A Photograph of Dan by Janeen Sanders


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...and some recap as we start a fresh week. I'm seriously behind in my computer doings. Seriously behind! But it's likely to stay that way for another week at least. We caught a break in the weather last week, but now they say sunny California is about to live up to its reputation: 108F for Wednesday. ...and those trees in the back will be thirsty.

I got a lot accomplished over the weekend, with some help from the short people. Bradley ended up on "rock and root" duty; that translates to the pickup detail as I dig up and rake out the disaster area around the pool. I gave him a bucket and just let him go to town: if he could break it in half, it was dirt; if he couldn't, it was a rock (or concrete tailings). I didn't realize how much he contributed to the effort until I went to move the trash barrel out last night; there must have been over one hundred pounds of yard debris in there. ...and I hadn't loaded any of it!. Wow; I guess when you are a recent kindergarten graduate, you really pick up a work ethic.

...and yep, that means that Shelley now has two junior terrorists at home with her full time. She's already making arrangements for one of the girls from church to come over once a week so she can at least shop in peace.

...and Daniel's loving it; he got to ride his bike with me while I skated on Saturday. ...only he was too cool to be seen riding with his dad; he stayed about half a block behind me except when I called him up at the major streets. He did manage to lose it on one driveway and crashed and burned rather thoroughly. It was close to home, so a quick check and we continued to the infirmary. Nothing serious, just road rash that cleaned up okay. We're scheduled for an evening later this week.

Shelley is managing with the new med; we stayed at a half dose for three rounds and I picked that up to three-quarters Sunday. She received a auto-injection device from the manufacturer of her med that is supposed to help with self-injection. ...not yet, campers. But it has helped us. It pretty much takes the human factor out of injection and her discomfort level is almost non-existent. She's had some site reactions, albeit minor ones; and she is in the middle of a minor episode. She thinks this episode is going better than others prior. More later as warranted.

So, this week will be another family week. Make sure Shelley doesn't overdo it around the house; finish the water lines for the plants; add some flowers to the high side (and maybe a picture for y'all?); keep the boys from driving their mother crazy; and try to do all of this without taking a vacation day.

That's scheduled for July...


Not a bad evening's work last night. I finished the drip lines to the trees and the plants; perhaps this evening I can get some flowers in the ground for some color. ...just in time to hit a now-projected 110F on Wednesday. I have one leak to take care of over at the valves; but hey, one more turn on that one pipe and I can replace the whole thing when it falls over<g>.

Dinner in the midst of the gardening was most interesting last night; I'd asked Shelley what we we having when I got home and received stock answer "B2" ("something new"). This is usually followed by an inappropriate comment by one of the boys and translates to, "Keep your comments to yourself until after they've tried it." Hey, no problem; I can be a good camper. ...and I've had some really interesting stuff over the years (contrary to the common myth; not all firehouses house great cooks). I was working in the yard anyway and figured I wouldn't be a bad influence on the kids as I'd eat outside. ...that, and I'd be so hungry I would eat even... well, anything. Peace in the household and all that.

Dinner call came and I opened the door to see Bradley sitting there with a real intent expression on his face and Daniel literally running to the sink to spit something out. This looked like a real good time to quietly retire to the yard and see what the hubbub was about. No problem: dead flesh of some sort covered in an orange-coloured glaze (couldn't help it, Chris) with a side dish of rice. Hokay. You can't wreck rice; time to try this out. Hmmmm... This is what some people call real food. An orange glaze over perhaps pork?

It's really too bad that I'm just not appreciative of Real Food. I suspect that was a real good dish. ...intense flavor and interesting texture<g>. As for me, just have the chef take about three-quarters of a pound of ground up dead cow and make one pass under it with his Zippo (for that real "fueled" taste, forget the butane lighters); dump about six ounces of Mayo, ketchup, and mustard on a bun; and call me a cardiologist for an appointment. I'm just too Americanized (or Neanderthal<g>) for Real Food.

Then, I find out this is a test run of an award winning recipe (Daniel is giving it something) from the new NetWidows Recipe page! ...and I spent the rest of the night going through the site. WOW! I can see a real interesting summer ahead. ...and I learned a few new things: Bob Thompson can prepare a meal like no other! ...and I don't know as I want to eat something I cannot pronounce. Marcia Bilbrey is the hostess of this new resource site, so keep those recipes coming. I may have to see what I can contribute from the world of meat and potatoes. I can tell already that I'll be back often (certainly by proxy). ...although you may find me stuck on JHR's BBQ page).

Hey, really; it tasted okay...


Farquhar Update

No, really; hit the link above and scroll down until you get to Wednesday, 6/14/00. That's what I did before my weekly phone call; and, presto pocus, there he was! So I left Dave alone for the moment and used my new-found discretionary time to open a new jar of jalapeño dip and munch a few chips in his honor.

Granted, that's not as healthy as alfalfa...


Someone asked if it was as hot here in the central valley as it is in the bay area. Yes. The outside ambient was 70F when I got up yesterday; 75F when I left for work; 80F when I got to work (with 65% humidity); and 105F when I got home from work. At 2330, the outside temp was 82F. ...and you can add in all the usual smog and dust from our industry and agriculture (plus a considerable amount donated from the bay area) and you get what is politely called "unhealthful air." Duh. No skating while it's like this; although I have been known to hit the streets around 2000 if it's not too bad. ...but 93F at 2200? Not even a temptation.

Oh, today's supposed to be the hot one for the week. ...anything from 105F to 110F predicted. That's not with the heat index figured in; that's raw temp. I added a weather link in the left column if you'd like to help keep track. Remember though, this is just a "warm-up" for August.

On the news front, Father's Day is fast approaching; a time for celebrating for some of us and a time of remembering for others. I'm hoping to connive my mother into coming over this weekend to see the pool and my Father's Day present (Hey, JHR). The boys have some plans for me; and Shelley is up to something. Usually, I get the day off from the world. This year I think I'd rather have the family around for a nice quiet weekend.

Hey, it's supposed to cool down. ...to 100F.


1400 +/- Oh, you wanted an update today? Okay: It's cooler. Today we're starting what should be a cool down to 100F or so. ...and we might as well get used to it for the next week or so.

The flowers and plants I put in the ground earlier this week aren't real happy about it all, but I think they'll be okay if I move up the watering cycle until they're settled. ...and I suspect Brian and Marcia's tomato plants are actually enjoying this.

Bradley and I spent Thursday evening putting together a deck box for the pool toys and starting on my Father's Day present (picture RSN). I also ended up working on a neighbor's sprinkler system for a little while; they're off to the coast for a few days and asked Shelley to cover their watering chores. ...one problem: they haven't hooked up the controller in six years for some reason. That translates to manual control. NP, other than Shelley really cannot climb up the retaining wall to get to the valves in the back. ...and the boys graciously decline to assist due to the presence of the Great Big Dogs just on the other side of fence. ...and the valves don't work! Why? Dunno; I figure I'll throw a hose in the gardens this evening and be shut of it for a while.

My adventures in computing have been really cut back with all the outside work. I'd like to get back to the Linux boxes (and the huge list of things to play with) but I don't see it happening for another week at least. As soon as the area around the pool is completed, I will be taking time off from yardwork; I need to start the annual "clean up the library enough to find the stuff for class" project. While I can wing the lectures, I need to find the handouts and such. Luckily, I can usually find the ones for the start of the semester at the "January" level of the stack resting against the bookcase <G>.

Stay cool...


I spent last night precariously close to geek quasi-paradise. I say precariously close because, while relaxing, I figured out how to handle a few more things outside. That means more work inside, so I can spend more time outside, which means I'll spend less time inside, which means I'll fall farther behind on the computer front.

Let me explain: I escaped from the office and only made one stop on the way home; that meant I was only half melted (104F @ 1700) by the time the short people greeted me. I needed some touch up paint for the new smoker/grill that JHR alluded to; there were a few places where the packing material hadn't protected the paint as well as I'd like. Then again, shipping 165 pounds of metal is a challenge. Well, I finally finished the beast (pictures today or tomorrow), swam for a while, tucked the kids in to bed and decided to start flipping a few mental switches from "over-ride" to "normal". I grabbed a MGD long neck, the portable radio, and one of the X-10 remotes and headed back outside to watch the moonrise.

I've really fallen in love with this deck more than the pool; I've spent nearly every night since the pool finished up relaxing in a chair. I up-lit the three redwoods at the back of the pool and they now reflect in the water. Way cool.

So I started cutting back lighting as the moon came up over the trees. Pretty soon it was just the moon and the redwoods. I was broadcasting a CD from the low power transmitter inside the house (Everybody Duck's second album; best described as Alternative Christian music. The boys and I like it; Shelley takes a pass); the second half of the album was all instrumental. It was a very nice background to the moonshine through the trees and the reflection off the water. <sigh>

Then that album ended and Kirk Franklin was the next CD in the stack. Whoops; there goes mellow! Time to turn the radio off and just reflect. ...on how to control the CD player from outside. Let's see, I already have the X-10 controller that I use to adjust the lighting (outside and inside; it just drives Shelley batty when I kill the kitchen light from outside. ...but hey, it interferes with the ambiance of the pool!) and I know I have an X-10 compatible RF/IR remote somewhere. I seem to recall something... Yep, I could put a repeater in the library with a IR emitter near the CD changer and do it that way. ...maybe. ...after I finish the electrical to the rest of the low voltage. ...and the X-10 modules on the power packs at the pump. ...and then there's the Linux boxes.

At least I finally figured out why they were both sitting on the bench in tear down mode: I found some memory in one bag on the floor and a CDRW in another; I must be planning on rebuilding Tux with new CDROMs and putting the old CD in the firewall. Why would I want to do that? Maybe I was planning to test something more than the FDD firewall series? Oh, bother!

Regardless of last night mellowness, today promises to me a full one. I'm going to fire the grill and allow it to burn in; finish the landscaping under the redwoods; start the electrical run to the low voltage on the north side and see if I can keep from frying in the sun.

If I come back inside, I'll update you...


Good Morning and Happy Father's Day to one and all. ...and if you do not celebrate the occasion where you live, hoist one for those of us who do.

I finally managed to get the beast assembled and seasoned in yesterday (that's Bradley helping with things).

BBQ grill with Bradley as a size reference; 81kb
It turns out you "season in" this type of grill just as you would cast iron cookware: coat everything inside with vegetable oil; bring to a low heat for a few hours; then ramp the heat up. That seemed to go okay except for the little cool-down problem. Well, not really a problem; I may have a way to save some money on charcoal and wood. When I was finished and trying to wipe the outside clean, it seemed like it was not cooling down very well. It took some time until things clicked: a black metal box in the California sun with an ambient temperature of 104F will not get very cool! ...ever. I figure I'll light maybe one briquette and see how warm this thing will get...

Just for the fun of it, here's a detail of the grilling area; and another just for Tom.

The cupboard is bare; 77kb    Dinner's almost ready; 84kb

Have a fun day!

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