken brand we like, as well as Del Real Mexican food.  Then it was off to Safeway for canned stuff and bread, we hate the Winco bread.  The forecast is for snow every day for the next ten days.  Hopefully they will be as wrong as they usually are, but you never know.

On the way back from the store we saw turkeys.  I do wonder if their feet get cold.

Well, it's time to take the wheels off of Jim's bike and see how we can wedge it in to the car.  Wish us luck, I hate taking the back wheel off a bike.

Later:  Crappity crap.  The front wheel through axles on both bikes are over tightened.  The allen wrench is turning in the end of the through axle and making the most terrible noise.  We quit, we're taking it to the shop where we got Jim's bike and get them to get the wheel off.  If it gets totally screwed up, I want it to be their fault.  There was no reason to tighten those things as much as they are.  The back wheels are fine.  First law of Project Management,  everything takes longer than you think it will.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Day of the Turkey - or in our case, the chicken.  We have made cornbread for stuffing, pre-baked sweet potatoes, and now we are sweating vegetables for the aforementioned stuffing.

Earlier there was a brisk walk up the hill in the recently fallen snow.  It wasn't too cold, almost pleasant.

Here's wishing you and yours an excellent day in each other's company.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Snow, Stock and Bad Days

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!  We made a lot of stock today, using five turkey necks, celery, onions, and parsley.  I really only wanted one turkey neck, but they came in packs of five so they all went into the pot. While it simmered, we went outside to shake snow off the trees which still have not dropped their leaves.  What the heck?  Anyway, despite all that good stuff in the pot, it kind of tastes like celery.  Note to self, next time no celery.

It snowed again last night, then there was freezing rain, and then it was cold.  There are clumps of ice on the trees, it won't rake off, and it won't shake off of the evergreens.  Tomorrow it's supposed to warm up, so maybe it will melt.

This is Jim's hand.  That is cooking spray in the can, which he is spraying into the chute that throws the snow, and also on the blades of the snow blower.  It keeps the snow from clumping in the machine, which is especially important when it's wet snow.  Last year, every snow was powder dry, this year it's wet.  Go figure.

Today, in this season of good cheer, over eating, and general good will towards all, the dumpster fire had a really bad couple of days.  That makes me happy.

  1. Tuesday morning, New York justice Arthur F. Engoron set an October 2023 court date for state attorney general Letitia James' $250 million fraud lawsuit against the Trump Organization.
  2. This afternoon a panel of federal appeals judges in Atlanta indicated they'll roll back the protections Florida district court judge Aileen Cannon set up for Trump in the Mar-a-Lago documents case.
  3. The Supreme Court denied Trump's request to block the Democratic-led House Ways and Means Committee from gaining access to his personal tax returns.
  4. A Manhattan federal judge ruled just after 3 p.m. that Trump will face the same legal action that ruined Cosby under New York’s new adult survivor’s law that will allow victims to sue their abusers, and rape accuser E. Jean Carroll's attorney said she believes the case will go to trial as soon as early February.
  5. Just before 4 p.m., the former president's longtime personal accountant Donald Bender undermined the Trump Organization's defense by testifying that he would have died from a heart attack if he had been aware of the tax fraud scheme carried out by chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg and others at the Trump Organization.

 I have cut and pasted all of the numbered points from this article.

This is all I have to discuss, so carry on with prepping for the big day.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Perfidy, House Shoes and Cold Walking

Greetings humans.  How are things in your space time continuum?  Nothing is new here except for observing the usual perfidy and malfeasance of the republican party.  AG Garland has appointed a Special Counsel to look in to the dumpster fire's malfeasance associated with mis-handling classified documents and inciting an insurrection.  SC Jack Smith has a reputation of being a wolverine when prosecuting, so hopefully the dumpster fire will go to jail for something - anything.  I don't care what.  Representative Jim Jordan has declared that after he gets through investigating Hunter Biden's laptop, he's going to investigate the Special Counsel; I would pay money to watch that.

Meanwhile the hunt for something to put on my feet in the house goes on.  First I was thinking shoes without backs, mules I think they are called.  I ordered one pair, they're too pointy, my little toes will not have it.  A different, less pointy, pair should be delivered today - we'll see.  Then I saw a pair of Hoka slides on the website that have velcro adjusting straps, so I ordered those.  My feet are what the shoe dogs call "low volume."  Today, we were returning two pair of Merrell boots I ordered from REI because my feet hate them, and I saw a pair of Oofos slides, so I bought them, too; just in case I don't like the velcro Hokas.  Last winter I made it through the entire season sockless wearing flip flops, but this winter my feet are too cold.  I guess it's old age and decreasing circulation to the extremities.  Yep, the Oofos are very unattractive, but they're cushy.  My feet want cushy, they do not want hard soled shoes.  They also do not go barefoot as a result of three foot surgeries.

When Windows comes up, there are interesting articles on the home page.  This is one of them.  It talks about how lighting people, camera people and AI have difficulty with Black skin.  The first you tube in the article will talk about why the characters on "Insecure" look so good.  It's because the lighting person takes the time to make them look good.  Then, if you scroll down to "Wrongfully Accused by an Algorithm" it discusses some really terrible policing along with the fact that facial recognition can't differentiate between different Black people, and apparently neither can the cops.  AI is really not good enough to be in prime time, but it's being used anyway.

We went up the hill yesterday, it was the coldest walk yet.  The temperature was 32.7F but the cloud cover made it feel colder.  I think next time it's like that, we're going to wear polar fleece shirts under the large polar fleece jackets.  The hand warmers are very good, we went back and bought more.

Thanksgiving is nearly upon us.  Jim and I went to Winco to get a chicken and some turkey necks.  Chicken stock is up to $5.99 from $3.29 and I am not paying that much for chicken flavored water.  So, there will be the making of stock for dressing and freezing for future cooking.  This year we are spatchcocking a chicken and cooking it in the grill, there will be no more rolled turkey breasts in our house again - ever.  Anyway, I'm glad we went today, because it was just nuts.  It will only get worse as the week progresses.

So, other than looking for something to wear in the house, I have zippity doo-dah all to report.

Well ok, I just saw this chart.  It's fairly depressing.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Two More Years

Things were going good yesterday.  The evil Kari Lake lost her run for governor of Arizona.  Adiran Fontes won Secretary of State, which was excellent because the republican candidate, Mark Finchem, is a lunatic.  The AG race is still being won by a Democrat, but it's really really close.  Then this happened.

WAPO pulled no punches in their wording. This was the best description so far.  Rupert Murdoch has told the orange man-baby he will not support him in another run for president.   Apparently he means it.  Murdoch, in addition to owning Fox News, the propaganda arm of the republican party, owns the New York Post, and this is now they covered man-baby's announcement last night.

I love that he's relegated to page 26.  By all reports the speech at Mar a Lardo was dreadful.  He was listless, his speech was all stuff we've heard before.  People wanted to leave before man baby was done, but security would not let them out of the room.  Technically, that's kidnapping, but it does say something about the badness of the address.  Even better, three of his top donors are abandoning him.

Today was gruesome.  When we left for the walk up the hill it was 31F with very thick cloud cover, zero sun, and it felt really cold.  I sort of felt like this.

Me: Cycling undershirt, 3/4 zip capilene, fleeced pants, medium weight polar fleece jacket, gaiters, Smart Wool socks, Thermochill boots, the Home Depot polar fleece watch cap with an ear bra underneath it.  I also wore my mittens with my new Merino glove liners, which I really like, with hand warmers in the mittens.  Eight out of 10 digits were warm.  The thumbs could not partake in the hand warmers.  They're really cool, take them out of the package, give them a shake and they get hot. 

Jim wore his version of what I wore, but with his new Dakine gloves from the snow boarding store.  I also have new 686 gloves which came with the Merino liners. They're good, but mittens with hand warmers are better.

Last night the neighbors put out a lighted deer Christmas decoration. They've already got lights up on the house, the crab apple tree and now the deer is there.  This morning, a neighborhood deer was checking it out.

I doubt that any of you followed, or cared about, the wedding of Tiffany Trump.  However, this was amusing.

CLICK HERE and you can play the GIF of Ivanka cropping the photo.  It reminds me of Monty Python animation.

So, we have two more years of the man-baby doing his schtick.  I, for one, am really tired of his voice.  It would be nice if AG Garland could complete what ever it is he's doing, and indict man baby for something - anything.

The republicans just officially took the House.  It feels like a blow to the stomach.  We knew it would happen, but it's here now.  Two years of lunatic republicans, doing nothing except performative bull shit.

Then there was this:  BREAKING: Glenn Youngkin introduces a new proposed K-5 history curriculum, completely REMOVING all mention of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  (Youngkin is the governor of Virginia and is also a lunatic.)

Sunday, November 13, 2022

A Very Good Day and Turmoil on Twitter

Yesterday was a good day.  The Democrats kept the Senate.  Here is a thread that I have cut and pasted on why it is so critical that Senator Warnock win the run-off.  The words are from Dante Atkins, who can be found here.

A 51st Dem means no power-sharing in the organizing resolution. Dems have a majority on committees. no more deadlocks, no more discharge petitions for floor votes. That massively accelerates both the legislative process and the confirmation process.  The individual power of the two chaos muppets (Manchin and Sinema) is drastically reduced. both of them will now need to be opposed to whatever Dems are trying to do in order to block progress. The Senate is a gerontocracy. These guys are not healthy a lot of the time, or not present a lot of the time. We could have a death in a state with a Republican governor. A lot of things could happen. 51-49 versus 50-50 means you can have up to 2 absences/noes. A 51-49 majority means that VP Harris won't be required to be in DC to babysit the Senate all of the time, and can actually be a much a more effective VP who can be deployed for both policy and campaigning. So the upshot is, work for Warnock just as hard as you could if you thought that Schumer's gavel depended on it. Because as far as you know, at some point in the next two years, it very well could.

Kherson has been liberated from the Russians.  Apparently Ukraine will keep fighting all winter.  General Milley had voiced an idiotic thought that Ukraine would take the winter off, and so now would be a good time for Ukraine to negotiate with Russia.  Feh.

If you're not on Twitter, you haven't seen the latest Musk induced disaster.  It used to be that notable people got a blue check next to their names.  It indicated that they were who they said they were.  Musk decided to monetize the alleged cache' of the check.  For $8 a month, everybody could have a blue check with no identity verification.  It didn't go well, and was cancelled after two days.

The most consequential unverified account was one that pretended to be Eli Lily.  They put up a tweet that from now on insulin would be free.  Eli Lily lost something like $8B of market value based on that tweet.  Many people changed their display names to Elon Musk (the top name, above the @name), which made him very angry, so he banned changing that name, which made Christmas sad.

Anyway, Senator Markey (D- Massachusetts) got into it with Elon and they had this terse exchange.

Twitter is sort of a mess at the moment.   It's been pointed out that a tremendous amount of history has been documented on Twitter over the years, and that it will be bad for the people who write books if all of the archives are lost when Twitter folds.

Here is a picture of some of our wild life.

That's it, I have nothing else on offer.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

A Good Election Result

It's still too early to tell if the Democrats will keep the House and Senate.  It's going to be a squeaker.  I'm really hoping that they at least keep the Senate so Biden can continue to appoint judges.  Maybe even a Supreme Court justice.  

Pennsylvania Democrats did well this time around.  They have the majority in the state house and the first woman Majority Leader.  CLICK HERE to play this video which has been around since Roe v Wade was overturned.  In addition to being a lawyer, Joanna McClinton is a pastor and she can preach.  I am really happy for her and for Pennsylvania.

Here is an interesting factoid. 88% of evangelical Christians voted for Herschel Walker, not Reverend Warnock, the candidate who has devoted his adult life to Jesus Christ.  It's inexplicable to me that the race is this close.  It may end up that keeping the Senate depends on the results of the run-off.  Send money if you can.

AZ has a large population that votes by mail.  They don't start processing the ballots until the polls close.  Signature verification takes time, so counting will take time.  I think Katie Hobbs will probably be the next governor, but it's too close to be comfortable.  Kari Lake would just be awful if she won. 

That's it - that's all I've got, other than bated breath.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

November 8, 2022 - Up the Hill Again

Back up the hill today.  There was snow that was kind of crisp on the trail, it squeaked against our boots and did not compress too much.  Last year we both bought Merrel Thermochills.  They're insulated boots, water proof and my feet like them.  Having my feet like something is a major accomplishment.   I bought wides because that's what was available, and that was good because there is room for the cushioned Smart Wool socks.  

The lacing system is good, too.  There is no struggle to get them on or off.

We left about noon-ish, 31F, bright sunshine and virtually no air movement.

Me: Cycling undershirt, 3/4 zip capilene, fleeced pants, medium weight polar fleece jacket, gaiters, Smart Wool socks, the above mentioned Thermochills, Carhartt gloves, and the Home Depot polar fleece watch cap.  My feet were actually warm.  My fingers were cold, I think I need better gloves.

Jim:  Cycling undershirt, 3/4 zip capilene, fleeced pants, medium weight polar fleece jacket, gaiters, Darn Tough wool socks, the above mentioned Thermochills, Carhartt gloves, and the Home Depot polar fleece watch cap.  Jim was very comfortable.  

Here is the always lovely big rock at the top of the hill.

I can not even look at the early guessing about who has won what in the mid-terms.  I did see that it's looking like the Democrats lost the House, but will keep the Senate.  It's early days, so maybe not.  Marjorie Taylor Greene beat Marcus Flowers, so we have two more years of listening to her bull shit.  He was a long shot, but it would have been so nice to have her gone.  It looks like Rubio beat Val Demings, who was a much better candidate.  Florida and their choice of candidates is a complete mystery to me. 

And on that happy note, that's all for now.

Monday, November 7, 2022

November 7, 2022 - More Wet Snow

Here is picture from yesterday.  What's wrong with it? 

Those leaves should be gone.  Generally there is a hard freeze mid-October, the grass stops growing and all of the leaves drop off the trees.  That did not happen this year.

Instead, this happened over night.  We got more wet snow than last time, and it's staying cold, so it's not leaving soon.  Jim and I spent a couple of hours with rakes, shaking branches to get the snow off.  Some of the trees were just sad with their branches on the ground.

On the left are the rhododendrons, behind them is a Japanese Maple which is covered in snow.

We got a little sun late in the afternoon, but over all it was a cold day with dark skies.

Cross your fingers for tomorrow, and may the good people win the day.

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Once Again Up the Hill

There was wind last night, but not the 60 mph that had been projected.  Eight thousand Avista users were out of power this morning, we were not one of them, for which we were very grateful.

This morning was full of bright sunshine and was still pretty windy.  There was a walk up the hill.  We left at 12:50, 47F and windy, with a cold air mass.

Me:  Denim ball cap with ear bra, stand up collar capilene, cycling undershirt, black fleeced pants, green REI jacket with the lining, and glove liners.  My hands were cold as well as my head.  

Jim:  Denim ball cap with ear bra, stand up collar capilene, cycling undershirt, black fleeced pants, brown REI jacket without lining, and Carhartt glove liners.  Jim was perfectly clothed. 

The peonies were flattened yesterday by the very wet snow we got.  They used to stand upright.

The hood after snow, rain and wind.

Nothing much is shaking here.  Twitter continues to descend into chaos.  Musk is saying that if you don't pay $8 a month for a "payment verified" account, your tweets will be relegated to the bottom of the stack.  Most of his previous advertisers have bailed, so we'll see what happens with this scheme to make money.  The whole thing just pisses me off, I really enjoyed my bubble in twitter, and I don't want to have to learn Mastadon or any of the other small platforms.  Twitter was good because it was just stump stupid easy to use.  I will particularly miss med-twitter and the epidemiologists.

Friday, November 4, 2022

November 4, 2022

 Welp, so much for yesterday's forecast.

These were taken at 8:30 this morning.  It's now 10:15 and it's raining. 

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Walking and Painting

Well, fall is definitely no longer glorious.  I don't think we've seen the sun in three days.  Who can remember?  The talking weather heads were all up in their hair predicting 50 mph winds, snow, rain, locusts - and then the forecast changed and the winds and rain diminished, and snow is out of the forecast.  I just checked and the low for Nov. 8 is now forecast to be 4F (-15.55C).  This seems unlikely to me because the surrounding days are not that cold.  Who knows.  The Seattle area was a more complex area to predict weather because of the convergence zone, high winds coming up through Enumclaw and other geographical features, but they got it right more often than they do here, which I think is odd.

Today was another walk up the big hill.  We left at 12:30 or so, it was 38F at the start, and 40F when we finished.  There were thick clouds, breezes, and it felt pretty dang cold.

I wore a cycling undershirt, my Bjarne Riss CMC cycling team fleece, the fleeced black pants, and a rain jacket to cut the wind.  My choice of fashion gloves (cute but not that warm) was unfortunate, my finger tips were cold.  Over all I think the Carhartt gloves and a round neck long sleeved capilene would have been a better choice for the temperature.  I wore the Home Depot fleece hat.

Jim wore a cycling undershirt, his REI 3/4 zip fleece, the fleeced black pants, and the brown REI rain jacket to cut the wind.  He also wore fashion gloves, and regretted that decision.   Jim wore the light blue turtle fur hat.

The weather has been cloudy and too cold to ride.  We're back in the basement sweating to Kaleigh Cohen spin classes, rowing, and lifting weights.  It's interesting how the basement is freezing cold in the summer, and it's warm in the winter.  All of the heat vents are closed downstairs, but it's still warm.  Since we're in the house, what is there to do except paint?  We've gotten the primary bathroom done.  It looks so much better now that the dings are filled and the makeup stains are covered up.  Here is us, hard at work.

We're both wearing head lights because the halogen lights are too hot for such a small space.  Note the horrendous looking painting pants.  There is one room left to do and then we are done.

The turkeys have been back.  There was a huge crowd of them yesterday.  They are perceptive enough to see us through the windows and run away when I point my camera at them.  They're such weird looking animals.

The orange dumpster fire is doing one of his deranged cult rallies in Iowa tonight. The Judge he attacked like a maniac on Truth Social the other day just appointed a monitor for his entire company. This could be his most unhinged rally ever.  A couple of weeks ago he'd set up a new corporation in Delaware with the intention of transferring all of his current assets there.  Now he can't do that.  He is thwarted.  On twitter, Bryan Taylor Cohen reports "Marjorie Taylor Greene just got the Trump rally crowd to boo Paul Pelosi. In case you were wondering where the Republican Party is in 2022."

Speaking of Mr. Pelosi, he went home from the hospital today.  

That's it!  That's all I've got.