Monday, July 18, 2016

Storm-downed trees

Severe thunderstorm

Amid tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings this afternoon, SWMBO and I battened down the hatches and held on as the closest shelter is six miles away. The line wall hit us broadside with heavy, 60+MPH winds, dime sized hail and gusts of rain reminiscent of a high pressure car wash. The pressure differential was sufficient to overcome the gears for the ceiling vent fan covers, causing them to flap like so many Republicans in Ohio. The fifth wheel rocked side to side like Hillary waffling on immigration reform.

Then it was over. Oh, heavy rain continued with gusts in the 30 to 40 MPH range for another hour, but for all intents and purposes, the fat lady had taken her bows and left the stage to her understudy. I went and lay down for a nap. An hour or so later there was a loud pounding on the door ... Neighbors up the road had hiked in when they noticed the road in was completely blocked by downed trees! After assuring them we were fine and did not need to go out tonight, they left to get a chainsaw and tractor to yard the half dozen oak and ash trees blocking our drive in three places. I went out and helped for a few hours hauling severed limbs out of the road. Sadly, I'm about as useful as tits on a bull, hauling one limb to others' five, stopping to get enough oxygen to do more than stand to the side wheezing my one lung up.

After all was said and done, my neighbors came through 150% in our time of need, for which I am extremely grateful. We can get out; ambulances and fire trucks can get in and I only have a week's worth of clean-up ahead of me.

And So It Goes.

---***---

Friday, July 01, 2016

Meet Mosha and Mobila


A photo essay in the International Telegraph caught my eye today and I'm sharing the link. These two elephants are just two examples of the carnage by left-behind mines, whether from revolutions, anarchy or international conflicts, the damage is the same.
And So It Goes...

Thursday, May 26, 2016

You Want To Put What, Where???

So, it's Spring in Maine all of a sudden. One week we're pushing ice out of the way of the boat and the next we're in a fight for our life with a mosquito named "Ziki" carrying an AR-15 and a copy of the Koran, arguing the prophet's interpretation with a moose fly the size of a Buick while a phalanx of the infamous black flies of ISIL fame are attempting to lop off my head with their scimitars. 

And then I wake up.

It's Wednesday morning and that means it is time for Iggy's appointment with the Vet for shots and the like. Off we go down the lane, with the previously cited moose flies (similar to horse flies only larger with filed teeth) holding on to the truck mirrors as they scream epitaphs like "Death to the Infidels", "Eat Mor Chiken" and  "Allah akhbar Khan". Or maybe it's just the buzzing in my ears. 

Realizing where we have turned in to stop, Iggy's joy at going for a ride in the truck is replaced with a sullen "You'll get yours, buster" as he slinks out of the back seat. In through the doors we go, yours truly dragging the reluctant hairy pig, parallel grey scratches on the pavement where he tried to express resistance, He shares a butt sniff with an apricot mini-poodle on her way out and settles in to cowering against my leg awaiting his turn.

Soon enough, Dr. O. is ready for him. She's been his vet for 5 years and despite his disregard, actually likes the little twerp. He allows me to lift him onto the scales where we discover he currently tips those scales at 45 POUNDS! 

Oh my. Breed standard specifies </= 30 lbs. for male schipperkes. Last visit (two years ago; he saw a Baton Rouge practitioner last year) he weighed 32 lbs. and we were chastised for allowing him to get so fat then.

Surprisingly, Dr. O just tsk'ed and continued with the jabbing and poking. Then came the moment he was afraid was coming. New gloves and a great glob of K-Y jell on the Vet means only one thing. I held him tightly and she applied the jell in a judicious fashion to the orifice capable of accommodating her index finger. He turned red -- no mean feat for a black dog, let me tell you -- and expressed his indignation by chewing through my bicep while Dr. O expressed his anal glans. A quick swipe or two with a baby wipe and the indignity was over and he was all cuddles as she sympathetically offered him a biscuit. Me, he didn't have the time of day for.

I ran him outside into the truck so he didn't have to repeat the whole shaking and whining thing in the waiting room as I waited to pay the bills. And ouch, they got you (me) by what few short & curlies I still have. It cost almost four times as much as my personal doctor charges for an office visit.

The things we do for pets...

And So It Goes, y'all.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Second Day of Spring My True Love Gave To Me...

Six inches of snow and open water on Pushaw Lake. An odd combination, to say the least. Ice went out a week ago, Sunday. That's a week before Spring and just maybe the earliest date in living memory. The gravel roads are a tiresome slog of mud. Got stuck last night when we turned in off the paved road and I parked to get the mail. Tires were warm from the pavement, snow was unplowed and that makes for a very slick combo. SWMBO had to get out a fish out the shovel and dig out a path for the rear dualies to follow onto the packed down snow of previous travelers. Since heart attack, shoveling is on my "Forbidden List" so she gets that nasty chore. 

SWMBO snapped the following from inside the cab of the truck while I was turning off the generator before going in to town. Happy Spring 2016, y'all.

Ayep, that's open water beyond the snow!

Monday, February 08, 2016

Didn't Go ...

Yeah, we're still alive. Just nothing good to write about. Maybe soon. Likely not.

Weather - Jack Frost is adding injury to insult with another 6 - 12 inches of snow forecast for this afternoon through tomorrow, 20 to 30 MPH winds from the NE so downed trees and the like a real possibility as that isn't a usual wind direction for us. All on top of the 12" we got three days ago. And I swore to all deities above and below I'd never spend another winter in Maine. A fat lot of good that did me. 

It's danged cold in this trailer and we haven't any option but to sit it out until Spring. Ground never froze hard before snows came, so moving the trailer is out of the question as my 2wd truck would sink out of sight. I look at the weather in Texas (Port O'Conner) and Louisiana (Baton Rouge) and just want to cry.

Health has been the bugaboo for me and the missus since summer. Oh joy, now I have medicare, so medicos are up to old tricks of testing, poking and prodding. Going under for a colonoscopy in mid-March. I do hate the prep for that test. The test itself is undignified but anticlimactic. All the real fun occurs in the 36 hours prior to insertion of the camera in the bung hole. SWMBO has had a chest infection that refuses to quit. Her FNP is the laid back, "let's wait and see" type. Not a good fit, but no alternative exists at present.

Iggy has decided that the floor is too cold so he only stands on it to eat or go outside to do the necessary. The rest of his time is spent next to SWMBO on the sofa, on my lap (ouch - he's topping 48 pounds these days) or in bed when we are asleep. Really hates the snow - has taken to going under the trailer for squatting so snow isn't tickling his butt.

Miss you all, family, friends, and blog readers. Often in our thoughts, but no phone and only what internet I can steal from neighbors limits contact. So be good. If I don't pop in with an update by June, email your complaints and concerns. Who knows. I might even reply!

And So It Goes...

wil


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Urge For Going

Darkness prevails, despite the passage of sunrise, the clouds so thick the rose rays of dawn find no breaks in the cover. Rain pelts steadily on the hatch cover echoing loudly down the vent plenum, thudding softer across the trailer roof. The autumn monsoon has begun.

Waterfowl seasons began at dawn, yesterday. SWMBO was vocally unhappy about the twenty-one shotgun salute around us as eager Nimrods blasted the ducks to smithereens in the cove. Not the case today. The weather and bombardments have driven the local quackers to seek safer, more sheltered quarters. So far, knock wood, the hunters have chosen to stay in bed this morning. Time will tell if it's warm blankets or the wet darkness that holds them in abeyance.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Update: Family Says News Misrepresent The Facts

The family of the dead SFB fellow who blew his mind with a fireworks mortar either did it accidentally by a stray spark or thought the mortar was a dud - see follow-up story here: http://bangordailynews.com/2015/07/06/news/down-east/father-says-son-thought-firework-that-killed-him-was-a-dud/?ref=topStories3

The unexpected death of a family member is a staggering emotional upset. My condolences to the family and friends. But the young man in question was an adult, possibly drinking and responsible for his actions. There are no do-overs in real life and his death is a vivid reminder of this fact. Fireworks are no different than a loaded gun, often containing hundreds of times the amount of black powder that a round of ammunition contains. They must be treated with the same respect and caution. There is no argument that Devon failed to exercise the appropriate amount of caution.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Newest Addition To The List

Sadly, I must report this newest addition to the infamous "Darwin List", to wit:

Calais man killed after igniting firework on his head

By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff
July 05, 2015, at 10:24 a.m.
CALAIS, Maine — A local man was killed instantly Saturday when he set off a fireworks mortar tube on his head, despite efforts his friends made to stop him, state police said Sunday.

I guess you just can't teach common sense to some people.