Hurricane Warning Flags

On a day like today, where Florida is suffering from the onslaught of Hurricane Ian, making travel plans for the Fall may seem unwise, but that’s what we’re doing. Next month, it won’t be us traveling, but instead staying home and entertaining. Rey, Et. al. will be coming to town for a visit. Batten down the hatches! Adding to this already full house will be Jane. She is coming to the Lou on a business trip and will then extend her trip here for a weekend getaway with us.

The following month, in November, for Thanksgiving, we will be heading east to Boston. We’ll be driving and not flying, and we will be taking our time, almost three weeks. Our itinerary includes the cities Rochester, NYC and DC. We will also be out in the country, visiting the National parks of Cuyahoga, Shenandoah and the newest one, New River Gorge. It should be a great road trip. I hope that the weather cooperates.

Like Flipping a Switch

Light Switch—Power Box

Yesterday, was the last day of summer. It also sported a high in the mid-nineties. Today, is the first day of autumn and with this change of seasons also came a blessed change of weather. Today’s high was only in the low seventies. The cold front that came through was mostly dry. We took advantage of this pleasant new weather by taking a nice long walk in Tower Grove Park. First, we swung by a recycling spot and dropped off a bunch of old electronics. In the park lots of birds were out and about too. There were also many birders out. We took a break from our walk, for lunch at Mokabes Coffeehouse. We both had Rubens, Anne had their veggie and I the traditional one. It was a good day.

Hot! Hot! Hot!

Your Wife Is Hot!

97 °F temperature today! This advert can be seen in the men’s restrooms, of Busch stadium, above a urinal. Enough said, except that it is a hot one.

I’ll file this story under adventures with technology. Our computer monitor, which was originally gifted to us by my brother Chris, after having served him for many years and then subsequently serving us for many more, had developed a problem. A green vertical line had developed that ran from the top to the bottom of the screen. At first, I could make the green line go away, by cycling power on the monitor, but eventually that ploy ceased to work. I could have lived with this new defect, but instead I checked out Amazon and found a similar size monitor for $150. I ordered it yesterday and Amazon said that they could deliver it that evening (5 to 10 PM). Great! Except that around nine, that delivery window changed to before 8 AM, which didn’t make much sense to me. I’ve never heard of Amazon delivering packages through the night. This morning, I got up just before six to use the bathroom and then checked the front porch and sure enough there was the package. I pulled it inside and went back to bed. Later, checking the package’s tracking, I learned that it had been dropped off an hour before I found it. I then unboxed the monitor and setup it up, without any problems. This new monitor comes with a speaker that sounds tinny. So, new speakers too?

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush

Scarlet Indian Paintbrush

It was another dark and stormy night, but no tornados this time. The first thunderstorm wave creeped in at four in the morning and then hung around until past dawn. Then there was a brief lull, before the second wave came through and lasted throughout most of the day. Some wind and lots of rain, but nothing severe. Although, after the storms had pretty much passed, I stuck my head out on the back porch and noticed that a lot of tree limbs had fallen. Nothing super big, but about half-a-dozen good size branches that were scatter over the backyard. That was yesterday. Today, is delightfully cool and also much drier. What we call cabin weather. I collected and cut up all of the downed branches, making littles out of bigs. Unfortunately, I had already filled up the yard waste bucket, with trimmings before the storms, so I went shopping for yard waste bags. I first tried the grocery store, but they must consider the bags to be a seasonal item and they didn’t have any. Then I tried Menards. The Menard store is relatively new here. When we first bought our house there weren’t any big box hardware stores nearby and this was at a time when we were fairly active doing home improvement. Mainly there were only little mom and pop stores that were never open on Sunday and one nearby lumber yard that wasn’t open on the weekend at all. There was a Missouri based chain of big box hardware stores, called Central Hardware, that one of which was on the way home from work. The quality of their building supplies was pretty poor, but there weren’t any alternatives about, but Central Hardware went bankrupt in 1990. Eventually, a Home Depot was put in about a mile away from home and I was happy with that. Next came a Lowes, but we don’t shop there for political reasons. After the Menards was added, Anne informed me that Home Depot was now also politically verboten. The Menards is fine, except it is impossible to find anything there without asking someone. It does have one neat and unique feature, a pair of escalator-like ramps that can take shoppers with carts up and down, because it has a second floor. Today, I had to ask two people, before I finally found the yard waste bags. I bought two sets of bags, instead of just the one that I needed.

False Indigo + Orange Tufts

Desert False Indigo and Honeybee with Orange Pollen Tufts

It was a dark and stormy night, part of which we spent sheltering in the basement. A line of thunder-boomers came to town, advancing up farty-far, from the southwest. As they approached the red tornado boxes began popping up. The first one had us just outside the line, but the second one had us square dap in the middle of it. My iPhone began to screech something horrible, and the tornado siren began wailing outside. Anne had already scooted off the couch, with its three west-facing windows directly behind it and was watching the frantic TV weather broadcast well away from said aperture. It was time to go to the basement, which is still quite cold, don’t you know? So, Anne ran upstairs again to fetch her vest, against my objections. Our tornado warning was slated to last forty-five minutes, but we got sprung after only half-an-hour, I guess for good behavior. The TV weather marathon continued on into the night as the storm front with its attending red and yellow boxes keeping pace, as this weather event marched ever eastward across Illinois. Earlier in the day, we had setup our furniture back up again on the porch. We reinstalled the swinging bench together and I hung the new windchime that Frank and Kathy had given us last Christmas. With its tubular bells, it makes a lovely dulcet tone that this morning somehow reminds me now of the wind sculptures that Hellen Hunt’s aunt made in the movie Twister. Tonight, we get to repeat this drill all over again.

Hot, Hot, Hot

White Sands’ Dunes

“It’s gonna be hot and wet! That’s nice if you’re with a lady, but it ain’t no good if you’re in the jungle.” — Adrian Cronauer, Good Morning Vietnam

It has gotten hot here in Sweat Louis. Hotter and earlier in the season than usual. We set a record earlier this week, a new all-time high for one of the weekdays. In addition to that we got a heat index of over a hundred. Plus, the following day’s low was also a new high. But it is supposed to cool off next week, so we will get a temporary reprieve, before summer begins in earnest here.