I wanted to post this last week, but power outages and other assorted things got in the way. We managed a return trip to the botanical garden at Tilden Regional Park. I’m really glad we got there when we did as we had lovely cool fog hugging the hilltops and everything was still very green. We’ve experienced a heatwave or two since then and the hills are already turning to their summer tan. It’s still beautiful, but I already miss the green color.
First though, it’s time for the pointy-eared people and the floppy-eared one to shine.
When we went off to the botanical garden, the hills were still bright green and we had a bit of fog.
The botanical garden preserves and exhibits the native plants of California. According the park website:
Notable among the many specimens that have been brought in from all corners of the state are representatives of nearly all the state’s conifers and oaks, and probably the most complete collections of California manzanitas to be found anywhere. There are also extensive collections of California native bunchgrasses, bulbs, aquatic plants, and representatives of about 300 taxa that are classified in the California Native Plant Society’s landmark study, “Inventory of Rare and Endangered Vascular Plants of California.”
I must inject a quick note. After that trip, we found a beer that got our attention, so we tried it. It was made by a local brewery called Fort Point Beer Company. It was called “Manzanita”.
Anyhow, back to the botanical garden… There were plenty of things to see. We even saw a beautiful butterfly.
Yes, we wound up with more power issues. This time it wasn’t with us or the park. It was the neighbor. Helpless people annoy me and I have issues with them. I don’t mean helpless in the disabled way. I mean helpless as in clueless and with no desire to GET a clue. Our neighbor had her move-out-move-back-in thing. It was her third and she still wasn’t ready when the tow arrived. She doesn’t know how to unhook the stinky slinky, raise the stabilizers, or turn off the propane. In a year and a half, she’s learned nothing and has made no effort to learn. She’s probably in her 50s and she didn’t want to live with her kids after her husband passed. I think a trailer was a mistake for her.
She was being towed back in when I left to pick up Lastech at the station. When we got home, there was no power. Lucky for us, the heatwave had been the prior week, so it was cooler and survivable. It took me a bit to check on the trailer and make sure we hadn’t blown a circuit breaker. I suspected the issue could be with the power inverter, but I really hoped it wasn’t. Then I walked over to check the meter box. Oh my. My meter and two of the neighbors were off, but the neighbor lady’s was on. I noticed that part of the electrical box cover was on the ground. Hmmmmmmm. When I opened the box, I discovered that three of the four circuit breakers had been shut off. The neighbor lady had hers on. I flipped the other three back on and all was well.
I finally pieced it all together. She came home and deployed one of her two slide-outs. The second one didn’t work. She went out to the electrical box to flip switches, not understanding that slide-outs work on battery power. If she had learned anything about her trailer she would know that. Either she needed to let the battery charge up or it was bad. A repair guy came to work on it and got it running. I like my neighbor, but she needs to get a clue, and soon. Had she shut off our power during the heatwave, it could have killed the pointy-eared people and the floppy-eared one. Can you tell I now have issues with my neighbor? I’m not giving her a bad time about it. I think the park management has already done that. Instead, I’ll just be paranoid every time we have to leave home when it’s hot out.
Speaking of the fur kids…
Tito and Jenny saw something
It wasn’t exactly a giant mosquito, but they thought it was. It was a crane fly.
Titanescu didn’t care. He fears nothing. Especially when he’s asleep and using Miss Jenny as a pillow.
As for Miss Pepi, she and Tito had a little love fest.
Oh, and about the sea lions. They’re cranky. Very cranky. Especially when surrounded by the harem and offspring. The have their own docks at the pier, but they haul out wherever they like. With males weighing in just short of 800 lbs, they’re mostly left alone. Lastech had to patrol the dock.
One last thing. No picture sadly, but last evening I was sitting next to my window when a very large bird dove into the shrub about 3 feet away. One of the wings actually brushed the window on the way by. It was a hawk. I figure he/she was after the sparrows that sleep in the shrub. It was amazing though. Tito had a “WTF wazzat?” look on his face.
Yes everyone, we’re back. I was going to post last weekend until I remembered that we had to do our semi-annual move-out-move-back-in thing. At least the weather was nice. Lastech took last week off so that he could help and have a bit of extra time off to boot. After we were back in place, we took a day trip up Diablo to go cloud watching.
First it’s time for the fur kids to shine.
I never get tired of watching clouds. The rainy season is pretty much over, so I enjoy any clouds that appear. This week, the heat has arrived and the hills will start turning back to their summer tan. It’s also dry and windy and that will accelerate the process.
As you can see, the hills are still green. It won’t last long now.
The turkeys were out too. It’s fun to be driving along with the window open and suddenly hear a chorus of gobbling bursting out of the tall grasses. Turkey gobbles always make me smile.
Hello world. Last week was interesting. I was puttering when I heard a loud beeping. I looked around and saw nothing. Awhile later, I heard it again. Aha! The microwave. I reset it and went about my business. It was beeping again. It even beeped at 4 am. I finally flipped the breaker that controlled it and the beeping stopped. Then the modem kept turning off, followed by the power shutting off at 5:30 am. As soon as the sun was up, I went outside to check on things. I was quite startled to find that our 30 amp plug and the outlet it was attached to had burned and melted. Evidently melting shore power outlets is not that uncommon. The manager managed to get the electricians in to fix things up.
Needless to say, the timing for these things is never good. Oh well, the Endurance is powered up again. Now it’s time for the pointy-eared people and the floppy-eared one to shine.
Lastech managed to get a couple of fun pics from the pier and a sunrise
We plan on being back next week, provided WW III hasn’t started. Happy Easter to all who celebrate it.
It appears that I have survived to see the onset of Spring. I’m still mostly deaf these days, but this latest round of antibiotics seem to be doing the trick. I’ll believe it when I can go for week or two after the round without getting another ear infection. My fingers are crossed, at any rate.
The pointy eared people and the floppy eared one are enjoying the Spring weather. The kitties are finding the birdie watching to be excellent, while Pepi enjoys spending time outside on the porch with us.
Spring has definitely arrived. Heavy rains have given way to pretty sunsets, pretty birds, wildflowers, and even a turkey.
My ears were good enough to make going to the top of Diablo a safe trip. From the top, we were able to see across the Central Valley to the snow topped Sierra. Here’s a slideshow with the rest of the pictures. It was a beautiful day.
Ok, we didn’t quite play in it, we did manage to hike in it. While there has been plenty of snow in the Sierra Mtns., the snow level rarely drops enough for it to cover the top of Mt. Diablo. Last weekend, it was cold enough. I was afraid it would be rained away Sunday night, but nope. It was still there on Monday, so off we went. We had a snow day. I know many of you live in snow country and are probably rolling your eyes. 🙂 This was the first time I touched snow since January of 2002.
I’ll post more but right now it’s time for the stars of the show. In light of the fact that this last week highlighted International Women’s Day and A Day Without a Woman, Miss Jenny gets to lead off the show.
Back to the snow day. We lit out before noon. It was a beautiful day. We were careful to dress for the cold though as we knew it would be cold and wet at the top.
The road to the top was closed to cars at the Diablo Valley view point, so we parked and hiked from there. We decided to take the hiking trail up instead of the road. Lots of people were there along with their kids. We decided that some people are just stupid. I mean really stupid. The temps were nice at the base of the mountain. However, it was cold and wet at the top. Idiots were wearing shorts and sandals. Oh well.
Out of view on the left side of that last photo, there was a microwave tower. It was mostly hidden in the clouds, but there was no doubt about where it was. Chunks of ice could be heard falling though the structure with very loud crashing noises. After taking the trail up, we decided to hike back down via the road. The upper part of the trail was very steep and icy and while we managed it without a fall, we didn’t feel that going down that way would be as lucky. All in all, it was a 4 mile round trip and I’m so glad we got to do it. I’ve included the rest of the pics in a slide show.
Yep, I’m losing my hearing and my hard drive bit the dust. In the middle of all that, Mother Nature was trying to reshape half the state of California.
My hearing was always tenuous at best. I was born mostly deaf and even had an eardrum replaced back when I was in high school. I managed my later years without too many problems, learning how to avoid ear infections and things were going well. Then last November when we got the flu, the resulting infection migrated to my ears. It’s been an ongoing battle ever since. On Monday, the doc will probably prescribe a more powerful antibiotic as one of the three bacteria critters is a bit tougher and really, really likes me. Once we get rid of the infection, we can schedule some tests to see how bad the damage is and I don’t expect it will be good news.
As for the hard drive? It was working fine and then it wasn’t. It’s dead Jim. I went out and got a new one, put on my computer repair hat, and went to work. As you can see, I’m up and running again. I lost a lot of pictures that were on the drive. It’s my own darned fault. I’m going to be setting up an account for online cloud backup. That way I’m covered if this ever happens again. Lucky for me, most pics were backed up to Google Photos, although not in their original size. I want to be able to save everything as is. I kept the old drive and when the budget permits, we’ll look into having a pro look at it to see if the files can be rescued.
So that’s why we were missing for a week or so. We didn’t wash away. In spite of the frustrations listed above, life isn’t bad. We rode out the storms and we’re fine here in our little trailer. We’ll see what kind of crucible 2017 turns out to be.
And now for the stars of our show.
In spite of the rains wreaking havoc, we managed to get out and commune with mother nature. It was cold and wet, but good.
Now for a few birdies viewed from the trailer window
Between the time I started writing this and now, I set up an account with Backblaze and my files are backing up as I type. Here’s a good review on Backblaze as well as another one (same author) comparing it with 23 others. So far so good.
Before I get to the kitty pics, I have to speak up.
I’m beyond sad and angry that the country of my birth is refusing refugees again. Yes, again. My country has a very sad history when it comes to refugees and non-white people. Slavery is the first to come to mind as we’re taught about it in school. Once the slaves were freed, it was followed by segregation. In the middle of that, we had the awful Trail of Tears. Native Americans were thought of as “savages” and were treated as such. Later, we didn’t want the Chinese and other Asians coming, so we built Angel Island as place to keep them while trying to refuse them entry.
Now let us fast forward to WWII. Thanks to George Takei, many have learned more about the Japanese Internment camps than might have otherwise. Out of fear that there might be an enemy hiding among them, my country rounded up Japanese men, women, and children and confined them to camps. Most lost everything they had. They lost homes, businesses, and even lives thanks to inadequate medical care. Pssst, they weren’t the only ones we put in camps. We rounded up the Unangans of the Aleutian Islands and put them in camps as well. As for the Jews? If they weren’t already here, tough. We turned away many Jewish refugees and Anne Frank was one of them.
Now we’re refusing Syrian refugees and more because there might be terrorist among them. We’ve banned refugees and people holding Visas from several Middle Eastern countries. Our 9/11 terrorists came from countries that have no restrictions placed on them, so using them as an excuse doesn’t fly with me. I wouldn’t be surprised to see an attempt to start a Muslim registry. I would hope it doesn’t happen, but I’m not holding my breath. I’m a white woman and fairly safe throughout all this. However, my grandparents were immigrants (one from Mexico) and Lastech is an immigrant. I can’t sit still while my friends and neighbors are afraid of the future and I won’t keep my mouth shut. I will do anything and everything I can to help, even if it’s just calling my congress critters.
Ok, that’s my rant. I would say more, but I’m not eloquent. I’m just angry as hell.
Update: A Federal court has granted a nation-wide stay on the ban of Muslims and refugees. It’s only a stay, but it’s a step in the right direction. The fight is just beginning though. In addition to Muslim refugees, Mexicans and my LBGT brothers and sisters also have targets painted on them.
Yep, mother nature is wreaking havoc and a flood is a very real possibility. We’re fine where we are. However, many of the burn areas are subject to mudslides, and some major rivers are expected to overflow their banks. We may not flood here, but it’s likely elsewhere. In addition to flooding, the winds will be high so I’m sure there will be plenty of trees going down, and yes, we’re safe from those too. Pepi won’t like having to go outside to do her business in horizontal rain. Ugh!
I hope everyone had a great New Year. It was quiet here and Lastech had to work. Even so, it wasn’t too crazy even for him. There are far less fireworks to terrorize the fur kids here in Concord, which is nice. Pepi doesn’t get fearful either, thank goodness. She’ll snarl at trash bags and tree stumps, but fireworks are ok. Go figure.
Speaking of the pointy eared people and floppy eared one… We had a cold spell. It was down in the 30s, which isn’t bad considering the temps elsewhere. However, our little trailer wasn’t built for winter, so it gets cold. We have two oil-filled radiators and they are much loved.
Yes, the heaters are loved.
We’ve managed two trips to Mt. Diablo in the last few weeks. It was in the low 30s and rather nippy both times.
Some of my friends celebrated the solstice, while others are celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas. We want to wish all of you the best and happiest of holidays. Lastech will be working the holidays, but we’ll have a bit of celebration on his days off. I have some Cornish game hens to bbq.
It has been cold (for CA, mind you) and we’ve been getting quite a bit of rain. You won’t hear us complaining about the rain. We haven’t gotten out as much as we like, but that’s because we were both fighting the flu. I caught it back in November and Lastech caught it this month. Mine took forever to go away and then decided to start a secondary infection in my ears and sinuses. I’m hoping that it’s finally going away now. Once my ears open up again, we can go play on Mt. Diablo.
And now, here are the furry ones.
I was looking for a vid when I came across this one. I follow Angry Ram and I’m glad to see this update. Angry Ram lives on a mountain in New Zealand and they’ve had some awful earthquakes. And no, it’s not sad. 🙂
Until next time, have a wonderful and safe holiday season