Rain, Rain, Go Away

West Kansas Rain Storm

Yesterday, it rained practically all day. It started in the middle of the night and continued on into the late afternoon. We had errands to run, so I had to get out and drive in it. We recycled some of our old electronics at an Earth Day Drive out in Frontenac. As bad as it was having to drive in that weather, at least I didn’t have to stand out in it all day like the worker there did. The driving wouldn’t have been so bad if it weren’t for the maniacs that that weather brings out. I guess with most people slowing down a bit it must drive those people crazy. Our other errand was out in Fenton. Anne had broken her sewing machine. She speared the plastic foot that guides the cloth with the needle and needed a new foot. She had called around the day before and in the end this place, the place where she originally bought the machine was the only one that had the part that she needed. She took her machine with her, just to be sure that she got the right part and left it there for a cleaning. She has been going hot and heavy, trying to finish the quilt that she is making for our new bed. She had hoped to finish it this week, but now that is going to have to wait. Once she finishes this quilt, she will start sewing the MaD quilt or is it the DaM quilt. Not yet, but wait until she is up to her eye balls in it. Afterwards, we finished cleaning the house. Anne has been doing most of the cleaning, but I cleaned the kitchen. The house looks nice now. Nicer than it has since the start of the pandemic. Now if we could just keep it that way until June, when CRaB are supposed to arrive. The yard looks nice too. I was finally able to successfully engage a lawn service. The guy did a really great job.

Xylia—314—PC—Victory!

Winter Storm Xylia Sunset

While much of the Midwest is getting pummeled by winter storm Xylia, here in Saint Louis it is only a rain event. There is some flooding in the area, but thankfully none of it is occurring in our basement, at least so far. Last night, I used the drone to capture this storm generated sunset. At a hundred feet up, looking west is a nice view of the Clayton skyline, silhouetted by the angry sky.

Today, while everyone else is celebrating Pi day, here in the 314-area code, we have Saint Louis day to celebrate too. Here in the Lou, we’re not cool enough to have someone like Eminem singing the praise of our area code, but local stores are offering special deals in honor of this numerical holiday. Mainly all sorts of good things to eat, but unfortunately for me, tomorrow is weigh-in day.

We haven’t received our stimulus checks yet, but I’m already spending mine. I’m out there already, stimulating the economy. Our venerable desktop PC’s long running case of dementia had reached the tipping point. As I write Anne is rebooting it, because the Photo app stopped working. Its flaws are too numerous to count, but lately, like after this last week’s Windows update they seem to have multiplied. So, I ordered a new machine, which is due for delivery later this week. After ordering the new machine, I backed up the old one in preparation for the switch over. The price point for PCs has really dropped.

So, we have enough stimulus funds leftover to upgrade our iPhones too. Our phones are both so old that some apps have stopped working on them and new apps won’t even load. When we were at Laumeier sculpture park this last week, there was a new exhibit called Time Fork. As near as I can tell it is an augmented reality app that interfaces with the more bricks and mortar parts of the park. I’m only guessing though, because my phone is too old to support the app, but that will change soon and then we’ll be all up to date. Yeah…

Every dog has his day and mine was yesterday. The below pictured score is typical of one of our games, except for this one the names have been switched. I finally won a game. Overall exceptional letter draws and a seven-letter tray emptying play made the difference. I can see why Anne likes this game so much.

Scrabble

Macaw Thaw

Blue and Yellow Macaw

Yesterday, we were walking in Tower Grove Park. It was a beautiful day, the best so far this year. Warm and sunny at 65 ºF. Anne was doing her usual bird count, but was not having much luck with it, when we met this macaw. A guy was walking his bird. What’s more he was walking it barefoot. It was warm, but not that warm. He said that he has had the bird for twelve years, but they can live to eighty. The guy looked older than us. He said that the bird was in his will. Later, we walked by the park’s fountain that was still covered in ice. We may be enjoying a February thaw, but we still have some winter yet to go.

Frozen Fountain

Winter Walking

Winter Walking

You know the nearer your destination, the more you’re slip-sliding away…

Especially at this time of year. Except for a couple of days at the nadir of this polar deep freeze of a cold snap we have gotten out to walk every day. The first day out was a real slog. We really were slip-sliding away, what with snow and ice still all over the place, but gradually, day-by-day, it has gotten better. Yesterday’s walk was mostly on dry pavement. The temps have been getting warmer too. We might even get above freezing for the first time in I can’t remember and the long range forecast looks even warmer. If you’re living day by day, long range is tomorrow. I wouldn’t dare to presume that we’re finding a way out of these winter woods yet. After all, it is still only February, but maybe, just maybe the intensity of winter’s weather will slacken a little bit. 

I had no idea Toyota’s “RAV4” was short for “Ravioli 4”

We really still love our year-old RAV4, even though we have hardly used it in the past year, but it does have a wee bit of a problem. I first noticed it last summer, whenever I gassed it, while up in Michigan. At the time, I dismissed it as a peculiarity of that state’s gas pumps, but then we received a notice from Toyota. They were explicit about not calling it a recall notice, but it sure sound like one or at least a heads up for one. What I noticed and what their notice described is that when filling up the tank, the tank does not get completely full. It only ever fills to 7/8 full. You can see it on the gas gauge and the car’s range is about fifty miles less than it was before. This only happens in the hybrid model, the kind that we have. It’s not a big problem and I was ready to live with their apparent wait-and-see attitude, but other owners weren’t and Toyota has now announced a warranty repair. I’ll have to get that done.

Apparently, Ted Cruz really does understand the idea that sometimes people need to cross the border, in order to escape inhospitable living conditions.

It’s Cold Out

It’s Cold Out

I’m feeling a wee bit isolated. We are here home alone. We’re both quarantined and snowbound, but at least we still have power, not like in Texas. The house is reasonably warm inside, at least sitting by the space heater or lying on the couch, under a blanket. Just don’t go down to the basement, where it is very cold. I’ve taken to running the faucet on the basement’s sink, in order to keep the pipes from freezing down there. In a fit of self-pity, I started pawing thrown old photos from our last trip to Florida. I did manage find some good ones that I will be doling out the rest of this week. They reminded me of warmer and happier times.

It snowed a little last night, such that when I went outside to get the paper this morning, I noticed that on the sidewalk, there no footprints in the snow, which is pretty unusual. It’s snowing again now and is supposed to snow all day long and again tomorrow. So, I can’t even convince myself to go outside and shovel the walk. We’re not expecting much more than six inches, but that will be more than enough to cover the grass. My lawn looks as good as my fancy neighbor’s does. 

eat n’ time

eat n’ time, Richard Estes, 1969

We might get a dose of some that white cloud-poop later today, but that’s OK, because afterwards our lawn will look just as good as the neighbor’s. The one who spends all his money on a fancy lawn service. It was single digits this morning and I had gotten a warning email about frozen pipes from the water company. So, this morning I ran the water for a minute in the basement sink. I figure if we ever did get a frozen pipe is would be one of those. If you hadn’t noticed until now, it is officially winter and I want to put you all on notice that I am officially done with it. Or so I wish, but I’m afraid that it’s not done with me.

Tomorrow will mark one-week on weight watchers. It has been an adjustment, but there are already detectable signs of success. In hindsight, it would have been better not to have a fridge full of high calorie food to begin with, but we’ll work our way through it, bit by bit. The system is a little strange and will take a little while to get used to. Some foods are way more expensive than I expected, while others are totally free. Right now, Anne and I are different plans, which also adds to the confusion, but she plans on switching over to my plans, which will help. In addition to our daily allotments, we are also given a kind of weekly slush fund of points. This helps, when you inadvertently go over a day’s budget. It should also come in handy for tomorrow’s Super bowl party for two.

Thursday, when we heard the bad news about Betsy’s passing that kind of drowned out the good news of the day, my dad got his first vaccination and already has an appointment for the second one. So, I’ve cancelled my subscription to the app that I used to game Monterey’s vaccination website. Needless to say, there is no joy here in Mudville. Around here all vaccine announcements are only couched in the future tense. Or if they’re not even promising a vaccine, then they are only offering information on one.