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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Sabot L'ours' LiveJournal:

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Thursday, September 13th, 2018
8:23 am
The Sting
No. Sorry. Not a post about the Robert Redford/Paul Newman movie. Last night Kitty and I were sitting out on the patio. I had kicked my shoes off and was just chillin.' I walked over to Kitty and it felt like I had stepped on a goat head. He have this annoying grass that grows profusely around here that puts out little spiky seeds about the size of a split pea. We also have "true" goat heads which is also known as "puncture vine" since that's what happens to your bike tire if you roll over them. So I went to pull out the "goat head" and didn't find anything. I looked on the patio and saw that I had not stepped on a goat head, but I had stepped on a scorpion. I've lived in the desert for 25 years and this is the first time I ever got stung. Shit! I even collected scorpions when I lived in Yuma! I would go camping in the desert with my black light and bring back a whole assortment of the little buggers to a research scientist who was studying them. I had 2 as pets for a couple of years. These were the honking big Desert Hairy ones where the venom was pretty mild, but just the size of the stinger must hurt like hell. I would even bring back centruroides also known as bark scorpions that DID have a fairly toxic venom. I just loved the thrill of the hunt. Supposedly I found a unique species and had it named after me, but I can't find any record of it. Perhaps it was later deemed just a subspecies or a variant. I did find some rare specimens which helped define new territories/habitats. And I knew that we had some that were native to NM. Usually they stayed out of the house, but I think Anubis got stung on the paw once. He was sitting right in front of me when he jumped up and started sniffing the carpet. I found the little fucker and dispatched it. There was also the one that got trapped inside a light fixture with a cockroach. It was hilarious to watch the roach scrambling around wildly while the scorpion just tried to hunker down to avoid the much larger roach. And then there was the one from last night. I gave it a quick hit with the flashlight and that was that. This morning I stepped on a spine from some plant and it hurt worse than the sting. I have also been stung in the head by a wasp which hurt way more. So I guess that's another checkbox achieved under "living in the desert." Oh, and here is a pic of the little bastard.
Monday, September 10th, 2018
12:06 pm
The Non-Furry Convention
So the main reason for our trip to KC was to attend a convention put on by my financial planner. I have a financial planner?!? Yes. I hired a company to manage my parents' money after my Dad died over a decade ago. I know just enough about money to make me dangerous. I wanted the advice of professionals. The company put on a convention for their clients to help make them aware about the state of money management in today's world. They also threw in a few motivational speakers to keep the agenda interesting. So not only did we hear about global economic conditions, we heard about happiness and positive thinking from some prominent speakers who have become TED Talk stars. The meeting was concluded by a talk by ex Secretary of State Colin Powell who gave his take on the state of the world. So what was my takeaway?

The Markets are doing just fine this year and probably next. The US economy is strong but is facing headwinds from overseas. Right now we're at the top of the economic cycle and likely to head downward after 2019. With that being said, my main takeaway is that the economic cycle is in constant flux. We keep hearing things like, "The bull market has been going on for too long! There HAS to be a bear market on the horizon!" But what was true in 1960 or 1970 or 1980 or 1990 or 2000 might not be relevant in today's world! Basic economic principles may still apply, but who knows what that means in today's world! What will things like AI and driverless cars do to the present economy? What if something unexpected happens to the Chinese economy? Will there be a trade war? How will the Eurozone react to immigration? How will the US deal with immigration? Perhaps the most comforting speech came from Mr Powell when he was asked about worldwide threats to the US. Basically his answer was that there is no major threat to the US in terms of our national security. China won't start shit with us because their economy depends on us. North Korea only wants to be left alone where Kim can rule forever. Iran wants to flex its muscle in the Middle East, but is not a direct threat to us. Russia is a shell of its former Soviet empire. They have no interest in war. The underlying message was to basically avoid mass media as much as possible. It's not so much "fake news" as it is sensationalist news that will get you to watch their program so they can sell advertising. This point was also brought up by an economics person who showed headlines and magazine covers from the 70's to the present which basically screamed the exact opposite of what people should be doing, e.g. telling people to stay out of the Market at the exact time when if you HAD put money into the Market, you would have made a killing. Conversely they said that you would be a fool not to buy Internet stocks just before the tech bubble burst in 2000. I always trust Warren Buffet's advice; "Be greedy when everyone is fearful and be fearful when everyone is greedy."

What was also encouraging to me was that I was in a room full of other "10%s." There we about 2600 people in attendance and many people looked just like me. It was just a bunch of average Joes who had saved their entire lives and are now reaping the benefits of their labors. There were probably lots of doctors, lawyers, and businessmen there who are the driving force of the economy. They weren't the folks with private jets or mansions on the Riviera, but those who just want to enjoy the pleasures of life (while also supporting charities and causes of their choosing.) I took that lesson to heart after the conference by treating Kitty to a lovely dinner at a local steakhouse. We had a nice romantic dinner with good steak and good wine. And did we then hop on our private jet to get back home? Nah. We had a 13-hour drive back through the wonders of Kansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.
Friday, September 7th, 2018
4:07 pm
I'm Going To Kansas City. Kansas City Here I Come
Kitty and I decided to take a little road trip. My financial planning company was holding a conference that was open to all of their clients. The guest speaker was Colin Powell, so I decided that we should make the trip to enjoy a few days in a nice hotel. Kansas City is a long-ass drive for a single day, but doable. I've done it myself in the past. To make things a little easier, we decided that we would leave on Wednesday after work and get as far as Tucumcari. I had a free night through Hotels.com, so we stayed at the nicest hotel there (the Fairfield Inn). Tucumcari is a dying town except for the businesses along I-40. I was happy to see that several of the old motels along Old Route 66 seem to be doing quite well with people wanting a retro experience. Unfortunately most of the non-chain food places have closed. We managed to find a local diner which wasn't bad.

On Thursday we headed on to KC taking 2-lane highways like I like to do when I drive to visit Mom. It was a nice relaxing drive despite the on-again-off-again rain. We got to KC just after dinnertime, so we quickly found a good BBQ place not too far away. We had wanted to find a nice steak place, but the places we found seemed ridiculously expensive. It's hard to pay $20 for a t-bone steak when the store had them on sale last week for about $5/lb. Joe's Kansas City BBQ was just fine with fall-off-the-bone ribs. There was a nearby liquor store where I was able to find some locally distilled whiskey. It was the perfect nightcap while watching football back in the room.

Today we had a relaxing morning with breakfast at a local chain called The Big Biscuit. After that we decided to visit the Nelson-Atkins Museum. It's a real gem for the city! They had works from artists as diverse as Rembrandt to Warhol, O'Keeffe to Monet. We spent hours wandering around. It was then time for lunch. I found another BBQ place near downtown and wondered how "ethnically diverse" the neighborhood was. It was not far from some projects, so we knew we would be getting some authentic BBQ. It was a local chain called Gates. Good stuff. We then saw the 2 sides of KC. We came up into downtown through one of the nicest neighborhoods I have ever seen. The homes were huge and everything was lush and green. Side streets all had fountains and/or statues at their entrances. Coming home we took a street about a mile to the east. It was totally ghetto.

I should also mention that we had a "furry con" moment when we showed up to the hotel. It was full of business people in nice dress all hanging out in the lobby. We went to the elevators and there was a line for people trying to get to their rooms. Kitty and I laughed that the tables had been turned. I should have been in fursuit and marched to the front of the line since I was not part of the convention. I half expected to see the Dorki manning the elevators making sure the business people didn't overload them. Oh! And many of them had drinks with them. Fucking mundanes! *LOL*
Tuesday, September 4th, 2018
7:36 am
The Labor Day Weekend
There's nothing like a 3-day weekend! This was supposed to be a weekend of binge-watching and reading. I just managed to do a little of each. Discovered "Ozark" on Netflix. Hooked! Was going to read a book, but only managed to read the paper. Tried to get chores done early in the weekend so I could chill for the rest. The big happening was a furmeet on Sunday. Only about 8 people RSVP's but we ended up with just over 30. I seriously under-bought food, but at least there were no leftovers. I was happy that we had a guest stop by from California. mooglepower was in the state doing touristy stuff with his parents. I invited him over and he accepted. It was great to actually talk with him. We have known each other for years mainly through convention talent shows since he is a very talented musician. He gave up LJ years ago, but I happened to find him on Stupidbook. I think I impressed him with some good ol' NM hospitality. I also got a chance to talk to the mom who brought her teenage son to Albufurque because he was a young fursuiter. She's a really interesting character who fits right in our crazy group. By the end of the night I was in fursuit and exhausted. I just passed out on our patio sofa. Kitty got mad because I refused to come inside, but the weather was absolutely perfect especially while in suit to just enjoy the outside. It was just like camping! Let me be! She relented but insisted I have a blanket. Yesterday was devoted to more chillin' and the finishing up of last-minute chores. This week we're off on a mini vacation. More on that in the next post!
Monday, August 27th, 2018
8:16 am
A Weekend Fit For a Czar
Furcentral once again hosted a wayward fur who was visiting NM. He's a gay liberal, furry visiting his conservative Christian Republican parents who have retired here. What could possibly go wrong? He just needed some sanity for a few days, so we welcomed czar_wolfhound into our den. He arrived on Friday evening and we took him out to a local Mexican place (along with scritchwuff. We all headed back to the patio with a bottle of whiskey where we proceeded to get shitfaced. But we quickly got into "con mode" and Czar took us out to Chaco Canyon where we were treated to a detailed history of the ruins since he did his dissertation on ruins just to the north. The weather was surprisingly cool and rainy for most of the day. We got back to ABQ just as a major thunderstorm had rolled through. Yes, the mesa flowed again and I was able to get some good pix on Sunday. But as for Saturday night, Scritch came over again and I cooked up some Italian sausage on the grill. Our level of alcohol consumption was much much less that evening. On Sunday we took Czar to one of our favorite local spots for breakfast. It was there that I tried green chile bacon pancakes. Holy shit! Sweet, savory, and spicy all in one bite! Definitely now one of my favorites. We said our goodbyes and he was off to the airport. Unfortunately for him somebody had a chimpout at the terminal and tried to kill himself. All flights were delayed for hours as the situation was resolved. Oh well. Got a text that he made it safely home. Definitely good times!
Sunday, August 19th, 2018
12:54 pm
Shirley Temple's Pussy
OK, albear, you can stop laughing now. *lol*

So Kitty and I saw them in concert yesterday. Well...they had to change their name because they were told they would not get any airplay with a name like that. So they changed their name. They really liked the initials S-T-P, so they chose Stone Temple Pilots. Several months ago I saw that they would be appearing at our local concert arena along with Bush and The Cult. I checked on tickets and saw that they were fairly reasonable and good seats were available. This was also at the time when I started adopting my, "Fuck it! Gather experiences!" phase. So I didn't think about the ass raping that Ticketmaster is famous for and bought tickets. Afterwards I started thinking that it was odd that so many good seats were still available. I thought STP would be a huge draw. It was then that I remembered that their lead singer had offed himself in 2015. They adopted a new lead singer who also sang for Linkin Park. He then offed himself last year. Talk about bad luck. But the other original band members were still touring with a new lead singer.

I must say that I was a late fan of the group. They came out at the perfect time in my life when music had a big influence. I enjoyed the music of the Grunge Era, but I couldn't identify with the "lifesytle." I was not an angry disenfranchised youth who adopted the slogan "Whatever." I was an up and coming science professional who looked forward to a middle-class lifestyle. But I did enjoy the music. I was living in Washington when Nirvana broke through. I even wrote a letter to the local rock station and told them to stop playing the same old tired shit over and over and over. There was a vibrant music scene 100 miles to the west. Play more Pearl Jam and Screaming Trees! One band I did like was Bush. Perhaps it was because the hardcore grunge fans saw them as posers from England. But I liked their music. I had little knowledge of The Cult before a few years ago when I started listening to Lithium on Sirius XM.

So we went to the concert which was a totally different experience than last month when we saw The Dead. Parking was a breeze. Getting in and through security was a breeze. We easily found our seats which were almost dead center. The crowd was sparse as the opening act, Bones U.K. performed a short set. They were 2 spunky chicks from London who really rocked. Then came S.T.P. Damn! It felt awesome seeing them performing songs that we have been hearing on the radio all the time (on Lithium). They did about an hour-long set. Next came Bush which also rocked the house. Once again, we have been hearing their songs since forever and we were finally hearing them live. Finally The Cult performed and even though we only knew a couple of songs, it was a great performance. I had to laugh that it took about 30 years for me to finally see a real ROCK concert. And once again we fit right in because the groups hit their peaks 25 years ago, which put the age group of their fan/listeners who would really appreciate them at around 45-55.
Friday, August 17th, 2018
9:20 am
It seems that it was just a few days ago that I posted about starting a study on how the housing developments on the mesa would affect the drainage system up there. On Wednesday night I was able to get my first data point! We had a nice typical monsoon storm roll in about dinnertime. Up until now the rains have come in from the north and at a later time. I always remembered the storms rolling in just as I left work, not just before bed. So I was able to enjoy the wrath of the storm as it dumped sheets of rain in a relatively short time. As soon as it slowed to a drizzle, I headed up the mesa to check on my drainage ditch. It performed perfectly! It deepened in many places and became a little more well established. I'm still dealing the with slope issue since as soon as the flow slows down, it deposits sediment. Oh well. I can help things out by removing a few shovelfuls of sand to keep the slope adequate. I then decided to hike up on the mesa to check out the arroyos I am wanting to study. As I hiked over to the main channel, my heart skipped a beat. Was that running water that I was hearing?!? I made a beeline for the "waterfall" I had mentioned in the previous post where it looked like water spilled over the mesa and down a heap of rubble. It was flowing! I don't know how many people have ever witnessed the sight, but not only did I see it, I captured it on video!

I was a bit surprised to see that there wasn't any water in the arroyo. What was going on?!? I then realized that the flow had only started about a minute before, and soon a lobe of water began flowing downstream. I captured that on video as well.

I then followed the flow upstream to see what was happening. There was good flow coming from the detention basin to the west. That was meeting up with flow coming from the detention basin to the north. In some places there was a well-established channel. In some places there was insufficient gradient, so the flow spread out in sheet flow. I made my way up to the concrete channel that leads from the north detention basin. It was flowing pretty good. There was definitely some erosion going on. I then got something of a shock when I realized that the new development to the north would also be draining into the detention basin. That will be adding a significant volume of water to the mix! But then again, the outflows are pretty much restricted, so the flow rate might not be significantly higher, but the flow duration might be. The other modification to my hypothesis is that there may not be significant erosion in the future due to control points. There probably will be channel establishment just below the detention basins, but due to grade controls, it shouldn't be extreme. The waterfall will act as a control point since it will take a lot to erode bedrock. Just below the waterfall there is a narrow bedrock canyon which will also act as a control point. Finally there is a stretch of arroyo that is fairly flat just below the canyon. Velocities should be low since it appears so flat. The channel then goes under a road bridge which I noticed has a concrete lip underneath it. That will also act as a grade control to prevent significant erosion. So basically my study will focus on the development of channels over time as they react to greater volumes. There should be a geomorphic response since you're now putting flow down a channel perhaps 5 times a year when in the past there might have only been flow down the channel once every 5 years.
Thursday, August 16th, 2018
7:38 am
27 Down
Nope. Not a post about crossword puzzles. I checked my official record and found out that today is my 27th anniversary with the gubbmint. So in 3 years I will have the time-in-service as well as the age to retire. But like I posted here quite a while back, I'm not sure if those 27 years all count towards retirement since I had some temporary time included in that. So rather than retire on Jan 1, 2021, I may have to wait until sometime around January 1, 2023. *shrugs* At least there's light at the end of the tunnel.

A few days ago I was having another great talk with scritchwuff about retiring. We were discussing how much money you really need to retire comfortably. Every day I read an article that says something like, "You need a million dollars to retire!" and the next day I read that most retirees have less than $1000,000 in savings. So how are they all living?!? Then I read that you can retire for cheap in places like Mexico or Ecuador. Yeah. And how is that working out for all of those suckers who retired in Nicaragua? But money is not a major concern of mine. I scrimped and saved my whole career so I could maintain a comfortable lifestyle. My big concern is what I keep hearing that one sure way to die young is to retire. They say it's more of an emotional thing. You feel lost and without purpose. You had a job for years, if not decades, and now you have nothing. On the one paw I know that's bullshit because unless you're self-employed, if your job is your life...you're doing it wrong. I do have one thing that I want to do and that's take care of my Mom. She'll be 92 next month, but guess what? She just passed her driver's test! Yup! She's that proverbial little grey-haired lady barely visible below the steering wheel. *lol* The thought of caring for someone full-time, however, is something very daunting to me. Right now I can barely handle a week with her, and she's fully mobile with all her senses. How would I handle a situation that required much more care? And I think the mental block is that I have a life to go back to here in NM, and part of that is the knowledge that I have to go back to work. So what if that was no longer in the picture? I have my house, my Kitty, and my kitties, but that's about it. Work is that sword hanging over my head. The concept of just doing nothing but taking care of life is so foreign! The last time I just did nothing was probably summer vacation in 8th grade. Then came summers full of jobs. And since then it has been, as Mel Brooks says in "Blazing Saddles,"Work, work, work!" But anyway...at least another milestone has passed. I'll keep chugging along and earnin' dem Benjamins.
Wednesday, August 15th, 2018
7:27 am
Fig-get About It!
August 14, 2018...the date my tree produced its first fig! And it was mighty tasty! Like I posted about a few days ago, I had no idea about the life-cycle of a fig. It was Kitty who looked up the natural history of the plant to let me know that the fruit wasn't really a fruit but actually a flower. This would explain why it went from green to purple in a matter of days. I'm so used to true fruits where you have to leave it on the tree for weeks or months to ripen. I gave the purple "flower" a gentle squeeze, and it seemed to be nice and soft. So I picked it, cut it in half, and we both enjoyed the first tastes of our my labors. Mmmmmm. It was a more subtle flavor than I was expecting since I was expecting something similar to a Fig Newton. But it was lovely. And there are a bunch more to come!
Monday, August 13th, 2018
7:32 am
You're the Inspiration
I was going to call today's post just "Inspiration," but thought I would continue the whole "Song Titles by Chicago" theme started with the last post *chuckles* What am I inspired about? Well, I went on walkies yesterday but decided to head east instead of my usual west. I have hiked this way in the past several times, but it's a little more up-and-down with a few sandy places as well as a fairly steep climb up an arroyo. But it was that arroyo specifically that I wanted to see. I was curious to see how it was affected by the recent rains. To my surprise there had been quite a lot of geomorphic work done on the channel by the rains. I also looked more carefully at the channel than I had in the past. It appears that now that housing developments are dumping their stormwater into old channels, those channels are responding in a major way. I had never known how water from one channel got into the main arroyo. There's actually a small waterfall/rapids that flows over the mesa's edge. It might even be subsurface flow into the boulders that have eroded off the rim. Anyway...this all got the old scientific wheels turning. I am in a perfect position to initiate a study on the effects of urbanization on desert arroyos. I'm just sorry I didn't collect baseline data a few years ago, but the whole mesa development near me has only been going on for 10 years with most of the activity happening in the past 4. It just felt good to feel that scientific spark still inside me. Maybe I'll even approach the Park System to see if I can get some help especially with surveying equipment.
Saturday, August 11th, 2018
8:53 pm
Baby What a Fig Surprise

When I planted my orchard I included a fig tree.  Why? Well, I heard they grew extremely well here in NM and I like figs. I had never been exposed to the fruit except through Fig Newton's.  It was at FC several years back when they hosted the Meow Mixer at the beginning of the con. One year at the Fairmont they had a fruit and cheese plate. On it they had fresh figs. OMG! They were tasty! So I decided to try my paw at growing them.  I had given up hope that the tree would produce this year because it seemed that the tree was struggling a bit and it didn't produce any flowers.  So you can imagine my surprise when I checked the tree today and found several little figs forming! One was even starting to ripen into a nice dark purple. So yay! Another first-year tree is bearing fruit! I harvested the last peaches today which brings the total to between 10 and 20.

Friday, August 10th, 2018
8:01 am
Millions Of Peaches, Peaches For Me. Millions of Peaches, Peaches For Free
Ah, one of the great songs from the early 90's by The Presidents of the United States. I have harvested just over a dozen peaches this year. There are just a couple left on the tree, still a little green. I must say that I have really enjoyed truly fresh peaches right from the tree. The peaches I get at the store look ripe on the outside, but they are hard and flavorless when you take a bite. You can leave them out to ripen for a few days, but then you have to hit the "sweet spot" when they're ripe but not yet to the point of getting mealy. With the homegrown peaches, they're at the peak of perfection when the last bit of green disappears. They are oh-so-sweet and juicy! And I lucked out that the variety I planted is freestone, so the pit comes out cleanly and easily. I'm really digging the concept of growing my own food.
Wednesday, August 8th, 2018
10:37 am
"Brigsby Bear"
A couple of weekends ago Kitty was channel surfing and saw a movie about a mascot. Being the good furry that she is, she checked it out. I came downstairs and noticed a bear fursuit on the screen. Being a furfag, I started watching as well. The movie was halfway over, so it was a bit weird trying to figure out what the plot was. I had never even heard about this movie, but it had Mark Hamill, Claire Danes, and Greg Kinnear. I finally was able to record the entire movie so now I know the story. It's essentially a furry version of "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" (for those of you that are familiar with the Netflix show). A boy gets kidnapped and is raised in a bunker. His only contact with the outside world is a TV show that his kidnappers produce for him with the title bear as the main protagonist. The story never gets finished, however, because he's rescued. He then goes on a quest to finish the story himself. So it's kind of a weird story, but it has a fursuit! It's a creepy kind of Teddy Ruxpin-ish suit, but it's a fursuit! What we both found disturbingly familiar was the way he talked about the show and how it was his only reality. It reminded us of many people we have met in the fandom. His obsession to tell his story was also very familiar with other folks we have met over the years. So if you see it advertised by your cable provider, give it a watch. Or not.

Friday, August 3rd, 2018
8:24 am
My Friend Scritch
I just wanted to give a shout out to my buddy scritchwuff who invited us over for dinner last night. He cooked up some simple yet delicious kabobs on his grill. We then just sat on his patio watching storms off in the distance and talking about life. It was such a beautiful night and he even broke his diet a little and brought out a bottle of Drambue. So we just sat and drank and chatted. One thing we both realized was that life was too short to worry about all of the shit that has been dominating media, not just recently but over a long time. I told him that one of my favorite movie clips was from "Catch 22" where an old Italian man discusses life with a young American soldier (played by Art Garfunkle).

Yeah. If I can enjoy life like that, I wouldn't mind being 107.
Thursday, August 2nd, 2018
7:18 am
A Very Rainy Week
So after my last monsoon post it seemed that the rains have just been coming and coming. On Monday I sat on the front patio and watched a major thunderstorm roll over the entire valley. The thunder was a non-stop rumble in the distance. It was interesting to see the entire storm as it slowly worked its way south. I found out the next day that there was significant hail damage on the east side of town. We finally got rain about 10:45 which lasted until 11:30. The next day I noticed that there was once again flow down the mesa. I decided to take matters into my own paws and once again dug a diversion channel to carry the water to the concrete channel next to my neighbor's house. There was thunder while I was digging so I hoped it would rain like hell to deepen the channel naturally. There was a severe cell heading right for us. Woohoo! Just as it was about to hit us, it made an abrupt turn to the east and only grazed us. Yesterday was our turn to get the hail. Fortunately it was only pea-sized and lasted about a minute. We got dumped on again, but not enough to get the mesa flowing. There's another good shot for storms tonight and tomorrow. I really want to see if my channel is up to the job!
Wednesday, August 1st, 2018
8:03 pm
Yay! The peach tree has finally produced. And the zucchini plant continues to produce. And as Freud would say..."sometimes zucchini and peaches are only zucchini and peaches."

Monday, July 30th, 2018
7:57 am
Kosher Dinner
On Saturday we hit up the local supermarket to do our week's shopping. We always shop the sales, so we picked up a bunch of chicken thighs for $0.77/lb. Kitty then went to Sprouts to get some cheap veggies on sale. When she was leaving the cart wrangler told her she had forgotten a bag in her cart. She said that it wasn't her cart. He then asked if she wanted the bag since he was just going to throw it away (store policy). So she took it. It had organic celery and rainbow Swiss chard. She brought it home and told me the story. WTF was I supposed to do with Swiss chard?!? I thought it was like a lettuce, but read that it was more closely related to beets. How do you prepare it? A quick internet search showed a few tasty-sounding recipes. And so I tried my paw at cooking something I had never eaten before. The results were rewarding! You separate the stems from the leaves. Cut the stems into bite-sized chunks. Saute' onion and garlic in butter and olive oil and then throw in the stems along with some white wine. Simmer 5 minutes. Then add the leaves and cook until wilted. Finish it off with some lemon juice and Parmesan cheese. Damn! It was the perfect side dish to go with the BBQ'd chicken thighs. I figured the meal cost about $1/plate. Oy!
Saturday, July 28th, 2018
4:10 pm
Monsoon Part 2
The prediction was for another active night of storms, and Mother Nature delivered. I went to sit outside about 7 and the sky looked threatening. I checked the radar and the nearest storm was 20-30 miles away. Then why was I seeing lightning off to he north as well as hearing thunder? I went to sit on the upper patio and just put my head back to stare straight up at the clouds. It seemed that all of the lightning was cloud to cloud. There's nothing quite like seeing arcs of lightning directly over your head with the thunder taking about 10 seconds to reach your ears. It still made sense. If the storm cloud was 20-30,000 feet tall, then lightning 10,000 feet up wouldn't be all that odd. So I watched the lightning until it started to rain. Then I retreated to the lower patio to watch the storm and listen to tunes. Here's one lightning flash I caught. Background music is "Someday I Suppose" by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

Once the rain really started I decided to call it a night. I didn't have to worry about my rain barrels since they filled in the storm the night before. It must have poured like a mofo because there was quite a bit of "damage" in the neighborhood mainly in the form of streets covered in sediment. I checked in back of the house and there must have been some pretty good flow down the mesa. None reached my back wall, but I could see in a few places where it tried. Time to get out there with the shovel again.
Friday, July 27th, 2018
7:40 am
The other day I was lamenting the fact that here we were well over a month into monsoon season and the storms so far have been pretty pathetic. Whatever happened to the days of "extreme dog walking" which have been well documented in this LJ? I would come home from work and the clouds would already be building. I would get Anubis or Mesa and start off on walkies. About 20-30 minutes later we would find ourselves in the middle of a lightning storm which would scare the shit out of me (and Anubis. Mesa didn't care.) Whatever happened to the storms that would fill my 30-gallon rain barrels in about 15 minutes? Well...I finally got my wish! We had the first really good monsoon rain last night. It was perfect! Lots of lightning and driving rain. And now with cell phones, it's easy to capture the action. This was shot just after the main storm had passed. Here, allaboutweather, this is how you take storm video. *snerk* Best bit is at 0:39.

After this we hopped in the car and headed off to a couple of arroyo crossings to see if there was any good flash flood action. Nah. It looked like the arroyo coming down from the mesa flowed. Fortunately the channel that my neighbor and I dug about 10 years ago is still effective in moving the water away from our houses.
Wednesday, July 25th, 2018
7:46 am
Plum Update
I'm still new to the fruit tree game, so forgive me if I jump the gun on some things. It was just over a month ago that I wrote that my plums were ripening. I figured it would be a matter of a week before I started harvesting. I finally tasted a nice purple one and *zoink* sour. I waited another week to try another one. *zoink* sour. So now the tree has over a dozen beautiful dark purple fruits hanging from the branches (still protected by the bird net) tempting me to eat one. I think I will wait until they start to get nice and soft. There's no need to hurry the ripening process. Oh, and *zoink* was what I came up with for the onomatopoeia for getting essentially the equivalent of bitter beer face.
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