The weekend

September 28, 2020

The moon looked ready for Halloween Saturday night with a strange
orange tint. It was a little hazy out but the picture should give you
an idea of what that looked like.

The following morning the clouds and sky put on a similar display
for the fall season. Not sure what was going on but later Sunday the
clouds opened up and we got a good rain. Thinking that might help
at least a little to ease the drought.

Sunday I heard a sound that got my Navy training going so I
grabbed the camera and got a shot when this old war plane flew
over. They make a sound like no other and although I wasn’t sure
what kind of plane it was, I knew it was old military.

One of the feral kittens was playing hide and seek again. Thought
he was invisible and seemed surprised I looked right at him when I
talked to him. The feral kittens are entertaining. And I know, it
doesn’t take much to distract me.

And a squirrel was on top of an old gate getting his fill of the
overgrowth. By the way this one was eating he should be a lot bigger.
Or perhaps he’s getting ready for winter and will plump up before
cold weather hits. Plus he kept the feral cats busy as they were
watching his every move.

Finally, we have someone coming today to check the furnace and tell
us if anything is wrong with it. If there is he’s pretty good at
quoting a price to keep the place cozy this winter. The newer furnaces
may be more efficient but they sure don’t last as long as the old
ones did.

Enjoy our Monday as it’s here anyway. Now for more coffee.
Comments are always welcome.


Almost dry

September 12, 2020

We’re into day six of the rainstorm from hell. Not sure how much
rain we got, but it’s a lot. On the bright side, today is supposed to
be the last day and we can look forward to some dry days. Tired of
petting wet feral cats. And as of an hour ago our basement remains
dry.

Perhaps today is the day the camera gets to see some sunshine and
use. At least that’s the plan. We all know how those work out
sometimes. The critters are probably as tired of the liquid love from
above as we are so may get some good pictures.

Since we live on a hill a check of the banks out front will be in
order to ensure they’re still there. A glance from the front porch
says yes but you can only see halfway down the incline. I’m sure the
sidewalk isn’t covered by a landslide but a look wouldn’t hurt.

Earlier today I used the head, came out, and closed the door. Not
much new there but heard a cat making strange noises and couldn’t
figure out where it was. Could hear it but not see it. So imagine my
surprise when I glance towards the bathroom and saw a set of paws
under the door.

Turns out there were two cats who decided to join me this morning
and both got the door shut on them. Now I know why the wife leaves
the door open a crack.

Enjoy our Saturday as tomorrow we’re supposed to be a little warmer
and a lot dryer here. No for more coffee and breakfast.
Comments are always welcome.


Turn it off!

September 11, 2020

Been raining pretty much since Monday and I for one am tired of it.
Has also been about 20 degrees cooler than it was last week when we were dry. But we’re told starting today it should get warmer and dry out.

Don’t have any ducks in the yard yet but believe our drought is
over. The basement is still dry and we won’t have to wash the car
for a few days so there is an up side to all this.

In about 4 and a half hours we’ll start running errands then the
wife has some running to do, and I hope to make it outside without
getting soaked and perhaps get a few more pictures. Just have to
wait and see how that works out.

We have also noticed that the quality of TV programing has gone down
another notch while were busy. Too much ‘reality’ for us. That’s why
we end up watching reruns of shows that first aired decades ago. At
least they make sense.

I still watch local news in short spurts just to hear the weather
guess of the day and the wife usually watches the Today Show also.
I’d rather not listen to someone else tell their opinion on what’s
going on. News shows should be renamed talk shows as far as I’m
concerned.

Finally, I hoping the critters come out to play once the rains stop
and we get a little warmer. Other than the feral cats gathering to
eat there hasn’t been any wildlife around this week. When things get
back to normal the camera will be ready.

Enjoy our Friday as it looks to be good one. Now for some coffee.
Comments are always welcome.


Storm video and more

August 21, 2020

If you’ve ever wondered what 140 mph straight line winds look like,
watch the video above. Our local weather service has updated the
numbers are now saying the winds were that high in Cedar Rapids.

This was during the derecho which hit Iowa on Monday of last week.
We live east of Cedar Rapids where the video was taken and only got
winds of a little over 100 mph here. These storms are something else
and now we’re told that Iowa is prone to such storms. Welcome to
2020.

Not sure what causes these things but hope another doesn’t visit
anytime soon. And we still can’t find the mayonnaise we’ve been
looking for since we had to throw the old bottle out.

On another note, this crow and a few friends, set up a chat fest
in the neighbors old oak tree. Don’t know what they were saying but
they were loud.

This spider web survived the storm and I noticed it now had a leaf
stuck in it. At least I don’t remember seeing a spider pull one into
a web before.

Speaking of webs, this spider has a huge one going around the back
bushes. At least it isn’t anywhere we could walk into it. Said
spider may have a drinking problem as we’ve seen better looking webs.

Enjoy our Friday as we will. Now for some coffee.
Comments are always welcome.


Busy week

August 17, 2020

A week ago today Iowa was hit by a storm called a Derecho and the
effects are still being felt. It has now been estimated that here in
Davenport the wind hit 110 mph and LeClaire had 95 mph winds. This
storm impacted 1.1 million people.

The storm traveled 770 miles and was 220 miles wide. 10 million
acres of crops were destroyed. For those who don’t think in acres,
that’s about 15,625 square miles of lost crops. We went from
thousands without power to a few hundred while clean up is almost
done in some places.

Damage to residential properties, vehicles, and farms will take
longer to get back to normal. On the bright side, we now have enough
firewood for a nasty winter should it come.

And I was informed this morning that we’re going on vacation in
December. Not sure why the wife is thinking tempting fate like that,
but we’ll have to see how things go. So we may be heading south in
the last month of this year.

There was talk going around of two white kittens seen on our
property and we saw the mythical critters yesterday. Still tiny but
definitely white. One looks like a short hair and the other has the
markings of a Siamese cat. We’ll have to keep an eye on them to see
how that turns out.

Enjoy our Monday as we will.
Comments are always welcome.


Little bit of everything

June 20, 2020

Haven’t heard anything on the black bear since he reached the
northern edge of our city. Rumors up to that point were all over
the place. The last one heard is that said bear swam across the
Mississippi River and was now in Illinois.

Yesterday was running from when I woke up until the evening news
started and didn’t get a post out. Did get over to Dads and gave
him his Father’s Day gift while we have coffee. Happy Father’s
Day to all dads tomorrow!

It rained a little last night and we’re supposed to get more
today. Might try getting the mower out and running it over the
lawn. Seems like the mower scares about half the grass and
the other half just laughs.

And got a few more pictures yesterday which haven’t been
uploaded yet and if some turn out we’ll share a few Monday.
It should be no surprise that said pictures are of clouds and
cats. The birds are scarce this year and not sure why.

When the protests first started a young lady was shot and
killed while sitting in a vehicle in our city. Rumors were running wild on that but we heard today that someone has been arrested for the crime. That’s all the local news you didn’t know you wanted to read this morning, you’re welcome.

Enjoy our Saturday and Father’s Day tomorrow. Now for some
coffee and leftover pizza.
Comments are always welcome.


Moon shots

April 9, 2020

Went out to get a picture of the full super moon on the 7th and the
picture above shows what was where should have been. Not a total
loss as the thunder and lightening was a sight to see and hear.

Last night the moon could be seen and still looked full to me so I
took pictures at different settings to see what the difference would
be. This picture is close to how bright the moon was. All pictures
are taken without a tripod.

All pictures are also manual focus so clarity might vary between
shots. These pictures are meant to show the difference settings
make and as such may not be suitable for framing.

With this shot I doubled the shutter speed and while darker, it does
show more detail. Even though the moon was brighter than this I like
this shot better.

So I doubled the shutter speed again and it came out like this. No
other settings were changed and the pictures were taken within a few
minutes of each other. Amazing what changing one setting can do.

On the top picture the f-stop was 5.6, the ISO was 250, and shutter
speed was 1/250 of a second. In the middle picture the shutter speed
was bumped up to 1/500 of a second, and the bottom 1/1000.

Enjoy our Thursday as we will. Now I need more coffee as my cup has
a hole in it.
Comments are always welcome.


It got wet quick

March 28, 2020

Earlier yesterday these two were out trying their best to ignore
each other, or at least it looked that way. The morning was cloudy
yet the critters were out and about.

Later it opened up and poured with thunder so intense it rattled
the windows. After a short nap a news flash came across the TV
screen that said when the storm hit we got over 2 inches of rain
in a half hour and almost 4 inches total.

This morning, still tired after an hour long nap I knew the
basement had to be checked for water. That came back positive. So
turned on the sump pump, got the squeegee, and sucked it up. Went
down an hour later and more seeped in and the process was repeated.

So thought I’d get this post out before going back down to check
when another hour has passed. The water keeps seeping in through
3 or 4 drainings usually before it stops so I figure the last
pumping will probably be around 4 am.

This wouldn’t be such a big deal but if the water gets over an
inch and half said water gets into the water heater. I just can’t
see letting the water heater get flooded as that takes up more of
the day and isn’t good for the water heater.

For now the thunder and lightning has stopped along with the rain,
and we’re OK with that. Enjoy our Saturday as we will after the
clean up. Now for some coffee.
Comments are always welcome.


Super Moon thoughts

March 9, 2020

Went out last night and got a picture of the Full Worm Super Moon and
I’m glad I did as today it has been, and will be, raining. Don’t
think things will clear up enough to get a picture tonight. We’ll have
to wait and see.

Not going over to Dads tomorrow but will wait until Wednesday as the
wife needs the car and I’m not walking that far. Since he liked the
chili I’m going to take over some cheesy potato soup for him to try.

Been wondering what’s going on in Washington as things seem quiet
and that usually foretells of bad news. Either they’re thinking
something up and trying to sneak it by us, or they already did
something they don’t want us to know about.

It’s a given that politicians will play the blame game when the
feces hits the rotating cooling device. Talk is cheap, we’re ready
for some action. Don’t think we’ll see any unless pretend indignation
and finger pointing count.

Finally, we’re not sure what it means, but the wife’s cats have been
extra cuddly today. Since they don’t get outside it can’t be the rain.
I just know the cats have almost tripped me about a dozen times
today instead of the usual 3 or 4.

Enjoy our Monday as this work week ends with a Friday the 13th. Now
for some coffee and leftover pizza.
Comments are always welcome.


The storm that wasn’t

February 26, 2020

Wouldn’t want to be one of the professional weather guessers around
here after the recent ‘winter storm’ warnings fizzled out and said
storm ended up miles to the south of us. Every TV channel had a guy
doing the weather saying it was going to be a bad with some forecasts
saying rain, then up to 10 inches of snow, then high winds causing
drifts.

And… we got nothing. The pavement didn’t even get wet! On April
1st we’d all get a good laugh out of it, but not so much now. Our
poor snow blower is feeling neglected. I go out to the garage and
check on it every so often to make sure it didn’t run away from home.

Since we didn’t get the predicted storm I went over to Dads yesterday
and brought along some chili I had made and donuts. He was like a kid
in a candy store. He’s 94 and had to tell me again that he’s been
hungry for chili and hadn’t had any for a while. He forgot he’d told
me that the last two visits.

But he’s still living in his own home, gets around pretty good, and
can remember things that happened in the late 30s like it was
yesterday. It was a good visit and I hope he enjoys his chili.

Enjoy our Wednesday as it’s the only one we get this week. Now I
need to refill my coffee as somebody drank it.
Comments are always welcome.