Posted on January 12th, 2024
Our winter has been relatively mild. It's snowed, sure, but it always melts away in short order. But then this morning it was bitter cold. And yet the sun was shining, so I anticipated it would warm up by the afternoon.
It did not.
When I left the office to get into my car and go home, the sun had been replaced with overcast skies and snow. Not tons of snow, but enough that the wind blowing it around produced whiteout conditions. As if that weren't bad enough, the snow had been fused to my car window by the cold, making it really difficult to scrape off.
But that's not all! Not only could I barely see, but my car didn't want to start and it was running weird. Even the turn signals sounded slow and clunky.
When I finally managed to get home, I was incredibly thankful that I had a garage to pull into...
Since I couldn't scrape the car itself, I just brushed off the snow as best I could. I expect the remainder will melt since my garage is slightly above freezing.
Which beats trying to melt it off with a blowdryer in this -6° heatwave we're having.
UPDATE: But that's not all! I never heard my heat pump turn on. I was then informed that it won't turn on when it's so cold that there's no heat to extract from the air. The only option is for my HVAC system to engage the Auxilary Heat. Which is far more expensive to run, but I'm awfully glad I have it...
UPDATE UPDATE: But that's not all! It's Saturday morning and it's -14° out... but it feels like -23°... which is to say I'm hiding in my house all weekend...
Times like this I wish I had millions of dollars to spend winter in a warmer client.
Posted on June 25th, 2023
Storm clouds are a' brewin' out my window but I'm still blogging... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Storm! No joke. As I started to type this, all the lights in my house that are on a light sensor came on, thunder could be heard in the distance, and my weather station said that there are lightning strikes in the area...
I swear that it was sunny just two minutes ago.
• Spell! In preparation for the new Wham! Documentary that's dropping on Netflix any day now, I've been re-watching all the old Wham! videos. When I got to Wake Me Up Before You Go Go I was shocked to see that Deon Estus was there...
Holy crap! I always knew that Pepsi and Shirlie were backup singers in that video, but I have ZERO memory of Deon Estus being on bass! BUT THERE HE IS! Oh man I loved Deon's album Spell which I listened to constantly. You might remember one of the bigger hits to come off of it, Heaven Help Me...
I was always sad that he never released a follow-up album. And I am very sad now to learn that he died in 2021. He was incredibly talented.
• Strange! New! Different! I'm late to watching the S02E02 Ad Astra Per Aspera episode of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. I remained shocked at just how frickin good this show is. This episode didn't have any space battles or crazy situations... it was 100% a courtroom case. It was Law & Order in space. And yet it was beautiful to see...
The performances were incredible, as usual... but it was the guest appearance by Yetide Badaki that was the highlight. Holy crap! The ENTIRE EPISODE hinged on her performance, and she did not falter. Amazing, amazing stuff. If you're not watching, you should be. This may very well be my favorite Trek of all.
• Deep Sea Tragedy. James Cameron has one of the few opinions I even care about on any of this Titanic submersible stuff given his massive experience on deep-sea dives... and it's exactly what you'd expect. Those people didn't need to die...
And, like I said a bit ago, billionaires in a preventable situation is still in the news cycle while poor immigrants sinking off the coast of Greece barely gets a mention and is given the "Oh, that's too bad" treatment. Your wealth is directly proportional to your value in this sick, sad world. And that ain't changing any time soon.
• Happy Pride! Crying is gay now? Well, happy Pride to all the gay men who cried when they saw their future wife walk down the aisle at their wedding then. Christ...
Extremely silly stuff on this Monday...♬ original sound - Jon Spot
Toxic Masculinity at work. The fact that men aren't supposed to have any emotions at all is fucked up beyond all rational thought...
@innova.tuespacio No se a ustedes, pero a mi este compilado que hicimos me emociona! Nada mas lindo que el amor sincero 💍🤍 #casado #casamiento #boda #novios #weddingplanner #ambientaciondeeventos #parati #fyp ♬ Perfect
Repressed emotions aren't healthy. And this kind of anti-male trash being propagated creates an environment which leads nowhere good. Just look at the news from the world today.
• Sandwiches! I'm kinda going through a sandwich renaissance. It started with egg salad sandwiches. Then I moved to (f)BLTC on toast (fake bacon, lettuce, tomato, and cheese). And now I am eating grilled cheddar and cream cheese sandwiches with tomato and pesto.
Sandwiches are awesome! Fried egg Sammies are next on the menu. And I really want to fry up a pizza sandwich one of these days soon.
• Mobile Mobile! So when T-Mobile says that my rate is locked in... and I signed up for their service using ApplePay autopay... and now they’re saying that if I continue to use ApplePay that I will have to pay $5 additional. Isn’t that a breach of contract? I changed nothing from when I signed up and will now have to pay $5 more a month...
Oh how I fucking hate these asshole companies that lie to you when they sign you up and get away with it because they have politicians in their deep pockets. $60 additional a year is not fucking “locking in my rate.” And sugar-coating it with “Well, your base rate is the same, we’re just changing the conditions of your discount” IS STILL CHANGING CONDITIONS OF THE TERMS I WAS GIVEN WHEN I SIGNED UP!! It’s like... “Oh, we mis-promised because expenses are going up, and we are losing money that our CEO needs to fuel his private jet, so how can we squeeze it out of our customers? Oh... by eliminating credit card fees we pay! Genius! Fuck our stupid-ass customers for trusting us! Or CEO needs a new gold-plated toilet for his third house!”
What's interesting is that T-Mobile bought out Mint Mobile. And if I switch to Mint Mobile, I'll pay half of what I pay now. So essentially
Now, if you'll excuse me, it looks like rain.
Posted on February 22nd, 2023
We've been having some nice weather lately. Very nice.
It's been so nice that I've been leaving windows open to get a breath of fresh air flowing through my house. The cats go outside to their catio when they want fresh air, but I'm indoors at work and mostly indoors at home, so it's been a refreshing change. Every year March through May are usually nice enough for open windows, especially in more recent years.
It inspired me to get my Summer clothes out of storage this past Monday and get to washing them. Yesterday I finished...
With all my Summer and Winter clothes in there, my closet is bursting at the seams!
Then this morning I decided to head to tourist town so I could go grocery shopping before work. Only to see that there was snow on my car which had to be scraped off.
Then I got to the grocery store and this is what I saw...
Clearly my celebration of Spring was premature.
On the bright side, shopping for groceries at 7am is always such a treat because there's hardly anybody there. And the older I get, the more I'm thrilled to not have to spend time doing anything with random strangers.
Now get off my lawn!
Posted on August 11th, 2022
Remember yesterday when I was writing about how lack of sleep was turning me into a zombie? Well... I honestly thought that would change last night. Except no.
I was awakened at 5:30am this morning as ping-pong-ball-sized rain was slamming into the roof. And there was Jake right next to my head crying about it. And I honestly don't blame him. The rain was so heavy that it might as well have been 1-inch hailstones, and I was worried about the skylight in my bathroom shattering (something I definitely cannot afford to have happen)...
After comforting Jake enough that he finally stopped squawking at my head and curled up asleep next to me, I started wondering where Jenny was. She's the one who is usually very upset when even a small amount of rain falls on the roof. She paces all over my bed while staring at the ceiling and meowing her head off. If this rain was enough to upset Jake, she must be very cross indeed. But nothing. Perhaps it scared her so much that she's hiding in the guest closet or something?
And then the thunder and lightning arrived.
At which time Jenny came bolting into the room at top speed. She rubbed up against me doing that wailing thing she does when she's worrying about stuff until she too settled down and went to sleep.
So there I was... wide awake after less than 5 hours of sleep, but unable to move without waking up my two sleeping companions. Mercifully, the breakfast feeding alarm went off at 7am at which time the cats went scrambling downstairs to eat... frustrated that my sleep-deprived ass was taking so long to feed them.
Between Mother Nature, Jake, and Jenny, the conspiracy to keep me from sleep continues...
Posted on April 14th, 2022
Fourth day in a row of waking up to a lot of snow falling down.
Previously, it would all melt before the day was ended. But today we got some serious snow. Seven inches I'm betting. Which is kinda a bummer because A) I started assembling my wood shop out in the garage, so my car has to be cleaned off each morning... and B) I already put away all my Winter clothing. I'm especially sad for all the flowers and trees that have already bloomed thanks to some warm days last week...
That ain't melting by the end of the day. It will be lucky if it melts tomorrow.
Posted on April 11th, 2022
Yikes. It's snowing.
Like a lot.
Pretty sure that I will be clearing it off my car before going into the office. This isn't something that's going to melt an hour from now.
Posted on January 21st, 2022
Last night I turned off the automation that turns my roof heat tape on when the temperature dips below freezing. It's been getting activated less and less, and today it rained all day which means my roof and gutters will be mostly clear of ice even if it does get cold enough to freeze for a while each night. That'll be a load off my heating bill.
But thank heavens for my being able to automate them, because back when I was turning them off and on manually I would forget and leave them on for days which drove my power bill sky-high... or forget to turn them on when they're needed which would result in the gutters getting packed with ice and backing up water onto my roof.
The reason I was finally forced into automating the heat tapes was back when I was preparing for my expedition to Antarctica. I wrote a program which would only activate them IF it had snowed more than an inch AND it dipped below freezing. It worked shockingly well for three winters, at which time the "weather module" for my home automation system was discontuned. So now I just connect to the weather station in my back yard and turn them on when it's below freezing. Less energy efficient, but better than nothing. Especially this year when I ended up with three feet of snow up there.
In other home automation news, I'm still fighting with Alexa.
And this morning I completely lost it.
It seems that lately every dang time I tell her to do something, she does it... then comes back with a helpful hint or something else she can do that I should try.
"ALEXA! PLAY HOW SOON IS NOW BY THE SMITHS!"
"Playing How Soon is Now by the Smiths on SONOS."
"ALEXA STOP! PLAY HOW SOON IS NOW ON ECHO DOT!"
...she plays it...
"I can now play podcasts. For example, you can say PLAY THIS AMERICAN LIFE."
Ask her to turn on a light and she comes back with "I can tell jokes. Just say TELL ME A JOKE."
Ask her to add something to my shopping list and she comes back with "I can recommend new items to try based on your past purchases, would you like to hear some suggestions?"
And so on.
And so on.
And so on.
Which is why this morning after telling me that she can provide a customized morning news brief (or whatever) I screamed at her "ALEXA! STOP FUCKING TELLING ME THIS SHIT! STOP MAKING SUGGESTIONS! JUST DO WHAT I TELL YOU TO DO AND SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT IT! GOD!!!!!"
"I'm not sure I know how to do that."
"I'L FUCKING KILL YOU, ALEXA! I WILL KILLLL YOOOUUUUUUU!"
When Alexa becomes self-aware I am in serious, serious trouble.
Posted on June 25th, 2021
My big plan for the weekend was to work out in my flower beds to clean things up and tie up the stuff that's falling over. But a look at the weather forecast has me seriously doubting it's going to happen, because I'm not going to do it at 5am or 7pm when things cool off. And then the story just keeps getting worse as the week progresses...
Sequential days with temperatures over 100° are not uncommon here... but usually not until July and August. So reaching 118° in June is a kinda a deal. And it doesn't hurt that they are forecasting 1104° elsewhere in the Columbia Basin in which I dwell. But at least it's a dry heat...
So this is hell. At least I have air conditioning and cats to see me through it all as I cower indoors with my fragile vampire self.
Posted on July 29th, 2020
The temperature trend has been edging steadily upwards. Today it was 104º and tomorrow it's supposed to reach 105º before hitting 108º on Friday.
This afternoon when I got home I went to pull the garbage and recycle cans out since tomorrow morning is garbage day. As I pulled the first can out, I interrupted Fake Jake who was sleeping in the shade on concrete blocks I put down so he could more easily get around the house in winter...
I worry about Fake Jake quite a lot when it gets cold, which is why I put out a heated shelter for him. In the summer he seems pretty smart about finding shady spots to rest so I don't worry as much. My first Summer here I put cold packs in shelter, but then he stopped sleeping there so I stopped. But with temperatures reaching 108º? I dunno. Maybe I should try cold packs again? That seems way too hot, even for a heat-loving kitty.
Posted on September 8th, 2019
Summer may be in its last gasp but the weather couldn't be better, because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Thunder Rolls. Well, the weather couldn't be better now. Last night was an entirely different story. The thunder was shaking the entire house. The lightning was so bright that it was illuminating everything like it was daytime...
The cats were not happy. Jenny came in crying when all the ruckus started. Jake arrived ten minutes later, and I heard him whining all the way up the stairs. I pet them for a while before finally jumping to the window to take photos.
Then today... no clouds and flawless blue skies...
Enjoy it while it lasts, pretty girl. Winter is coming.
• Baked. September is my most favorite month of the year to bake stuff, and I do so often. Something about the combination of temperature and humidity creates the perfect storm for high-rising, wonderfully-textured bread. Today I made some beautiful bread and amazing hamburger buns...
And, let me tell you... homemade hamburger buns are the best! Tonight's selection was a veggie burger with lemon garlic mayo, dijon mustard, thinly-sliced tomato, and pickle on homemade bun...
Pretty fantastic, if I do say so myself.
• Very Berry. On Thursday when I dropped by the market to pick up some flour, I saw that strawberry cartons were on sale 2 for $5. I bought them on a whim and have been stressing ever since. Fruit usually goes on sale when it doesn't have much life left, so I've been eating them non-stop so I don't waste my $5. I was eating strawberries morning, noon, and night for two days, but I finally managed to power through. I may be sick of strawberries now, but they were some beautiful berries...
Boy does being single suck when it comes to grocery shopping. I always end up having to buy more than I can eat. The good news is that I'm done with strawberries for the year... just in time for the final summer crop to leave us!
• Scary Tech. The trailer for JEXI has been released. It's a comedy exploring what happens when the artificial intelligence on a guy's phone gets a little too smart. It's supposed to be a comedy. But when I watch this trailer I can't help but look at it as a near-future horror story...
I mean, seriously... isn't this the nightmare scenario that's entirely too plausible? Yeah, that's what I thought.
• Hellmark. Usually I don't give a crap about somebody's politics. I am easily able to separate an actor from their work, and do so all the time. Democrat? Republican? I'm neither, so I honestly don't care. But there's no way I'm supporting the career of somebody who is in bed with the toxic waste assholes at the Family Research Council like Dean Cain. Guess I'll have to be happy with watching all the Hallmark movies except the handful he appears in.
And speaking of Hallmark, Flip That Romance was finally repeated today...
This movie is genius. IT'S GENIUS! I've been anxiously waiting seeing Flip That Romance since the moment I found out it exists. The film combines two of my favorite things... home renovation shows and Hallmark movies. And it's good! Funny! Hallmark heaven, as it were.
• Nonstarter. You know... the more I use my Apple Card, the more I absolutely love it. It's just so absurdly easy and the features are crazy-good. So good. The only problem is that the benefits are total shit. 2% back? 3% on Apple products? So lame. I hope that other credit card companies take note of what Apple is doing and step up their game. Or Apple gets with the program and starts offering 5% back like a real card... even if it's just on Apple products (As it is, it's cheaper to buy Apple products on Amazon with my Amazon Card because I get 5% back on Amazon purchases... what sense does that make?). It will be interesting to see if Apple drives change in the industry like it has for so many other things. I would certainly hope so.
Hope your new week is a good one!