Well, well, well…

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Interestingly enough, it may turn out that Dr. Fauci is more politician than scientist.

“Follow the science” they say.

Something else they should be following is the truth. Because it certainly appears that what was being said in private and what was being said in public don’t exactly align with each other. Yes, one can change their opinion about something, but as we have learned all along during this ordeal – people knew more than they were letting on and the truth wasn’t always being told.

Was this crisis manufactured for political gain? Monetary gain? I don’t know. But there are definitely some things that appear on the surface to point in the direction that personal freedoms have suffered (and will continue to suffer) far greater than actual medical necessity demanded. Lasting implications and trends are doing far greater damage to society than the actual illness.

I am sure of one thing. There will be more developments in this story.

Warped

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Continuing on the projects theme from yesterday, the gazebo has been started and so far things are going fairly well.

Except…

Except that there are quite a few pieces of the wood material that is warped. Not horribly, but enough that making the gazebo square, which it needs to be for the roof, which could prove to be a major challenge.

I guess I shouldn’t have expected anything less. That’s the problem with these prefab kits you buy. Sure, all the pieces are cut to the right size, pre-drilled, and have all the components you’ll need but there is that one factor they just can’t account for – how much the wood will continue to warp once it is packaged.

Working on this kind of project also warps something else…my attitude.

I already have a warped sense of humor, so it doesn’t nothing for that.

Seriously though, warped wood sucks.

Here’s to straight boards, straight cuts, and no knots.

Projects, projects, and more projects

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So, how do you know when you have too many irons in the fire? Is it that you just look at everything and can’t decide which is most important or where to start because they just all need to be done? Or is it that you look at everything and you just decide that you don’t know where to start and therefore just don nothing?

Currently, I have too many things going on that I can’t decide where to start, though there is a looking deadline of rain coming at the end of the week, so that dictates a little of the timeline.

Project one: I have a front yard that needs some attention. I have a hedge and a tree that need trimmed and some Sluggo (bait for slugs and snails) to put down. While these aren’t extremely time consuming and aren’t necessarily urgent, they are the final pieces to having the front yard cleaned up for the summer.

Project two: A garage sale purchase needs cleaned up and tested. The house gets exceptionally warm during hit weather, but there isn’t a heat pump to control the temp inside. So, while visiting a garage sale recently someone was selling a pretty decent portable AC unit for $25. It’s four years old and needs to be cleaned up. I had the guy run it before purchase and it appears to be operable, but it needs to be given some attention. Unfortunately, it won’t likely happen before the warmer weather this week.

Project three: The patio has been built in the back yard and a gazebo purchased. Spent most of the day yesterday working on putting wood sealant on it to further protect the wood into the future. Now the assembly of the gazebo needs to be done…a very time consuming task. Obviously, having it constructed before the weather comes in this weekend would be ideal as it would help to keep the water from hitting most of the wood. So, that seems to be the immediate winner of focus.

There are lots of other projects that needs to be done too, just none of those seem as pressing as these three.

When faced with a list of projects, how do you prioritize which ones get done first?

You’ve been duped

This shouldn’t come to you as a shock, but you’ve been duped into thinking you need to wear a mask outdoors (if you are actually one of those wearing a mask outdoors) and it’s created a whole spectrum of baseless fears.

Of course, if you have little critical thinking skills or have used that skill very little as of late then this probably is a shock. If you have been wearing a mask while you do nearly any activity out of doors, well, you’re an idiot.

There was never any science behind the idea that you needed to wear a mask out of doors, but the CDC (Center for Disease Control) told you something different. That info, as it turns out and was highly suspect to begin with, was completely off base. They don’t even track whether there was ever any outdoor transmission here in Washington. (oh, btw, that guy in the top pic is the WA governor – who says he relies on science…that doesn’t exist).

“I’m sure it’s possible for transmission to occur outdoors in the right circumstances,” Dr. Aaron Richterman of the University of Pennsylvania told me, “but if we had to put a number on it, I would say much less than 1 percent.”

NYT article linked above

The “right circumstances” the doctor above is referring to, are listed by another doctor in the article above. Basically those “right circumstances” are “crowded places or close conversation.” Less than 1%? Really?? Weird how we were all mislead to think it was 10%, which is already a small number and caused irrational few for people all over the place.

Since the truth is out and science, apparently, isn’t all it is chocked up to be, throw caution to the wind (literally).

STOP WEARING A MASK OUTDOORS!

There is no need, unless of course you just want to continue to prove you’re an idiot.

Tug-o-war

The tug-o-war is a struggle while on vacation. You are being pulled this way and that. You are torn between two sets of family who both have missed you, who have looked forward with anticipation to your arrival, and ultimately have planned out every waking moment of your visit.

Here in Arizona, there are two sets of relatives to visit – the inlaws and the sister-n-law’s family. When you only have a week during your vacation, your time has to be split between both and that is the challenge. How do you keep both happy and feel like you have spent enough time with both? In the end, someone is likely going to feel like they got the short end of the stick.

So, this vacation isn’t shaping up to be all that relaxing. It will be go go go the whole time and if it isn’t one it will be the other.

Yesterday’s adventure left out one family but it did have provide for a unique experience as there was a visit to a national park where wild horses roam free. There was a good chance the horses wouldn’t be spotted since they go where they please and one would never know where to find them unless you were in a helicopter looking for them.

Anyway, as it happens, we got very lucky and they were literally less than a hundred yards from us since they had come down to water at the river. A magnificent site they are! Kind of felt like the Old West for a moment. Just sitting there on the bank of the river, watching and listening as they did their thing. I am sure the horses probably feel the tug-o-war war between modern society and the quiet solitude of the wild, something they really have no control over.

Well, despite the push and pull of family obligations, this was a gratifying experience and I am thankful that I was lucky enough to catch this site on the very first visit.

Rover

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NASA has done it again. They have pulled off a scientific and technological feat that is astounding, really. I watched the thing unfold and the landing appears to have gone flawlessly, even though the actual testing of this event was theoretical and computer modeling.

That’s all pretty cool stuff. But it raises some questions for me.

The first one has to do with the way it is powered.

It isn’t solar this time. It’s basically a small nuclear reactor. So, if there is technology to use this kind of thing in space and if there is technology to use something even bigger on our military naval vessels, why aren’t we using this technology to power our homes? Our schools? Our hospitals, stadiums, cities, our cars, etc? Why not? Wouldn’t it be better than the options we have now?

The second question comes back to the “search for life.”

Proof of life only has to be a single cell microbe of something. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as they can define it as “living.” Of course it would be hailed as an incredible scientific discovery and lauded for all time. It will raise other questions too.

What gets me on this one is that a small single cell microbe will declared as “living” but a human embryos and fetuses are still seen as “not living.” Human, multicellular organisms on earth aren’t considered life by a bunch of people up here on this ball of dirt, thus they don’t see any problem with destroying that life. How wrong and misguided is that? It astounds me.

Anyway, a robot on another planet (again) is pretty cool. I am sure it will help answer some questions, but not all of them.

Avoidance

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It snowed for about 36 hours this last weekend. The snow was light and fresh and was covering everything. We got about 9″ of the white stuff.

For a short time, the world was quiet. Peaceful even. There is something very comforting in watching it snow. For me, it causes me to slow down and enjoy the stillness. Silence. Fresh.

But, under that blanket of white there is a yard that just makes me cringe.

I can honestly say this is the time of year where I just think the NW is plain ol’ ugly. The trees are naked. The grass isn’t green yet. Everything feels grey and cold, not to mention sopping wet. The snow helps hide this dreadful scene.

With the snow, the yuckiness is gone. It just goes away. It can be avoided, put off, ignored. The ugliness is replaced by something beautiful, divine, perfect.

So, while the snow lasted, I avoided even thinking of all the work that has to happen in the yard before Spring arrives. Now the snow is melting quickly and the sopping, rain soaked ugliness is returning.

Avoidance is no longer something I can hold on to.

I am just gonna have to do it.

Just chill

OK, no, I don’t wanna chill.

Seriously.

It is damn cold outside (for the NW) and it is freaking chilly inside the house.

This week the low temps up here in the Northwest corner of the US is going to be in the low 20s. That isn’t typical for us so when it gets down in this range, we tend to just break out the sweatshirts and insulated jackets and try to avoid the out of doors. Last night the low was around 27 degrees.

So, the furnace has been acting funny and last night I was pretty sure there we were headed for a breakdown. Sure enough, this morning the house was 58 degrees when it should have been 66 when I got up. The furnace has in “lockout” mode – meaning it tried, it didn’t get lit, and then it gave up…for the next three hours.

When I got up to let the dog out at 5:00am I was like, “Crap. This is rather irritating, and cold. Dang, it’s cold in here.”

I tried resetting the furnace by turning off the power and then back on again. The stupid thing gave a good effort but after three cycles of trying, I gave up and went back to bed where it was warm. After warming up a bit, I was awake. So, back out of bed I went and out to build a fire in the wood stove. I was trying to be quiet so as to not wake the others in the house. Quiet, I tell you. Only to have one of the smoke detectors decide to CHIRP for a new battery. So much for being quiet.

Anyway, fire started and going and the warmth is starting to fill the room.

I called into work and let my manager know I was going to have to deal with this issue today and took at least half the day off. (Thank goodness for flexibility!)

I disassembled the ignitors, cleaned them with sandpaper, and reinstalled them. Furnace back on, cycled through the startup process, and still nothing. So, out comes the shop vac and vacuuming the pumps, the fans, the gas feed tubes (not sure of the technical term), etc. How did I know to do this stuff? I had a tech here once who we called because this happened like 6 years ago and we had no idea why it wasn’t working. He literally came out, cleaned the stuff, and charged $125 for 15 minutes of work. He was like, “Look, you don’t need me or need to pay me for this stuff. You can do it yourself.” He showed me what to look for, where to clean, and how to take the ignitors out and clean them.

VOILA!

Everything is back up and running. “Let there be heat!”

The fireplace is all fired up (see what I did there?) but the furnace is now doing what it is supposed to. I’ll keep the fire burning so as to not drive up the gas bill while the cold is here this week, but we are back in the warmth.

Naming it

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There is dumb, and there is really dumb. This falls into the dumbest dumb of the dumb category. Apparently, when you have lots of money, you have to do dumb things like this. Buying the naming rights for a stadium, arena, venue, or whatever is kind of a way to promote your business by making it something that becomes recognizable to all.

Amazon, and Bezos, go the other way. They name the former Key Arena the dumbest of dumb names ever.

Climate Change Arena.

WTF? Talk about a nonsensical name. If I were a fan of any sport that took place in that building I’d be pissed. Thus, I am not really a fan of hockey or women’s basketball and won’t hardly, if ever, visit the arena. I can only think of two occasions in the last 25 years that I went inside the building, and neither of them involved sports. So, no skin off my back, but I just think it is a dumb name. Name a building after a social cause?

Waste of money. And time.

I am sure there will be more stupid names to follow. We are in that kind of “awareness” in the United States at the moment.

So, I’ll name it. I didn’t buy the rights, but I have the freedom to call it whatever I want. So, I’ll name it what it is: “Dumb Name Arena.”

Disc disc

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OK, I am about to complain about something I am still learning and haven’t a lot of knowledge on, but that’s what this blog is for – complaining, or pissing and moaning.

What is the topic of the day? Disc Golf.

Over the last several months I have had the chance to play disc golf with a buddy. He was looking for someone to go with him and I had done it a couple times while in college and I knew there were a few places here locally to go and play, so I said yes.

And I had a lot of fun!

Of course, there is a learning curve with this sport and I am a little short on technique (as well as just being short) but I had fun nonetheless. So much so, that I bought my own set of beginner discs. There is skill in trying to throw a disc accurately and for distance. Something I am gonna have to spend time learning to do.

Anyway, my buddy took me to a local course that is relatively open. I guess in the disc golf circles, this would be considered a good “beginner’s course.” Yes, there are some trees and other obstacles on the course, but not in a way that would make it overly challenging or accessible.

Now the complaint…yesterday, my buddy took me to a course across the river. He said it was a more difficult course. And it was! It was full of trees. Everywhere! The best example for how many trees there were, think of playing frisbee in a cemetery, where every 7th headstone was a tree. Yeah, that’s a lot of obstacle to play around. No good sight lines. No straight shots.

Anyway, I fared alright considering it was my first time there but I still lost (yes, I am competitive). I got to looking last night at the stats for the two course: both are a par 54 course with a total difference in distance of 121 feet (5193 to 5072). My complaint here is the par for the course.

How can a course with very few straight shots and trees over the entire course still be a par 54, the same as a course with much fewer trees? Who rates these things and decides the par? Obviously, trees add to the challenge but that should also increase the par, shouldn’t it?

Again, I am learning this sport. I don’t know how these things work. I just kinda felt like I played the course better than my score would reflect. Truth is, though I complain, I still had fun! That’s important right?

Well, and winning too. But fun is most important…or so I have been told…