kevin_standlee: (Default)
Today was Venison Day at Arby's Restaurants around the country. Each store got a small supply (Fernley's store said two boxes) of venison steaks, and they went on sale at 10 AM local time. When I came at 11:30, they still had some, so I was able to have venison for the first time in quite a while.

Yum )

From the people at the local store, I understand that they may have elk next year when they do a similar promotion. If I'm around, I'll have that. I like elk, too, and it's been a while since I last had it. When Lisa was in Mehama, the meat market across the highway had ground elk available, and the burger shack in Mehama would serve elkburgers. I think our last trip through Mehama was the last time I had elk.
kevin_standlee: (Snow Day)
It rained last night. I didn't hear it, but Lisa said it was quite heavy at times, with lots of wind. This morning, when we went out for a short walk just after sunrise (after the rain had passed), we had a bit of surprise to the west of us.

Snow Day in the Pah-Rahs )

Winter is coming. We need to go buy more firelogs soon, but we need to be sure we have a dry place to store them. They're only pressed sawdust, so if they get wet, they dissolve. The wood box is not completely water-tight.
kevin_standlee: (Fernley)
We did get to the North Lyon County Fire Protection District Board meeting this evening, but left at the second recess. Lisa has had almost no sleep in the past 24 hours and was wilting.

I have offered my services as a parliamentarian to the Board to streamline their processes. In particular, small boards like that shouldn't be requiring seconds to motions; it not necessary under Robert's Rules of Order, although so many people only know "sandlot rules" that they don't realize it. Also, most of the Board business can actually be done by unanimous consent anyway. It's only things that are contentious that have to go through the fully formal process.

As it happens, tonight had something heavily contentious. Even I, someone who is all in favor of the open meeting laws, was getting uncomfortable as the discussion was dancing on the edge of a precipice regarding personnel issues. After a lot of talking around it, the clerk of the Board handed a note to the Chair, who then proposed that the Board hold a special meeting next week where the only item would be a closed session on the subject at hand. With great relief, the Board agreed to do that. I'm glad. Some things don't actually belong in open meetings.
kevin_standlee: (Wildlife)
As long as I can get out for a walk around sunrise and sunset, I am apt to see some of the local wildlife.

Bunch of Birds )

Meanwhile: Lisa was not feeling well yesterday (nor today, actually), so instead of our original plan for our wedding anniversary, we just went down to the Black Bear Diner here in Fernley, had dinner there (they do a decent prime rib on Friday/Saturday), and played a small amount on the slot machines (no luck this time).

This morning, I got lucky on the free-play coupon from the Wigwam, so I get another "free" breakfast. But unfortunately, I couldn't go play pinball on a sort-of-underloaded weekend, because there's no machine anymore!
kevin_standlee: (Fernley House)
There are at least seven (the most we've ever seen at once) rabbits in the neighborhood. If Day Jobbe permits, I try to go take a walk around the block each morning, and we generally go for a walk after dinner. Both dawn and dusk are good times to see the bunnies. A couple of days ago, one of them seemed to be half-dozing in the vacant lot to the east of us.

Good Evening, Bunny )

I watched the rabbit for a while, and it didn't move. I coughed once, and its eyes suddenly got much wider, it turned toward me, and when I started to walk back toward the front door of the house, the rabbit decided it needed to be elsewhere.

Strangely, these rabbits do not appear to like carrots. I have left carrots in places where I've seen the rabbits congregate, and they don't eat them. I guess sagebrush and tumbleweeds are what they are used to eating.
kevin_standlee: (Wigwam)
I am so predictable in some ways. This morning I once again walked down to the Wigwam to have breakfast, which I enjoyed even more because I paid for it with the money I won from their casino the previous morning off a free-play coupon. Then I walked to the Frontier Fun Center and bought five games of pinball, proceeding to play a total of twelve, which is a pretty good win rate even by my standards.

Around the time I got home, Lisa was ready to start work on today's bout of home projects, which involved her putting herself in harm's way up on the roof on a necessary project that will make things better when it was done. My job was to fetch supplies and tools to her and to call 911 if she fell off the roof, which fortunately she did not. The roof work is perhaps 25% complete, and we'll do more as time, weather, and energy permit.

When we quit for the day, we had an early dinner and then went out for a walk. This is one of the best times of the year for that. The days aren't too short, but the weather is comfortable.
kevin_standlee: (Fernley)
There was a fundraising event at the Fire Station this evening, with food and games, but when we walked down there (expecting to buy dinner from the BBQ), the music they were playing was so loud that we were driven away. We also noticed that very few people were sitting in the seating area with the tables and chairs, which was right in the focus of the booming music. So instead of spending our money there, we walked back home and drove down to the Black Bear Diner and had dinner there. I also had $40 worth of free-play coupons (you had to spend $10 to get $40 in free play) at the Fernley Nugget casino. Lisa played her favorite machine, and we had a run of pretty good luck. Remember that you can't cash in the free-play coupons; however, when we were done playing through those, we had $42 in actual cash out, less the $10 it cost to get the free play coupons, so that's a nice little win for the evening.

It's definitely cooling off. We still have the windows open, but the fans aren't running. I'm happy to see the weather cooling off after this long hot summer.
kevin_standlee: (Fernley)
One way of saying, "Autumn is here" in Fernley: yesterday was the first day since we got home from Europe that I didn't run the swamp cooler on "cool" mode (i.e. evaporative cooling). We ran the fan for a while to move cooler outside air into the house, but otherwise didn't have to do anything else. Today it's about 10°C cooler than it was on Monday, which is a great relief.

Of course now we need to be thinking about scheduling having the fireplace chimney cleaned and laying in the first load of firewood. We don't need it yet, but it won't be that long.
kevin_standlee: (Fernley)
We've been having thunderstorms in the area lately, which unfortunately means also getting brushfires set by the lightning that comes with it. Still, when we get some rain, we sometimes get things like this.

Double Rainbow )

The rain hasn't actually cooled things down all that much, although the clouds cutting the direct sunlight, and that helps a lot.

Today, Lisa and I ran into Reno for the last set of errands and grocery shopping before we head off on the trip to Worldcon. Not a lot, but we did need to get some things done.

Kuma Bear complained about the heat. We told him that it should be cooler in Finland and Iceland.
kevin_standlee: (Fernley)
We had another band of thunderstorms roll through today. It did not rain that much and did not reduce the temperatures a great deal, but it did apparently start a fire north of here.

Fire to the North )

As I started to compose this message, I thought I'd get an updated picture of the fire and got a small surprise when I went out onto the porch.

Hello, Bunny )

After all of the wildfires that we've had around here, it's almost hard to believe there was much more left the burn, but there's clearly a lot more dry brush out there, even with hailstorms and thundershowers flattening things.
kevin_standlee: (Snow Day)
Lisa had cause to be on the roof of the travel trailer yesterday and noticed that the seal on the forward skylight was failing. We did not have any of the roof goop sealant, nor did Big R stock any, so after work today we drove into Reno to buy a tube of it from Safari RV. Thunderstorms were in the area, so Lisa went up and put some plastic sheeting over the skylight to fend off the weather.

It being Monday (off peak) and with no big event in town (Hot August Nights happens while we're traveling to Worldcon), we decided to return to the Peppermill, where (thanks to our locals discount) we got two excellent buffets for less than half what we paid the Atlantis for meals that made us sick. Lisa went to the manager and told her about us being "unfaithful" and that we'd returned to the fold.

Even better: we won $65 playing keno, which paid for the meal, tips, and had some "profit" left over besides. We praised Keno Bear for his keno-playing skills and gave him extra fish.

We had no further errands, and it was a work night, so Lisa drove us home after dinner. We started picking up rain as we headed east. Around Painted Rock, Lisa and I both were mystified by the white residue on the highway thrown into contrast by the tracks of the big rig we had been following. A few minutes later when we got home, we figured out what had happened.

Not a Snowstorm, but the Remains Looked Similar )

The white debris through which we had been driving was obviously accumulated hail from one of the bands of thunderstorms hitting the area. While it has cooled things down a little bit, there also has been a lot of lightning in the area as well. We hope everyone stays safe and that there are no more fires. We've had more than enough this summer.
kevin_standlee: (Fernley)
As is our wont, Lisa and I went to the local Fire Board meeting. The first part was nice: the district holding "badging" ceremonies for the newest fire-fighter to pass his probationary period, followed by the formal badging of the department's first-ever captains. They managed to figure out how to budget for three captains so that the Chief didn't have something like thirty direct reports (an untenable situation IMO). After the ceremonial stuff, which ended up delaying the start of real business for close to an hour, they got down to work. But the Main Event item was being presented by one of the more boring people I've met, and even though he admitted up front that he "talks in circles," the Chair of the meeting didn't tell him to get to the point when he rambled along. After nearly an hour of this rambling, abetted by the board members failing to stay on point themselves, and everyone simply repeating the arguments over and over again, Lisa and I gave up and went home. This is too bad because there were other things on the agenda about which we were interested, but at that point it looked as though they were going to be there all night arguing about whether to grant the local raceway a permit to hold a "fire lantern" festival.

My hours don't allow me to stay up late on weeknights. We walked home and I went to bed, possibly going to sleep faster by envisioning the ongoing drone of repetitive debate.

When I preside over the Business Meeting, if a speaker is going in circles, I've been known to intervene and say something like, "Could the member come to a point?"

It was the meeting-induced sleep that led to me not posting anything yesterday, which is a rarity for me because I do try to post something daily if I get a chance.
kevin_standlee: (Fernley)
When I walked to the Wigwam restaurant for breakfast this morning, I could hardly see the Pah-Rah Mountains for all of the smoky haze.

Smoke in the Air )

There have been a lot of wildfires in the area, many of which are still burning, and smoke is in the air all the time. It leaves my eyes burning even when it's not obviously visible. When we drove to Reno today, we saw the burnt areas along I-80 between Fernley and Sparks from a large wildfire that raged through the area while we were down south.
kevin_standlee: (Trains)
Yesterday evening, while I was in the kitchen washing dishes from dinner, I heard Lisa shout for me to come outside quickly. From the sound of an oncoming train I had an inkling that it was something special. And it was, but it took too long for me to get the camera to activate to get a good picture of it.

Parting Shot )

After the train came through, we took a short walk and got a companion shot to yesterday's morning solstice sunrise.

Sunrise, Sunset )

Thank goodness it's sort of cooling down at night here (at least dropping below 20°C) or else it would be nearly impossible to get any sleep. Also, the daytime highs are slightly lower than their peaks earlier this week, which helps a lot. Lisa has been staying in the travel trailer (where the only full air conditioning is) during the day, and I can't blame her for that. I'm surviving with the swamp cooler and fans running full-tilt except when I have to turn them off for a conference call.
kevin_standlee: (Fernley House)
Because of my Central-Time-Zone-bound work schedule, I'm up before sunrise every day. Today, however, is the least before sunrise I am up, and I had the timing right for the northernmost sunrise we get here.

Sunrise Over the Asphalt Plant )

Yesterday, we had menacing clouds mixed with smoke.

Wildfire Weather )

It's still quite hot here, but not as bad as the previous two days, and a breeze helps a bit, although it's bad for any wildfires, of course.
kevin_standlee: (Fernley)
After a few days of snow in the mountains and weather that nearly led to us relighting the fireplace, normal service is being restored, and the temperatures should be quite summery by this weekend.

Three Days, Three Snow Levels )

Unfortunately, the pump on the swamp cooler is starting to give us trouble, and Lisa will have to investigate further before we decide whether we'll have to replace it.
kevin_standlee: (Fernley)
...there's a brush fire, in this case.

Yesterday morning after having breakfast at the Wigwam, I was walking to the Frontier Fun Center to play pinball (it being too hot to work in the middle of the day on Sekrit Home Improvement Project) when I saw a lot of smoke in the distance.

Uncontrolled Burn )

I got grumpy at someone who called a "controlled burn" an oxymoron and said "remember that the next time you start your car." I suspect he won't get it.
kevin_standlee: (Fernley)
We are not at a convention or traveling this weekend. I turned off my alarm clock. And woke up 4:30 AM (earlier than my alarm) unable to get back to sleep. So I started my weekday routine, except instead of plunging into Day Jobbe, I walked down to the Wigwam for my normal weekend breakfast.

Beautiful Downtown Fernley )

No, we're not at BayCon. Because of needing to preserve resources for the European Worldcon trip, our only other convention this summer will be Westercon in Tempe, and even that one involves some complex logistics to preserve days off about which I'll talk when we get to it in July. It's not really a "staycation," though, as there is work to do. Today, Lisa and I will continue on the latest home improvement project. Concrete will probably be mixed and poured. No details or pictures until the project is complete, however. We don't want to jinx it.

Home

May. 21st, 2017 07:22 pm
kevin_standlee: (Fernley House)
After the SJ Giants game last night, I considered trying to drive part way home but decided to go to my usual location for the night and leave from there, mainly because I have not scouted out any locations between Sunnyvale and Yuba City where I can lay up for the night.

(Before any well-meaning person says, "Just part at any Wal-Mart," be aware that while many Wal-Mart locations (including Yuba City) are tolerant of overnight "dry camping" of RVs, not all of them are, and those in larger cities are much less likely to be tolerant of it. It's store by store. Tracy or Stockton would be convenient, but a cursory check of some resources shows that they're not friendly, either by store policy or local ordinances. I don't like being rousted. It's happened twice to me, and it's very unpleasant.)

Anyway, I woke up at 5 AM on my own, and did not rush getting up for a change. I stopped for breakfast in Tracy and continued up to Sacramento to visit my sister, then detoured to Yuba City to do errands for her there, then turned east for home. It was quite warm in the Sacramento Valley and didn't get comfortable until I was well into the Sierras. My MP3 player's mix of old time radio shows ran out, and so I stopped at the vista point on CA-20 to fire up my computer and pour more shows into the MP3 player. I also took the opportunity to open all of the doors and the roof vent to allow the Sierra breeze at 5000 feet to flush some of the valley heat out of the Rolling Stone.

To my annoyance, I discovered that for some reason the MP3s of Ray Gunn & Starburst are not compatible with this little slot-player. It's not the first time that I've found that not all MP3s are alike. I contributed toward the second series crowd-funding, but I still haven't listened to it.

I got home a bit after 5:30 PM and plan to fall into bed as soon as I can. It's another week of 6-to-3 days, with the added excitement of mixing more concrete in the afternoons now that winter appears to have finally left. Lisa said that there was still snow on the Pah-Rah Mountains this morning, but the afternoon, it was gone.
kevin_standlee: (Fernley)
Yesterday morning after breakfast, I walked to the Frontier Fun Center and played pinball, which was good for my mental health. On the way there, I took this photo of the Pah Rah Mountains west of Fernley.

Still Some Snow )

Later on Saturday, I got some of the tasks done that have queued up on me while I concentrate on the Day Jobbe. Not all of them. But I do have to spend some time not working and away from the computer or I get even less effective.

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