Caturday – This is Dessicated to The One I Love

Sheldon owns the bed

I’m posting a photo I took of Sheldon a few days ago. See, I’m kind of busy so I’m just posting an update on things and then I’ve got to get back to work.

Drought – see the title. Today and Sunday we could be in triple digits. Still no rain. There’s a chance of thunderstorms next week but rain at this point will be too late for a lot of farmers and ranchers. But I’m sure Trump will get right on the case, as soon as he’s done offending the French by objectifying their First Lady.

Work – I’m lining up a part-time job but that’s all I’m going to say until it’s said and done. But there’s a lot of pre-employment hoops to jump through and those leaps are time-consuming, which takes away from my marketing research work. Ugh. We need an oil boom and soon.

Speaking of work, there’s crews around town replacing sidewalks, curbs and gutters around town. They’ve been working on the curbs on our street this week and DAMN. They are loud and they start goddamn early. I’d feel sorry for these guys working in this heat but their noisy presence is hell on my concentration. When the guys from the City were working on our sidewalk after the sewer pipe was laid, I brought them brownies. I’m less sympathetic to these clowns.

Cats – they’ve been spending late nights and early mornings outside, returning to the house in the mid-morning and sleeping until it’s evening. Amy left the house at six am today. Right not it’s about 10:30 and she’s just falling asleep near me as I type this.

Baseball – my Twins ended the first half of the season sitting above .500 and in second place in the AL Central. The youngsters are exhibiting some powerful offense and a stifling defense. The trouble is that their pitching staff is among the worst in the league. In the next couple series we face the juggernaut from Houston and then the Bronx Bombers. And we’ll have some guys on the mound that don’t even belong in the major leagues. It’s gonna get ugly. Nonetheless I shall continue viewing because the position players will always make it interesting.

For a brief window of a couple days my old desktop computer was working flawlessly. And then it started spiking on the CPU like a cardiac patient in intensive care. So I’m back on the laptop. Again.

So that’s it for now. I can drink beer tonight because I took a piss-test for the new PT job yesterday. So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice. The air conditioner in the house actually works, which it hasn’t for two years. And on Sunday we return to playing a certain game for a certain throne. I’m good.

Have a great weekend.

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Prayin’ fer Rain, Endurin’ the Pain


It was a dry May with high winds, followed by a dry June with high winds. By June they were calling conditions in our county “moderate drought”. We have now moved up the scale to “severe drought”. It’s still not as bad as the southwestern part of the state, which is “extreme drought”. Extreme means the wheat isn’t growing at all and the hay crop that the ranchers depend on to feed their livestock is just not going to happen.

You can see in the photo above a little bit of green close to the hedge and then off to the right. Grass is still growing in the shade and that stuff to the right is my neighbor’s lawn. He’s got a sprinkler system and has been watering like a madman. Though it should be noted that a good portion of his green lawn is weeds because they’re growing far better than the grass.


Here’s an area next to the mountain ash that gets a lot of morning sun. The grass here isn’t just dormant, it’s dying out.


Here’s the area behind our garage. It’s exposed to the sun almost all day and looks about as inviting to walk across as a bed of nails. It crunches like gravel under your feet.

Last week I saw the mother of someone I went to high school with. She has an incredible memory and said this is the worst we’ve had it since 1983. I remember that one. In the fields under summer fallow there were cracks so wide in the soil you could stick your hand in them. The practice of letting fields go fallow for a summer has ended but I’m gambling that if I drove out to the farm and found some exposed soil, there’d be something impressive.

One could argue that we were due for a drought and I’m sure some are saying that. But the evidence that climate change causes extreme weather is pretty much irrefutable and drought is one of the symptoms. I’ve noted other changes out here as well: flooding, severity of storms, etc. This is not just a temporary change in the weather pattern. This is a severe drought brought on by a change in our climate. And I expect we’ll see more and more of these in the years to come.

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Have a Sweet Fourth of July

Here’s a little nonsense n’ noise gem from Sweet as they moved from kiddie glam rock into hard rock. I had this album on vinyl back in the day and it wasn’t half bad. Sweet’s move into hard rock was just one of the stylistic shifts they took in the 70s trying in vain to hang on. Today they’re remembered only for “Ballroom Blitz” which is a shame because they did have a lot of solid songs.

For the past several days our dogs spend every night in abject terror. They pant and pace and are just miserable while in inbred mouth-breathers in the neighborhood try to blow off their remaining digits. We’re now in “severe drought” status and the fire rating is through the roof. So there’s the chance of someone burning their own house or half the town. Good times.

Anyway, have a happy (and safe) Fourth of July. And have pity on small dogs.

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SCP – Secure Contain Protect

The SCP Foundation is ideal for those who are fond of X-Files or Welcome to Night Vale. SCP is a little hard to describe. It’s a compendium of stories written by many people, where the clandestine Foundation collects and captures “anomalies” to protect the world and study these curiosities. It’s just all kinds of delightful crazy. And who knows, it might be real.

If it sounds like something up your alley, I’d say start with some of the top rated pages and go from there. I warn you, this is one of those Internet rabbit holes that can cost you a ridiculous amount of time, not to mention sanity.

Or you can just start with a recent entry, an IKEA like no other

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Caturday – Long Holiday Weekend


It’s going to be a long holiday weekend and it’s important to pace yourself. Conserve your energy and nap with a friend.

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Harry’s Birthday? I Could’ve Sworn it Was on July 31?


Today makes the 20th anniversary of the publication of a children’s book. That’s usually not a monumental occasion in popular culture. But in this case it’s like the release date for Meet the Beatles. On this date Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released. And this is about what a mark it made in this household.

I really didn’t notice the uproar and fuss until about the third book. You couldn’t walk into a bookstore or a library without seeing those books. I’m not a fan of children’s literature or even young adult so it took a while for the interest to simmer. Let’s face it, anytime there’s fuss about a genre book I’m going to notice it. But as John Scalzi noted in his blog today, he just wasn’t in the target demographic and neither was I. But the itch began and after a couple of months I gave in.

I thought about getting on a waiting list at the library because the idea of spending money on a hardcover copy of a kids book was just grating. But the waiting list was long and my patience was short. There was going to be no hiding reading from my wife either, not without getting one of those “aren’t you a little too old for that” withering looks. But I finally gutted it out and bought Philosopher’s Stone/Sorcerer’s Stone. And I fell into a whirlpool.

It probably took a couple nights to read the first one. I think the stigma of reading something so juvenile vanished fairly quickly because if JK knows how to do one thing (and she actual knows how to do several things rather well) it’s to stand on the damn accelerator and don’t let up. The HP canon, especially the early books, are maddeningly propulsive. You have to keep turning pages, moving on to the next chapter. I remember telling my wife, “I just have to keep seeing what this little shit is going to get into next.”

There is a certain amount of HP that is somewhat standard. A kid that thinks he’s different, that he’s meant to be in another place. That’s a very old trope in fantasy and one we’re all sick of. But the kids reading it sure didn’t know it and once getting caught in the tale, the adults usually didn’t care. The width and breadth of the world-building was dazzling and the acknowledgement that the world could be unkind and cruel but friendship and love can win the day was affirming. Voldemort was doomed to lose this battle one way or another and I was locked in.

I bought the next two books and now my wife was damn curious. She has a very hard time reading due to her OCD and it was frustrating for her that something was going on that she couldn’t appreciate. The movies changed all that.

The first two movies were a bit rote and mechanical, you could see the magic but you couldn’t feel it. Nonetheless, the actors brought it home and the source material hooked you. My wife became a believer. And with the magic that was the third movie Carjo was all in.

And here we are, twenty years of the world being assimilated by the wizarding world. A large poster of Severus Snape hangs in our house (my wife’s Rickman crush was substantive even before the movies and it only got worse). My wife has a travel poster for the Hogwarts Express, stencil letters on the wall promise that she is up to no good, a cat named Luna Lovegood wanders our yard, and all seven of by books are in a prominent place in our living room. We may be Muggles but we believe.

I also believe that these books and movies have done a world of good. I follow Rowling on Twitter and she is wonderful, slaying trolls and Internet demons, being an advocate for the less fortunate, and never forgetting that at one point in her life she was a single mother on the dole, trying to write a novel in hopes that it would better her life. She has driven kids who would never have picked up a book to not only get these books, but move on to other books. Kids who have not only embraced the fantasy of this world but also embraced the greater themes, much like my generation embraced the themes of Tolkien. Harry Potter has made the world a brighter place and that is no small thing.

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Come Mud or High Winds

on the farm again

I went to the farm yesterday to help with this ^^^. Some would say that the John Deere doesn’t look “that stuck” but it surely was. It was passing over a long patch of ground that we suspect has a spring underneath and has ensnared more than one tractor. Plus the Deere is off balance because of the heavy front end loader on its front wheels and a full rock-picker behind it. So we had to unhitch the rock-picker and then pull out the tractor. Then rinse and repeat for the rock-picker.

It was all a pain because we’ve been getting nailed by high winds for over a month now. Try standing up on the prairie in 40 mph gusts. Me and my cousin did yesterday and it’s not pleasant. Add to that I’ve still recovering from that flu/cold/crud bug. For once I was glad to get home and be inside.

Our cats hate these high winds. It was a steady rotation on the bed in the Man Cave as cats came in from outside and sought a spot for an afternoon nap. After working outside for even a small amount of time I had to agree that the cats had the right plan. The wind never really let up last night, pelting us with scattered showers. Now it’s still blowing but the felines all trotted out. I suspect they’ll be coming back to assume the nap position.


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