The Norseman’s Diaries: The Great Reset & Pursuit of the Perfect Day

by Jeff Fullerton
[email protected]

Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

Back to late October last year the final day of my usual fall vacation week.

It started out with the usual drag getting up and getting going. Watching animated Star Trek as I anxiously awaited my Captain Kirk article to publish. I struggled with the stubborn Bluetooth shop light again trying to get it to play Ventura Highway in the Florida Room for my pending guests who are former coworkers but it’s not doing it’s job again so no music.

Had oatmeal but never got beyond the salmon fillet that I somehow started first instead of last after doing the eggs, toast and bacon. Good thing because I was able to just eat it as finger food when I stepped out to meet Mrs Geiger who rolled in. I showed her the Gulf Coast pen as we waited on Laura and then we did that again for her benefit. Laura just fawns over the babies almost to the point of crying.

We did the greenhouse and the pond and the Room. I regret not bringing my phone along to take pics of the girls but they got some of me which I’ll get later. I also regret that in the FL Room portion of the tour, Laura and the baby turts she adored consumed most of the oxygen of the occasion at the expense of attention to the plants and the Squares and Areolata got ignored completely. Another issue is the limited space which makes even three people a crowd. And my lack of preparation did not help either. That was my whole week which is now gone.

Well, was good while it lasted and was worth a SeaQuest Burger!

My variation of Lieutenant Krieg’s politically incorrect beef burger with shrimp added to make it truly something of the sea. Be better if I could use Manatee—which is Sea Cow!

One question that ought to be asked: If Lt Krieg had sourced that meat from a lab that apparently synthesized it—then why was it illegal because no cow farts were involved. I remember so well the lines “Some cow passes air and I can’t have a cheeseburger”!

The Crunch Before Norseman’s

…skipping ahead a month. The pond was successfully winterized. Arrangements made for my pending surgery and medical leave and what I came to call “Hell Day”—my last opportunity for tying up loose ends was fast approaching.

11/9/21 – 1:26 PM

What a day for a last day at work. The Monday ER was Shit Show City!

Even a little more of the real thing though nothing quite as bad as the “dirty hamster cage” cleanup we sometimes get involved in. The hospital actually called a Code Triage late afternoon and it peetered our unbelievably after the shift change at 7 PM and was mostly quiet. Took a good long shower with Hibicleanse as ordered by the surgeon for five nights before the procedure and got out of there and didn’t do much when I got home other than a snack of smoked oysters to make up for just a quick slice of pizza at work and listen to YouTube until I went to sleep. Feels unreal that I won’t be going back for more than a month.

Today is starting off not as well as hoped for. Did not get going like I did yesterday. I’m taking the fact that I have the day off for granted like I too often do and now all I have to show for it was a quick tidy up around the cellar door for a photo op.

Gorgeous day outside. I’m going to get started on the tubs and barrels at the greenhouse and get whatever plants I want to save onto the inside pond. Then work my way to the pond site to get the bullheads and move them to the greenhouse. And work on the wood pile. So much stuff piling up. damn I wish it was on Thursday instead of tomorrow!

11/10/21 – 12:43 AM

This was the ultimate Crunch. No time for pictures. Got most of the tubs and barrels at the cellar door emptied and wood pile tossed up onto the end of the pad and tarped. A lot of haphazard throwing of plants into ponds or even just leaving them go like I usually do the surplus Jungle Val. Green Swords didn’t make it but I still have the population in the Room. Got jabbed in the finger by a catfish and only a Dollar Sunfish and a Redbreast were recovered from the middle tub. Redbreast went to the main pond. Dollar to the greenhouse with the catfish.

Still loose ends. Lilies from the patio tubs I drained are still there waiting to go to the pond. Will run those up in the morning. JPT trio and Gulf Coasts still need to come in. I’m going to have to enlist some aide to get those to the garage after I get home again. Just so much to do and I ran out of time. And day. It was after dark when I finished dealing with the wood.

Came in and did a little texting to talk about my day and got Laura to pick me up in the morning. Did my best to get Florida Room squared away and my “Hippie Cleanse” bath. Now I got to get to bed. If all goes well and I’m feeling up to it I’ll recap it tomorrow eve—or the next day.

The Great Reset 1

11/10/21 – 10:29 PM

Well I made it with flying colors so far.
They put me down really fast gave me a shot of something in my IV just before I rolled out to the operating room and last thing I remember was going through the hall on the cart talking to the anesthesia nurse and then I woke up back in my cubicle in the SPU and my bro was there.

No memory of the OR or getting the gas. According to him and the nursing staff I was really gorked and apparently have a low threshold of tolerance to anesthesia. The opposite extreme of a drug seeker or someone who takes a lot of prescription painkillers. Maybe a good thing in a way because it sucks to need extra sedation or come out of it in the middle of a procedure.

Took me a while to get out of it. Even longer to pee. They drained my bladder too much before taking out the catheter so it took forever to get it full enough to go. I think they were in a hurry to close shop so they let me go and I’m glad. Last thing I wanted to do was end up getting admitted. Or a strait cath like the guy who worked with me my first day on the job many years ago. He had a similar outpatient procedure for gall bladder and had to get a Foley catheter with leg bag.

Went to spend the evening at my Bro’s.

I hung out, texted friends and drank water and tried to pee. Had some carrot cake and Wendy’s—first solid meal since the chicken nuggets I had last night. Finally I did go and avoided going to the Emergency Room and getting a catheter. Made it back home. My Bro took away two of my old computers for his “Museum”.

The iMac from the early 2000s and the Macintosh IIsi. The latter was my first computer in 1994 and a decrepit dinosaur by today’s standards. Will miss it but at least I’ll be able to visit it and maybe even operate it or at least get the hard drive contents someday.

Jamie in the Florida Room.

Having no trouble getting around after he left but other than feeding the fish some bloodworms I’m not doing anything else tonight.

Too tired. Going to move downstairs and sleep there because of safety issues going down the steps in the dark to visit the bathroom. Should I get light headed on the way and I’m all alone.
So good night. Tomorrow is day one of my Great Reset. Reframed in a positive Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness context.

Great Reset 2


Survived the night with flying colors. Ended up waking up late night and moved upstairs to watch Tube till 5ish. Then slept again and have been lounging in bed watching Isaac Arthur and Kamp Kennan. I’m going to sleep up here tonight because my bed is easier to get out of and I should be free of any lingering effect of anesthesia.

My remaining concern is constipation. I’m peeing normally but haven’t gone #2 yet. Good thing I didn’t take pain killers or it might be worse. Could be from the local anesthesia. My lower right quadrant and junk were still numb last night and it probably went to my gut as well.

Here’s what I have: An incision below the navel and two additional ones below that. Plastered with purple demabond so no dressing to change or wound drainage and less likelihood of infection.

It’s most painful rising out of bed but I’m good to go once on my feet. I need to get out and about to enjoy the fresh air and warm fall weather. It’s Indian Summer for sure and not going to last much longer.

One more day and the weather goes down the crapper.

Have to get the barrels at the greenhouse this afternoon. Going to have Laura and Mrs Geiger help me bring in the remaining turts in a few days. Just have to make sure they are bedded down safe from the freezing weather that is coming which looks not so intense and brief in nature. It will actually be better to move them then or before it warms up again so they will be comatose and more likely to stay that way when I move them to the garage.

I grabbed the Japanese Pond Turtle trio yesterday and put them in the Waterland Tub in their corner of the greenhouse. They should be good back there and could survive even if the greenhouse lost heat.

So the Crunch is mostly over with. Just a few small odds and ends and the chief worry is the outside furnace which I need to replace the fan and protect the boiler and pump from freezing up until I’m fit to operate it. Already have an ample supply of wood to tide me over until I can get another load dumped.

And now 6 weeks ahead to get caught up with light stuff indoors and writings. Sucks I can’t get more substantial physical work done with all this time on hand but at least I’m out of Covid Land for a while.

7:07 PM

Evening went well.

Got out and about to look stuff over. Gulfs are all dug in and I emptied the barrels. All of them. No straining but it was tiring and I’m almost as exhausted as I was at the end of Hell Day—the day before I went in. Just what is normally a light job is very taxing. Had a light dinner and laying down now. Hoping I’ll be good enough in a little bit to water plants in the Florida Room

10:53 PM

I’m so miserable this evening between constipation and pain. My upper belly around the diaphragm from having to use those muscles to sit up and get out of bed. And my groin area is starting to hurt because the local anesthesia has gone. I laid up in my bed for a couple hours reluctant to get up because of that and it was why I got going so late with the barrels this afternoon.

Glad I got that out of the way because no telling what tomorrow will bring. Will probably be ok. I found a better way to get up. Roll off the couch or bed to put my knees on the floor and use my arms and legs to rise to a standing position. Once up it’s easy to get around with minimal discomfort and I was good enough to water plants in the Room with 3 pre-filled  Irrimax bottles. Glad I salvaged those before they were discontinued.

Watched a favorite Time Tunnel episode this evening before moving downstairs to avoid the steps at night and be closer to the bathroom.

My assumptions earlier that this was going to be easier than expected were faulty. It’s going to be a matter of keeping my head above water getting the minimum done to maintain things while I recover.

Great Reset 3

11/13/21 – 2:06 AM

Miserable night tossing and turning because of pain and pain the constipation. A little better come morning was able to eat but still really hard getting up out of bed. Anesthesia wearing off was a double edge sword. Being on my feet was better than laying down so I tended the Florida Room and then took a walk down to the lake mailing my Honda payment on the way out.

Got as far as the bridge on the upper end and turned back. I had Laura and Mrs Geiger freaking out about it being too much. In a way it was a bit much as I was really tired out. So I spent the day lounging and watching Star Trek Phase 2 and Time Tunnel episodes.

Steve stopped by to hunt but I didn’t go out to see him. Be nice it he gets one this year. His tree stage was demolished last winter by a falling pine tree. So he’s probably hunting from a blind on the ground.

The Geiger’s—Steve, Michele and son Luke stopped by again later to bring me some Tylenol and Pizza. That all hit the spot as I needed something to control the pain to make getting out of bed easier and another meal helped to get things moving. Had a decent you know what a short find ago when I got up to take another dose of Tylenol so maybe I’ve turned the corner on this. I’m going to take it a little easier from here on and I’m hoping to get a better sleep tonight.

Might wake up to white in the morning. Depends on how quickly the rain that is coming turns to snow.

Mid December 2021: Plodding Along

Plodding along:

I am too with a bad start taking too long to get out of bed on Thursday and getting behind in my morning routine and was almost late for work. And did my shopping on the way home and got a few good things including some City Chicken with my Giant Eagle gift card from the doctors group.

Friday was better.  Had time to spare in spite of stoping for gas which I should have done the evening before when the gauge hit empty.

Worked 11 to 11 and got off early at 9P because of low census. Was nice to get out of there and safely home before the drunks started hitting the roads even at the expense of extra holiday pay the government would punish me with higher taxes for anyway.

Mostly flumdiddled the evening away when I got home with vague memory of what I did. More space colony and John Stossel videos. Same in the morning and then after breakfast and a brief visit to the Room.

New Year’s Day was a washout most of the day but I had to get out and get a few things done.

Loaded up the outside furnace with dry wood to get ready to switch back over when the cold weather returns. The Hokkaido Red Camellia which is supposed to bloom in spring is blooming now in the greenhouse. Maybe I won’t have to get the Yuletide variety after all.

Did some other odds and ends while I was out.

Checked the adult Gulf Coasts to make sure they were still safely dug in and pulled the Wakulla Dwarf palmettos out of the ground and set the west door of the greenhouse to pull inside sometime before the onset of the next cold snap.

Failed to do that while I was in there inspecting and watering the plants which have held up splendidly all the way through December without supplemental heat. Didn’t feel like messing with the thermostat either and I need to get on that before it’s too late. Ditto for the one tub at that site that I never used last year but has since accumulated several inches of water and must be emptied and inverted. Ditto for the one at the other site which still has a few inches plus more from the rains today.

It’s looking more and more that the Bantams in the 150 will end up as guinea pigs to see if they can survive a mild winter. If this one stays that way.

Topped off the blue barrel in the basement before retiring to the house to write my first article of the year and had a late dinner of City Chicken which is something different yet appropriate for New Year’s dinner. Easier on the stomach than the usual fare too.

Now trying to get up the energy to go back down and do stuff in the basement. As far as making this a better year is concerned I’m hardly off to a good start. A few years ago when Bruce told me I would start to slow down as I entered my 6th decade of life I didn’t believe him. Now it’s looking obvious that he was right. But I can’t give up and let this inertia determine my fate. I’ve got to find ways to get out in front of problems and head them off early and work smarter so it becomes less labor intensive to do things. I’d give my two front teeth to be able to go back in time to this past summer and do a few things differently but that ship has already sailed.

Best I can do now is get my next load of wood in and covered this week to be able to operate the outside furnace through the next couple months of colder weather. If I can make it to spring I have a chance to finally get my act together and stay on top of things.

I keep saying that every year. Maybe this will be the one when I finally get it right.

Norseman’s Hell Cometh

1/6/22 – 12:55 AM

The calm before the storm.

My main project for the day was throwing the remaining wood up onto the pad to clear the ramp for delivery tomorrow.>[?

Made out the remaining bills before taking a quick spin to the bank to pull the money for the firewood. Deceptively pleasant evening that belies something wicked this way come. Got $500 which includes the $400 earmarked a few weeks ago plus another hundred to cover the additional $80 for the firewood plus a little cash to grab some hash browns and maybe a few other groceries from Aldi’s on the way back. A rather rude surprise—no hash browns on the shelf. Disturbing development considering this store is my fallback when they’re out at Walmart.

What is it with hash brown patties? Those are often out whereas the loose variety are more often still in stock. This supply chain issue is harder to understand than toilet paper. So I bolted for home. No point wasting what little daylight was left going on 4:30.

Used the Hurricane to drain the 300 at the pond site and rolled that over to cover the needle palm for the duration of the coming cold snap. Then used the sump pump to drain the one at the greenhouse. Had a problem with the short 2 way female hose which broke off at the end on the pump. Reversed it to finish the job and I’ll just get a new adapter to splice onto the broken end—or a new 2 way female hose if that one is too brittle.


Good results with the mouse traps in the greenhouse. Unfortunately I didn’t spend much time in there and I assume the Modine is functioning properly because the set temperature is being maintained.

Propane at 20% so I got a fair amount of breathing room that I wouldn’t have—had I been running the heating system the whole time since I first ran it in November. I made it the whole way through the last half of that month plus the whole of December on passive solar / thermal mass storage—aside from running the Modine a few times to test it. I think I heard it running just now as I opened an upstairs window to listen for the exhaust. And it was not running earlier when I was outside to reload the furnace.

Firewood delivery is on for tomorrow.
Good thing I called because they got mixed up and canceled the delivery. That would have been sweet! I’ve got my fingers crossed—if I can get that in here without mishap I’ll be set for a while and be able to conserve my oil which is now between half and one quarter. And I’m certain I’ll have to use it some to give my system a little boost in the mornings when it falls behind. Once I have a full load on site I’ll be able to afford to put the aquastat up to 160 or even 180 if needed and that will keep up with extreme cold. Will need to do that for a few days until it moderates back to 40 on Sunday. But there is also snow in the forecast starting tomorrow evening and it might be significant so the timing on the delivery will be good. There is also a low of 10 Saturday night and then it goes back to more seasonal January norms of highs in the 20s & 30s.

So finally Norseman’s Hell will be here.
Bring it on and get it over with. Like a 3 day shit show in Covid Land. I’ll be happy if I can just survive the winter and squeeze a little happiness out of the coming summer. And I hope and pray the Dems get a shellacking in the midterms this Fall. Putting a check on them is like having some Gorebull warming to put a check on winter!

And so it begins.

1/06/22 – 12:10 AM

Norseman’s Hell arrived late last night.

It was down to 64 in the living room again so I ran on oil for a while to catch up and ventured out mid morning to fill up the firebox and turn the boiler up to 180 because 140 does not cut it when it’s down in the low 20s or upper teens. It was around 21 when I went out and the unit was idling which means it’s not keeping up at that setting.

Still better than extreme cold when it has trouble at maximum setting. I attribute that to falling behind and trying to catch up because there is a lot of inertia involved with this system. I remember the same a few times at Bruce’s old place when his fell behind and it took several hours to catch up. It’s well worth it to have a hybrid system linked to a preexisting hot water oil furnace via a heat exchanger. The oil heat catches up quicker.

A note—Bruce’s system also used a heat exchanger with forced air. Which is quicker when it comes to any kind of combustion source but there is still a lag for the boiler to heat up when hot water is involved.

My experiences with this primitive “dirty” energy source gives me a good understanding of physics than most people who live in the world of imaginary green energy of electric cars and cell phones powered by coal fired or nuclear power plants (nuclear is actually clean). Before the arrival of my wood I was researching some interesting stuff on arguments over energy that that it’s more about social engineering and restructuring than public health and environmental concerns. I’ve known this for some time. The remark about cheap energy being the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun by Paul Erlich comes to mind. So does Barry Commoner’s argument that mankind can do as much damage to the environment with clean hydrogen fueled bulldozers as with the ones that run on fossil fuels. These people are tyrants and fools who just hate the productive class whose hard work and creativity created the society they have come to parasitize.

The sound of the truck coming interrupted those thoughts.

Delivery was a success but he had trouble spinning and had to make a second run for it. The drop ended up being a little off target over on the grass but that keeps the ramp open for an additional delivery or drops of other stuff I might be able to get.

Next priority will be the long overdue maintenance of my driveway and turnaround. I need to get some gravel put down so I’ll be able to get more oil later this winter.

And now I’m set for a while.
Looks nice out there but never going to get out of the 20s today despite the sun. Greenhouse is getting heavenly about now and I need to go up and check on it and see how it fared through the night. And then make a trip out to do some shopping.

One other matter of concern is a coming snow event this evening. Possibly 3 to 6 inches overnight. At least my schedule is more compatible with the timing. 3 to 11 shift so I won’t have to go out early to dig my way out or park off property as would be the case for an earlier shift.

A quote from Ray about the media breathlessly fixating on an approaching tropical depression. It’s pretty funny.

Big joke to yankees though. Interstates buried under ice and snow for weeks on end. All the globull warmers laughed about it, Never heard it spoke of once on the Weatherchannel or Accuweather maybe once. Hell on earth and it doesn’t get a mention. But let a storm form off the coast of Africa heading west and its all hands on deck 24/7 coverage of the pending doom.

Norseman’s Hell Cometh 2

1/6/22 – 11:01 PM

Looked out shortly after dark and the roof of my car was white. It had begun. If I was going to get my shopping in it was now or never.

And probably a mistake.

It was coming down fast when I headed up and the roads were already covered. I stopped at the pet shop to get a box of frozen fuzzy mice and cichlid pellets. Then into Walmart for groceries. Hash browns were out of stock. Got my other stuff and got out of there. Decided not to go to Aldi’s or the other store where they might have hash browns—or might not. Getting home was more important. I can always dice up a potato and fry it for breakfast.

It was coming down at at least an inch per hour and my car was coated again. The drive home was worrisome and I thought I might make it all the way in or at least to the cemetery. But I couldn’t even get up the hill on the short bend at the bottom of Greenlick Road. After two tries I defaulted to the parking lot at the church and walked in. Good thing I didn’t get a whole lot of groceries and I put the mice and feed pellets in my coat pocket before going into the other store -because I didn’t want to be bothered taking them to the car. I would have forgotten them.

It was a cold walk up. By tomorrow the snow ploughs will have cleaned off the road and I might not have to shovel to get in and out depending on the total accumulation. 3 inches or less so far and it stopped shortly after I made it in.

But it starts up again shortly and could put down more through the night. And the temperature will plummet to the upper teens by daybreak and won’t recover much through the day. Predicted high is 23. I got my greenhouse heating issue resolved just in time.

1/7/22 – 10 AM

It was hard enough to get out of bed let alone venture out into that hellscape the outdoors has become.

A very different / difficult world out there than it was prior to yesterday let alone a few days ago when the other picture was taken. I got my wood stockpile in and tarped just in time!

House is down to 65 degrees even with the 180 degree boiler temperature. And it would be worse if I hadn’t turned it up to maximum wintertime setting. It was even idling when I was outside retrieving a bucket about an hour ago. Probably the best I’m going to do in this weather. Thankfully the duration will be relatively short.

Time is also short and I have to walk a ways to get to my car.

1/8/22 – 4:42 AM

Getting out of here was a cluster.

Never got around to shoveling. Just don’t feel up to it in this cold. Did get the furnace loaded on the way out.

There was a guy who slid off the road on the bend at the bottom of my hill. About where the big walnut tree fell and blocked the way during the back to back hurricanes in the fall of 18. Good thing I didn’t make it all the way up. He had to back down the hill in the afternoon to get out of the way of the mail man who was skidding down when he tried to stop at my mailbox. At least that was the story.

Cleaning off the car was a major ordeal. My fingers got frozen in the process and I had to thaw them out. Then stopped again on the way to clean the ice off the wiper blades so they’d clear the windshield better. And called in to inform I’d be late. Roads were still bad in places. Mostly slush or black ice and I had to be careful least I end up in the ditch like the man near my place.

Road better coming home in spite of another burst of snow late evening that laid down a couple inches of powdery stuff easy to brush off. Trouble light on gas gauge came on so I had to stop to fill up again. Used the $20 I held back yesterday for grocery money.

It’s gone down a little.

No thanks to him.

Was fitting to listen to a Thomas Sowell discussion on how intellectuals have messed up everything. They are more or less the people who are pulling the puppet strings that move this old fool to do his magic.

Was able to park at the cemetery tonight. Will put off shoveling until tomorrow homecoming when it will be in the 30s. The reloaded the firebox. It was actually idling at the time. Yet it was 63 F*king degrees indoors so I ran oil through the night and it was only up to 66 when I switched back around 4am. I look forward to the departure of this cold snap.

Norseman’s Hellscape


Got a brief reprieve on Sunday with 40 degree temperatures and rain that took away the snow and allowed me to get in and park as I normally do without having to do any digging. And my heating system caught up.

That was short lived. Overnight it slipped as the next wave of frigid air moved in and never caught up through the day on Monday. And there was also a burst of snow yesterday evening that put down a light coating on everything including the back roads. Fortunately it was still passable and I got in ok last night again. Was down to some sizable chunks and coals and I reloaded with

Wood and coal.

Inside it was already down to 64 and continued to drop to 61 by morning. I it may never recover until the weather moderates again and the way things are looking this may just be the way it’s going to be from here on whenever it gets extremely cold like this. Maybe I should try bleeding my radiators to see if that improves the transfer of heat. But I fear it’s just the nature of my poorly insulated structure itself that is the problem.

Got down to 12 last night and now up to 16 currently. Very reluctant to get out of bed going on noon but it’s now or never. And give the idea just mentioned a try after breakfast. Sun is out so I’ll check the greenhouse later when it should be warm enough inside to thaw the door so I don’t have to risk damaging the East end one like I did the west when I forced it one time on a frigid night many years ago.

Did a wellness check in the garage last night. Just the planters of the fig trees and some water in a pan that was unfrozen told me the turts on the back end of the garage that is several feet below ground level were ok so I didn’t uncover them. I moved the figs back from the door more to where I had left then after shoving them in back in November. May get the three big Gulfs and bring them down in their crate to keep until March. That way I don’t have to worry about them getting flooded or freezing to death after waking up and moving around during a warm spell.

Be nice if I can get the house warmer today. Florida Room has been dropping into the low 60s so I got the tropical turts in the heated cage setup again. Eventually I’m going to have to get or build another one because the  Precision Cages are a bit small for that many and are going to be given to the snakes when those are grown up.

1/12/22 – 12PM

Update on yesterday.

Never went anywhere as planned. However I did make it up to the greenhouse to eyeball things and all is well there. The Modine is maintaining the set temperature and no sign of cold damage to plants yet. And the three Gulf Coasts were hunkered down safe and sound.

This was about as good as it got yesterday afternoon though temperatures began to rise overnight and it’s in the low 40s today.

My heating system struggled all day to get the living room up into the low 60s and it’s still only reading 65 presently. And that’s with the boiler at 180. It’s probably a combination of inefficient heat transfer and the inertia of the thermal mass of the structure that lost a lot of heat during the frigid conditions. There seems to be a lag time with this system which performs better in milder weather and can even keep up at lower settings then.

It never got above 70 on this end of the FL Room though the liquid crystal thermometer one one of the new vertical cages was reading 72. It is warmer up in that corner near the shop light and away from the breeze of the ceiling fan that moves the air around the Table area.

Turts have been living in the Precision Cage for several days now. I’m thinking of putting them back on the Table for a day or two until the next cold snap.

Old Tom is looking good. I was wondering if that was an appropriate label for him but having arrived as a kitten along with his two siblings in 2015—he is going on 7 years which makes him middle aged by feline longevity. I think they live a little longer than dogs which are pushing the limits around 15 years. Cats sometimes make it to 20.

Less of a Hellscape out there today. The thermometer in the living room has now hit 67 which is a degree of the thermostat setting. So I’m finally catching up. Running the stove to make breakfast and then bake the remainder of the ribs to take with me to work this evening helped. Hoping now it will keep up and maybe I’ll be able to turn the boiler down to save fuel. I’ve started bleeding the radiators  beginning with the bathroom and kitchen last night. Need to do the baseboards elsewhere in the house which have to be done via faucets on the plumbing in the basement with a hose to the floor drain.

Going to do that and start water changes. Then visit the greenhouse before I go.

Norseman’s Hellscape 2

1/13/22 – 11:22 PM

Yesterday was a pretty decent one in the Room. Got the watering and feeding done while I had ribs in the oven to take to work that evening.

Also did water changes for the kitchen tanks and used the waste water for soaking the jungle cacti and watering house plants.

Was gorgeous in the Room. Put the turts back on the Table and did a little work in the big Vivarium pinning up the Hypnum moss that came loose from the background and using one of my surplus Vriesia sucre plants to plug the remaining open hole in the background.

That’s where had one before I removed it to the greenhouse after it bloomed and may even be an offset of it.

The Squares were frolicking that afternoon. Time passed quickly and I was in a crunch again having to let plans for the greenhouse go and leave in a rush with barely time to load up the firebox on the way out. Shame I keep letting the outside go and nice days like we had yesterday are getting more the exception than the rule now.

1/15/22 – 1:52 PM

Ugly heart wrenching day yesterday.

I’ll spare the details for time sake. At least it wasn’t anything as horribly disgusting as dealing with the S-show on Wed. That one made me take a shower and change onto a set of fresh scrubs for the trip home. When I went back on Friday I dressed for the possibility of having to deal with snow again and took my uniform in a bag to change into when I got there and change back at the end of the shift.

It got cold last night. Was already dropping to 64 when I got in and to 62 by morning. The overnight lows were in the teens. So I ran on oil again to get it up to 66 by late morning.

The calm before the storm.

Another one!

The timing is bad in regard to having to go out to work on Monday so I”ll preposition my car at the end of the driveway so there’s not much shoveling to do to get out of here. Then I have Tuesday to dig a way back in.

Getting up into the 20s now.

Got a lot to do today. Get the furnace reloaded and turn up the boiler to maximum setting. Make sure firewood is well covered and pick up anything laying around outside that I might need in the coming days least it’s get buried and impossible to find. The snow cover may last for a while.

At least January is halfway gone.

I’m hoping we’ll get a decent thaw and some mild weather come February.

Snowpocalypse 21

1/16/22 – 1:51 PM

Went to the reptile show today.

Made it late afternoon.
Got skunked on the isopods and springtails. But got a good deal on large pinkies for the Sinaloan and fuzzies for the Apalachicola. And a jar of forest tortoise chow to try with the Rhinoclemmys.

Speaking of—someone has a pair of manni for sale. Probably wild caught.

Kwangtung turtles!
If I saw these well started juvies for that price back in the early days when I was getting into Asian species I’d run home and get more money. But I’m less keen on getting into those now. Maybe in the future after I get another pen built and an indoor accommodation for winter. Not sure if these will hibernate like JPTs & CBTs.

Resisted the temptation to get a pair of Mississippi Mud Turtles—going for $30 ea. Want some but later when I have appropriate indoor setups—or can get them in the summer and cycle them to the local climate. They do hibernate—terrestrially like striped and eastern muds.

Standing’s Day Gecko. Something you don’t see much at the local shows or local trade for that matter. Makes for an interesting along with other things seen.

Those tanks and the metal stand I was interested in were there again but I didn’t bother the guy because I have doubts about getting them home and making space for them right now is going to be a lot of trouble with the basement in disarray and a storm coming on.

In my car in the parking lot.
The crowd is already thinning out. Storm is coming. Going to have lunch—zucchini strips I bought at the show and then hightail it for home.

Update 5:43 PM

It’s coming.

Got my car prepositioned at the end of the driveway ready for tomorrow so I won’t have to do very much digging to get out of here tomorrow morning.

Firebox is fully loaded and wood pile securely covered. Heard amounts up to 18” are possible. Have 3 big chunks set aside and covered for some of the coming nights where the lows may go down to the single digits.

Late in the week is worrisome. My system couldn’t get above 64 until late this afternoon with a low in the teens last night. I’m hoping it’s because of some air in my radiators. Bled the one upstairs zone with the faucet in the FL Room last night. Will do the other one today but need to move the bike that is hung in that area. Have to shift it somewhere else because that’s where I want to put the next set of tanks.

Going on dusk it’s really coming down now.
Sleety wintry mix turning over to big flakes. Was really slippery when I ventured out a short while ago to search for the big muck bucket tub and other things I might want to get before they’re buried. Forgot to retrieve the skimmer net that is laying by the pond and couldn’t bulge the empty ceramic planters I drop my figs into for the summer. Those are frozen fast to the rubber pavers and I hope they won’t crack. Should have moved them under the awning and inverted them long ago.

Not keen on doing much of anything this evening. Not even dinner. Been feeling somewhat lousy since the show. Hope it isn’t you know what and if it is I didn’t get it there. No fever or cough. Just that icky feeling like I’ve had a few times ago. Will have to play it by ear tomorrow.

Will have to play a lot of things by ear tomorrow. Will just relax a little bit and look into something light for dinner and if I’m feeling up to it some light tasks in the Room and Redding up.

Update 11:36 PM

Snow has abated after putting down a couple inches.

But more is on the way. According to the forecast 80 to 100 percent probabilities through the hours of the night and through the day tomorrow which may make getting to work interesting—if I am able to go in. I may need to be swabbed which will also be interesting as far as getting around tomorrow is concerned. And then getting my car back in if I have to be quarantined. Still got a sore throat and I’ve been hacking to clear a little phlegm now and then. Will have to call in and report my condition if it does not go away by tomorrow morning.

Fun times in the Age of Crisis.

Spent the evening working on last year’s Diaries. All the way to September now and I’m ready to do an accelerated final leg before going back through and trimming the superfluous content of earlier entries. Didn’t feel much like eating. Not my planned dinner or default plan and defaulted to a bowl of oatmeal before going down to the basement to bleed the remaining zone of the radiator plumbing.

That one didn’t produce any bubbling at all so I might have fixed it last night and it took all this time for the system to catch up. 67 at last glance; a degree shy of the setting on the living room thermostat. Or it’s just the result of the rising temperatures outside. To the upper 20s through the day and where it is now. And the next round of snow is pushed back to 2AM. Quite alright with me if it keeps getting pushed back and fizzles out like so many other storms in recent months. What worries me now are the lows later in the week—single digits and a zero degree night and a hint the cold weather is going to remain the rule for a while. It will be miserable going if my heating system doesn’t keep up with that.

To exhausted to do much else so I’ve already shut down the Room for the night. Will aim to make up for it tomorrow.

One more challenge awaits. Must top off the firebox but I loath the idea of going out there again. Will require suiting up in my snow boots and parka.

Snowpocalypse 21-2

1/17/22: Late afternoon

My symptoms persist. Had to report them and call off to get tested and cleared for work or go on quarantine depending on the results.

Had a tough time getting out even parked the short distance of a car length from the end. Hard to get traction and almost gave up.

Then the roads were still pretty bad in places and the going was slow getting through the way I normally go through Kecksburg to the crossroads at the airport. Arrived 10 minutes late at 2 PM but there were two long lines of cars and I got into one. On the way there I got texts from Geiger asking me if I was snowed in. I answered and told her what was going on.

Finally got to the head of the line and got swabbed. It was awful like the times before. A real skinny plastic stick with a tiny swab on the end that goes easily to the back of the throat which got me thinking about the ones we do for the send out test. I think they may be inadequate because they are too big to go beyond the back of the nostril. First time I got a kit with one of those I actually pushed it all the way back like the smaller one and to this day I feel bad about that. Later I was told it wasn’t necessary to go that far and there are people who can’t even tolerate the POC that swabs the inside of the nares. Have to wonder if they are cutting corners for lack of resources. Since I don’t have access to the results of send out tests there’s no way to tell like with the POCs I run.

Easier ride home going 130 to 119 through Youngwood & New Stanton. Road was bad again between those two towns but at least it’s level ground the whole way through there and it was smooth sailing to the Mount Pleasant exit.

Geiger and Laura were texting frequently on that group text so I finally texted them a picture of the Doughboy monument in the traffic circle at the center of town to let them know I was ok. Turns out they were texting each other but I I didn’t know until I got home and could read the texts.

Took White Bridge Road as a short cut between 31 and 982 as it’s through the flat bottomland of Jacobs Creek and to my surprise it was better than the highway going back up the other side of the dip to the hill before the intersection at Laurelville.

Was nice to get back in. The trip took a lot out of me and I didn’t feel like parking down at the cemetery where I’d have to shovel my way in to park under the spruce tree on the turnaround. On top of shoveling to get into my own place to bring the car in when this event is over and done. It has stopped for a while but more is on the way later tonight through tomorrow morning so I’ll wait. Brought it in to where I parked yesterday and that’s good enough for now. Thought about shoveling but I just wanted to get in and take it easy for a while.

I’m thinking I might have it this time because it’s sore down in my chest though the stuffiness seems to be going away. Almost hope it is a mild case of Covid that will test positive and be of short duration because this is the third time getting tested and I don’t like calling off work for false alarms. It does feel more like a cold this time around and who knows maybe that’s what it is. The ethical dilemma of having to err on the side of overkill sucks.

At least I’m not going in and clogging up the ER and exposing other people who have enough problems with other things like the ones who could have gone to a drive through.

Got my mind set on nicer things like improvements of the Vivaria and Florida Room setups and the greenhouse when I finally get back out there. Hoping I’ll feel up to that tomorrow. Right now I’m trying to get up enough gumption to go out and load up the firebox again. I put a little in before going out to keep the fire alive and I need to keep it going so this beautiful trend of keeping up does not peeter out—at least not until the next cold snap comes.

Update 1/18/22 – 3 PM

Cleared to go back to work. Feeling better too. Probably a cold. Typically 3 to 7 days in duration but can be as short as two. Since I’ve had lots of exposure it makes sense that I might throw it off quicker than average. That’s the way it’s been the other times.

Too bad they don’t have a wide spectrum test for multiple viruses—other coronaviruses, rhinovirus and RSV. We sometimes swab kids for RSV.

Guess I’m tough as nails when it comes to Covid. I just can’t see how I could avoid not getting infected this long even using protective equipment as it’s not fool proof. If it’s not the vaccines it must be natural immunity or a combination of both.

Now I have to dig my way in to get the car turned around so I can get back out to go shopping and back to work tomorrow. Also get the heating system ready for the coming cold. It’s already slipping a few degrees because I’ve let it go since last night. Hope I still have enough viable coals to ignite the new firewood.

The Coldpocalypse

1/20/22 – 10:17 AM

It’s the calm before the storm all over again.

I came home last night to a decently warm house thanks to a mild day. I parked out near the end of the driveway again but a little farther to get a run for it on a level stretch rather than trying to start out on in incline that was my mistake previously.

Not looking forward to what is coming. The intense minus two cold that is coming is going to suck the heat right out through my walls. On top of the tedious task of loading the box with smaller pieces which are going to burn through quicker. I’m going to have to set up another delivery for next month and get my saws working again.

1/21/22 – 1:43 PM

It’s here.

The most suck ass day of the year and it’s only the beginning. Finally dropped below 60 degrees in the living room. The outside furnace is not keeping up. I’m going to have to go out and feed it soon so I don’t loose the fire. I’m tempted to run the oil furnace a while to catch up but don’t want to burn up my supply of that precious substance least there come a time when I might really need it. So I will be trying to tough it out through the next week or two until this deep cold snap abates.

It’s noon and I’m still in bed reluctant to get out from under the covers. Luckily I have my tropical turtles and the two baby snakes in the heated Precision Cage setups. My own creature comfort issue makes me think of Uncle Budd who often laid around all day because he didn’t want to endure a chilly house. The conditions were ok by my standards but he was old and on blood thinners and much more sensitive to cold like many elderly people. He is in a well maintained care facility where he can live out the rest of his days. Hopefully before things get to the point of total infrastructure breakdown that it might be impossible to keep such places supplied with ample utilities as well as food, medicine and other basic necessities.

1/25/22 – 3 PM

Time crunch again yesterday but I made it to work on time. Also the more seasonable weather is making it a little easier for the furnace to keep up. I’ve struck a new balance of 63 degrees with a 160 degree boiler temperature which seems to be a default equilibrium when its in the 30s outside and it’s easier on fuel consumption.

1/27/22 – 10:32 AM

There goes the fronds on the palmettos.

This was the actual back porch temperature this morning. And it might have been lower since the house was down to 51 and then rebounded to 53 around daybreak. Then back down to 52. Florida Room was in the mid 50s when I went down to turn the aquarium light on and do the misting routine.

Was running the box heater again which made my bedroom upstairs more comfortable and that’s where I took my breakfast. I’m thinking maybe something like that to boost temp of the FL Room a little but I’ll see what I can do with the heat mat under the Turtle Table and the addition of a few more lights first.

Now I’m wondering how much of my heat loss is due to a poorly insulated structure and how much from loss of efficiency in the heat transfer from the outside furnace to the house plumbing? I bumped the Mahoning up to 180 last night and there were still some logs left in the firebox and the blower was off when I fed it this morning. Maybe I need to bleed the radiators some more or there is an issue with the pump on the oil furnace. Had that before and the system still worked by convection but the performance was poor.

Only put a half dozen pieces of wood into the box and that should get me to later in the day as I often don’t load until late afternoon or evening and it’s going to climb back to the low 30s. That saved time and I was able to make my appointment on time as opposed to being in a rush and getting there 5 or 10 minutes late as I often do.

February Thaw

February might be better.

So says Ray from the Land of Proxmire where it’s been been Norseman’s Hell on steroids nearly the whole time. I must concede that if I had his weather along with my current heating issues I’d be doomed.

1/31/22 – 9:04 AM

Warmer days coming?

I hope so!

Lost ground overnight. Down to 56 this morning and I’m running the electric heater in my bedroom again. It was in the teens and the boiler was turned down to 150 so it’s hard to tell what happened—though given that the oil furnace was able to raise the temperature of the house—the problem is most likely in the heat exchanger.

I’ll be so glad to see Summer again. At least the winter is going fast. So far.

2/1/22 – 2:06 PM

First day of the month.

It stayed about 57 through the night and is slowly making its way up to 60 degrees with an outside temperature pushing 50.

The boiler setting is still at 140 so it kept the house from dropping even though I did not switch over to oil and the overnight low was in the low 20s or teens. It’s hard to tell how much of the rise is from the system catching up and how much is due to the rising outside temperature and solar gain.

It’s sunny outside.

Mixed up some chow for the Squares & Areolatas. Forest Tortoise pellets blocks, T-Rex pellets and Fluker’s sticks. Good low protein diet that compensates for the lack of natural plant leaves in the winter and they like it. Good appetites are a good sign they remain healthy despite the chilly conditions in the Room at night which drops below 60 degrees now. The heated cages give them 80 degree plus warmth during the day and it was a wise decision to set that up.

Frying up a salmon filet to have for lunch with a salad after a light breakfast of oatmeal. Squeezing breakfast and lunch together dropping the usual heavy stuff which is the rule for getting me through an afternoon at work when I go in at 11.

2/8/22 – 11:30 PM

View from the hearth / heart of my home.

I thought of the article that was the start of the Norseman’s series today. “When Hell Freezes Over” and how this winter is something like that one was. I’ve allowed myself to be lulled into a false sense of security after a couple easy winters and now here I am again.

Going to have to replace the door gasket again among other upgrades this season.

View of the turnaround which I scattered ash on before going up to the greenhouse. Went out to search for a new snow scoop and some salt pellets after going inside to feed the turts in the Room and rest a bit. Came up empty at Tractor Supply and then tried Busy Beaver which did not have the snow scoop but did have huge buckets of salt—but the $30 some price tag put me off so I decided to try Walmart across the way where I was going for some groceries and cash back for gas money. They didn’t have any so I came back there to get a bucket before those were sold out.

If I flumdiddle around it will be gone in a day and I really want to get some of this stuff on the ice to work on it tomorrow while it’s 50 degrees!

Also checked out the 2x6s I want to use to mount the pvc manifold for a central air system in the Florida Room.

And got a roll of metal strapping to secure those to the I beam when I finally get around to bringing a few home.

Made a stop at the drive thru at McDonalds to try the new Land, Air & Sea sandwich.

$15 bucks for that with a large order of fries. Holy shit holee!

Maybe not so ridiculous since you actually get three sandwiches that you take apart to make this one. And throw away the buns for the Mc Chicken sandwich and the Fillet o Fish. Or repurpose those for something else. Thought about that like I thought about just combining the Big Mac and the fish for a Surf & Turf and take the Mc Chicken to work tomorrow. But the hell with that. I wanted to try the triple combo and that extra bread will provide some BTUs whether I burn it in the firebox or metabolize it myself.

With the inflation the way it’s going there may come a day I could use bundles of US Dollars for fuel like they did Deutschmarks in Weimar Germany! YIKES!!!!

Thank You President Beavis!

Actually I hope you don’t go down in history as the President who made it economical to burn money to heat a house.

Now if you could send us all the paper generated by the Federal government we might be able to replace coal in my region of the country!

February Thaw 2

2/10/22 – 1:45 PM

Hope for spring.
The snow event fizzled and the melt off continues. The salt I tossed on the turnaround is working and I’m hoping the delivery tomorrow will be a success.

Not much accomplished today other than feeding turts and water change and wellness check for the newts. The little gray one is not thriving so I separated it. The remaining 5 are all plump and may breed this spring.

2/11/22 – 2:28 PM

On the heels of another Bad Day at Black Rock things are finally looking up. Successful firewood delivery going on noon just a short while ago.

The back story—I called the supplier yesterday to touch base in the time crunch going out the door and found out their big truck was down for repair. Almost devastating news being I was nearing the end of my current stockpile and there was no telling what the weather might do in the time I was waiting for them to get their big one up and running again. Then I remembered they offered the option of a smaller truck back in the beginning so I asked about that and it was a go. And only $280 instead of $480 for the bigger one.

It was also easier to get the smaller truck right up on the ramp to dump so it turned out to be a good call. It even made it up over the ice sheet that persists in spite of half a bucket of melting salts I put on it since yesterday. I was even planning for the possibility of dumping it on the turnaround and moving it by hand. Luckily that didn’t happen and I’m now good to go for a while.

This time he delivered mostly big rounds with a few pieces of split wood and no scrap. Now I have a vision for how I might manage this from here on. Move or use up the remaining split wood and get another small truck of that dumped on the same spot beside the big stuff and do it that way from now on. The driver offered to dump up on the pad but I told him to just put it on the edge on the upper end of the ramp. I may go for putting it on the ramp in the future to have it closer and the small stuff to the side and just wheelbarrow it around and stack it along the retaining wall by the furnace to have it close at hand when I come home late or it’s cold or raining and I don’t want to be out there any longer than necessary. That’s usually every night when I get home around midnight or later.

Loaded up with some split wood and mostly scrap with a few smaller rounds in the back
of the box. Will burn as much of that as I can to conserve the better stuff for colder weather that is coming and leisurely start cutting trees and old tops I want to get rid of instead of having to harvest that stuff in desperation to keep my head above water as it was looking like it was going to be just hours ago.

2/17/22 – 6:59 PM

Guess this is it.
The February Thaw for real.
Yesterday’s revelations put me in a really deep funk in spite of the nice weather that turned wet overnight. It was eating at me all day and on into the night. Was working a rare 11 to 7P yesterday plans to go to the New City Buffet after a quick shopping trip to get a few odds and ends and some cash. The original plan was to run to the bank on the way out to get money for that and to address my gas gauge warning light that came on the previous night on the ride home. But you know how that goes. I was pretty busy catching up on the Room and before I knew it another time crunch was looming. So I defaulted to using the card to get gas on the way out and get cash with my groceries after work.

My attempt to get gas at the station in Laurelville was a no go because all the pumps were down.

A broken line or something.
As if the sticker shock wasn’t bad enough. Luckily I was able to make it to the BP in town and that gas was still at $3.59 so I just filled the tank all the way to take advantage in the lag of that station raising its prices. Which I figured they would before the day was through and it was at $3.69 as I passed on the way out of town in the evening.

Was a good day for a while until it got busy late afternoon. We had Moe’s catered by someone—maybe a drug rep. Ate early since I was only 8 hours that day and wanted to space out my meals.

Dinner plans got skewed by forgetting to bring a change of clothes along plus staying over a while because we got slammed that evening and my relief was tied up in a cardiac arrest that came in about an hour before shift change. And a whole lot people in the waiting room.

By time I was headed out of there—the idea of going shopping and then to the Buffet was looking less promising. Going on 8PM there was only one hour til closing time. In spite of all the malaise of the day I was determined to celebrate life this evening. To the point of waiving perfection—so what if I couldn’t dress up. I’d still go. But in the end I settled for something I could whip up that wouldn’t take to much time or trouble to whip up when I got home.

And there it is. Some microwavable shrimp fried rice, egg rolls and green beans to make something as good as what I might have gotten at the China Buffet closer to home. Added some shrimp of my own and had leftovers for Friday when I go back.

Beware the Ides of March

March is coming and the world’s on fire and I can’t help thinking about the warning of the Soothsayer on Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”.

2/27/22 – 1:03 PM

Last day’s in Paradise.

That’s what it feels like today. I shouldn’t have watched that apocalyptic speech by Glenn Beck who is pretty much telling everyone to head for the hills to ride out Hell on Earth Cyberwar Armageddon.

He’s telling us to have cash on hand, keep our gas tanks full, fill up our tanks of propane and home heating oil and stock up on food. If nothing happens before spring I might get to enjoy the greenhouse and maybe Florida Room one more season. But the enthusiasm is lacking when there is a sword of Damocles hanging over your head and I didn’t need Glenn Beck to make me aware of it!

Noticed a comment by “Ray’s  Sister”: Sarah; that the world situation is sapping her enthusiasm to write. I’ve been there too and it’s eating me again this morning since I got up.

Took all morning to get out of bed and do breakfast. Last of the steelhead fillet from Sam’s. How much longer will those be available?

Bypassed the Florida Room for the Greenhouse. Sprayed down the plants and spaded up and watered the Square Foot (4’x4’) garden for salad greens.

Going to try to reactivate it after all these years and start growing cool weather vegetables—lettuce, chard, onions and carrots etc and get a couple tomato plants going early.

Florida Boxies are up.

Will have to make a decision on what to do with them. Maybe bring them down and watch them a few days and make sure they are ok and then put them in the garage to hibernate another month until April. That’s when the Greenhouse will be warm enough for them all the time.

Being up here has immense therapeutic value. It’s life enhancing.

I resent those who want to take it away from me on grounds of the greater goods of social justice and saving the planet. Especially the ones with fame and fortune who lecture me from their multi million dollar mansions or between flying on private jets to and from climate conferences. Or after flying up the California coast for a cheeseburger like might on rare occasion take a spin in my Honda Civic to Dairy Queen for an Oreo Blizzard. Which I haven’t done in a long time. I don’t eat out much anymore and it has nothing to do with Covid.

And I haven’t taken a vacation to my dream getaway in Apalachicola since 2008!

I think I’ve sacrificed enough. I think it’s time to sacrifice the Green New Deal on an alter dedicated to the “Earth Mother of Greed”—Ayn Rand.

Ides of March 2

3/14/22: Late evening

By late afternoon it was going fast.

Rosyside pool.

Upper pool.

Cleaned up the rock garden by the falls.

Nice colony of Himalayan Maidenhair fern. It’s really cool because it not only resembles closely the Venus Maidenhair that lives in the greenhouse—it’s also evergreen and does not die back to the ground like the native species.

Snow Trillium coming up.

3/15/22 – 2:21 AM

It’s going fast.

I thought it would stick around for a few days but most of the snow was gone by late afternoon. Was sunny and high 50s. Did more leaf removal from the rock garden between the DD & upper pool all the way up to the tub at the head of the watercourse system.

Made it to the greenhouse late day.

Polydactyl Fern shriveled again.

Rehydrating it by letting it soak in the pond for several hours.

Unplugged the Modine to save fuel.

Already down a bit but I’m going to make it to spring. Especially when I’m taking the system offline during milder weather. Question now is whether I’ll be able to afford fuel to get my house through the next winter—let alone the greenhouse. I may end up shifting to a cold greenhouse by running the heater at 40 degrees and relying more on solar gain. That will mean giving up on some plants. Or keeping them in the Florida Room.  That is not very expensive to run as far as the lighting goes. Probably way cheaper than the hot water heater which I’m going to replace with a tankless one.

I’m not going to get into politics right now because today has been the most upbeat one in a while between the accomplishments at the pond and listening to a good interview earlier of Neil’s daughter Rylla. Plus the stuff about Tulsi and Candice.

Travel plans fell through.

Maybe tomorrow—though I might just shop local and stick around home and get more done.

Did my morning routine for the Room in the evening after dinner and fed the furnace on the way out to the greenhouse to pull the Polydactyl Fern out of the water and check the temperature. It’s 50 degrees which is the set minimum and ten degrees above the outside temperature so I’m going to save on propane.

This makes for a satisfying end to a productive day that also included a major tidying up of the clutter of books and papers in my bedroom. Looking to continue that tomorrow which will be the official start of spring cleaning and a new thread.

At 2 hours past midnight the Ides of March are here. Hopefully it won’t be an interesting day otherwise.

Ides of March 3

It begins.

Opening the tubs.

Pond comes to life.

Goldfish & Palomino Redbreast.

Lower falls.

Rosyside pool.

Reticulated Iris & pale yellow crocus.

Rock garden by upper pool.

Thomas J. Catus!

Pursuit of the Perfect Day


Yesterday was almost it.

It wound have been the perfect day if I had everything in order. Getting closer as far as the pond site goes.

With the Florida Room. Misting and watering and gave turts first feeding of dandelion and chickweed this season. Then I got my uniforms washed and hung out to dry before moving on to the greenhouse. There I watered plants with the jugs of weak tea and filled the empties laying about with rainwater. I decided to open the barrels now since the danger of severe freezing weather is past. It went down to 12 degrees last cold snap a week ago but the duration was so short that it didn’t freeze hard enough to damage the catch barrel at the greenhouse or the jugs at the cellar door I forgot to bring in.

And that prompted my decision to open the 300s and the 2 patio tubs on Friday. And I put the adult Gulf Coasts out that day also.

Yesterday’s significant accomplishment happened late in the day. I cut back the Rhyming Bamboo along the inlet to open up the view for a good photo shot and to start the process of eradication. Will start digging out the rhizomes in the coming days working around the clumps of daffodils and Lycoris which I’ll mark so I can lift the bulbs while they are dormant this summer to get them out of the way and get at the pieces that are intertwined.

Not the perfect solution but I can still win the battle with persistent removal and a nuclear option against the main body of the colony outside the perimeter. Probably going to cut it back and cover the area with old carpet to cut off access to the sun. Might also salt the ground before I cover it.

It’s nice to get that opened up.

In addition to that I got another article published last night. Then late after going out to feed the furnace and bump the boiler temperature up a little I remembered that I forgot to redirect the downspout back into the catch barrel at the greenhouse or remove the plug to allow flow to the next barrel—so I had to go up to do that late night.

April the 5th Month of Winter


Saturday morning.

To think it’s coming up on the middle of April this week. So much for the Ides of March—which I’m sure were troubling somewhere in the world like Ukraine or in my own neck of the woods whenever I passed a gas station and looked at the prices.

The middle of March turned out to be anything but apocalyptic on my home front as I looked back to compare it to the present moment. And it was warmer. A few 70 degree days with a respectable showing of “Winter Flowers” along with the waterfalls of the watercourse that I managed to get up and running again.

And that looked like a good place to wrap up the current edition of the Diaries which I’m putting together today at the expense of time that could have been better spent doing even more things worth writing about.

Like the Monster Tank Project and a shopping trip to get useful tools and material for that. And I was going to visit Uncle Budd since I found out the care facility is open again. But it’s now past 2 PM and I haven’t even gotten started on anything here yet—beyond writing and basic morning maintenance routine in the Florida Room. It’s dawning on me that I’ve got to get this issue finished and out the door like I need to resolve the issues with the monster tank and get that up and running to clear the back burner and be free to move forward with other things. And to start enjoying the company of other people again apart from my real job and online correspondence and text messaging.

There are a lot more people who would like to come see the Florida Room in person and I’ve got friends from work: Ricky and Zack and Trey interested in doing a few fishing trips. That’s going to be pricey because of Energy Crisis 2.0—though lately prices have been dropping.

This was where it was when I filled up last night on the way home.

It was even better that morning at the station in Laurelville on my way in but unfortunately I was too pressed for time to stop. I’m guessing somebody’s dipping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve again to make his party look good for the coming Midterms.

For what it’s worth I’ll take advantage of the situation for my own self interest to enjoy life and the fellowship of others looking for the same while we can. Cultivating good memories and reasons to to live on when things get really bad. And reason to strive to upend the agenda of those who are doing their worst to make things bad.

Human Freedom and Flourishing above all!

Hard times and sacrifice and those who demand it be damned!


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