Cleaner air

Monday, Sept 14

Checked email from RN Chris Aman for Dr. Dave Krueger; we changed the date to Oct. 26 to be able to combine my visit to the Yakima Heart Center for my Device check with Toni to the same day as a visit with my Cardiologist. It’s a 50-mile trip one way for us.

Called Ethel today (our 102 yr. old cousin in PA) at 2:45 & talked 20 minutes. As usual, it was fun and informative visiting with her. She’s quite amazing.

Called the help desk with my questions ask about the Skype for Business which we supposedly shut out completely, and there are other things we may need to get rid of permanently, but I want help not to try anything myself that might screw up my computer. One thing I need help on is the Dell Support updates it keeps asking for.
The “out of memory” issues have not returned after all Brian K’s work and it’s sitting at 78% used right now. This morning Monday, it’s using only 63%!
Call back from BK (Brian K) at CWU 3:24 p.m. to 3:50 p.m. cleaning up system more and needs a RESTART, after saving my Word Docs, and closing other programs before restarting.

5:48 p.m., 21 mins on the landline with friend from childhood, Dot Smith, about things in Decatur, GA. She called with concerns about us and the fires, but called my cell phone, which gets no reception in our house. I only accidentally found her two voicemail messages when charging my cell phone to make ready to go to town tomorrow. When I turned it on to check the charge, it beeped, and I found the first message from Saturday.

I called Jeannie at the Cardiopulmonary (KVC) and found my PFT (stands for Pulmonary Function Test) last year was 11/22/2019. To qualify for medical insurance to pay for the test, this year’s test has to be scheduled a day later, which is a Monday, Nov. 23. I now need to have my cardiologist send a request referral to the department at our local Ellensburg hospital before I can be scheduled for the test. That process is underway.

This morning turned into a week of work piled into one-time slot.
Noon call from water system guru, Kelly Hunter, indicated he was on his way to meet us. Stayed 45 minutes and fixed some stuff and scheduled a future time for coming to install corrections and additions, to our well-water treatment setup. Meanwhile, his wife, a different type water person, will visit to “shock” our system – – meaning bleach poured into the well, a wait period, then flush all clean.

Tuesday, Sept 15

Call from Kelly Hunter. Our cost will be $2,300 to add an iron filtration system to our well water treatment machines. That will happen in several weeks when he has time to add to his schedule and get the equipment ordered and available to install.

We both spent a lot of time with reading and sending a note to Cameron Fries, about things at the winery, White Heron. A bottling session will occur in the future, Oct. 2. I won’t be able to go along as I must attend a meeting at 2:00 p.m. and I wouldn’t be home by then. John has to remember to take some small bottles over to give to Cameron.

Early, turned on heater in bathroom for taking shower.

Took my weekly pill at 8:50 a.m., planned to eat ½ hr. later, but our morning was interrupted and I didn’t actually get to eat until 10:00 a.m., when I had only a nutrition drink and coffee.

We left for town later than planned but got to my monthly INR blood draw before time for my favorite phlebotomist to go to lunch. After that, we ran a bunch more errands. Dropped off Apples to Apples decks of cards at the AAC used in a Zoom game. Went to Fred Meyer shopping for drinks, bread, drinks, red grapes, and then drove to a lady’s house who makes and gives cloth face masks she’s made. We each got 3, and very colorful they are. John needed one because all he’s been using is a paper mask, supposed to be for one-time use only. Today was about its 8th use. He carried one in his pocket for a time. Hay and dirt loved it, and it still worked – he lived. We said our thanks and left. Next stop in town was to The Palace to cash in my September free meal birthday dinner. We got it to go from Molly, our favorite waitress there. On our way home, we put egg cartons near Eva Frink’s front porch.

Supper: We had my Birthday dinner from The Palace. Cobb Salad and John had Chicken Fried Steak. {He says that’s a strange name for a beat up piece of cheap beef.}

Wednesday, Sept 16

Mid-week photo today, all the way from Chile, from a gal we knew when she was a student at CWU a long time ago, Mérida López Nualart. She looks as young as we remember her; no clue how old she is now. She was here as a language student, then returned to teach English to folks in the Chilean Air Force.

I called the dental receptionist and paid my $90.40 bill for John; talked to Edgar. He emailed me the receipt to joint account, and it’s now stored in my tax 2020 file. Also, printed it and filed in the hard copy paperwork filing cabinet.
My day has been filled with working on emails and switching between tax filing, and unloaded dishwasher, and needing to reload dishes and soon.
This morning I had a nutrition drink (Strawberry Ensure with Chobani dark cherry yogurt). Makes a nice “milkshake”.

Washed a new load of dishes tonight to get ready for our well to be filled with a lot of bleach, because no water can be run inside the house for 36 hours and we would not be able to turn on any faucets in the house. We can only flush our toilets.

Supper tonight: John had a steak fry; I had the rest of my birthday dinner Cobb Salad ½ from yesterday evening. I added pieces of our yellow summer squash sliced and raw, some red grapes, and had with a buttered hot roll I brought from The Palace Café.

Thursday, Sept 17

Washed clothes in the morning before Noon expecting our well’s water to be chlorinated or “shocked”. Now the first load is in the clothes dryer at 11:00 a.m. and the second load is my polyester stuff needing dried on a lower heat.

I’m currently finishing the necessary startup of my computer to check emails and then will switch chores to filing back taxes, my most urgent need right now. John’s out front working in the shade (actually the smoke cover is blocking the sun). The temps are below normal now (62°), and the visibility is only 1.5 miles, with the thick haze.

The person to chlorinate our well canceled and rescheduled for 9:00 a.m. next Wednesday. She was in the Teanaway (a long valley to our NW) where there’s no cell reception, and could not get a phone call to tell us until afternoon.

I fixed a nutritious drink for lunch, peach yogurt with chocolate Ensure.
Called Sadie Thayer this afternoon and see if she received my email about donating some stuff to the Kittitas County Historical Museum. She had NOT received it, because someone had hacked their website and she has been unable to access any email. More about this in tomorrow’s report.

You may need to enter the password Patrick917 to open it. Or you might not!
Go here, please to view responses for Patrick’s 7th birthday.

The link is necessary to see all the wishes from worldwide people who have met since St. Patrick’s Day on a Geology site for Nick from Home lectures. Just Sunday morning at 9:00 we had over 1000 viewers.

This link was set up to give viewers a place to record their birthday wish to Patrick on his 7th birthday. Patrick Swan has been the student at the head of the class, asking the best questions of Prof Nick Zentner through now 79 episodes of Nick from Home. I’m not giving this link to view what I said, and in fact, you should skip over mine and follow Greg the train conductor from East Tennessee, and Gerrit who shows his Countryside (The Netherlands), and others who have neat insights to their surroundings. Check out Yelli (from Japan). Frances from Germany. James from Australia, and also Kathy from Australia. Another from Japan is Denise. Spend your time on the others, not on my post, please.

Supper: Orange chicken, leftover lasagna, red grapes, fried slices of yellow summer squash. Ice cream for dessert.

Friday, Sept 18

Today needs to be completely spent on tax preparation, except for these next things at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Wrote an e-mail to Janet Perkins (violinist) about a note in WOTFA News, pg. 8. People we know are dying while this Panic2020 thing drags on. Her husband, Dave, our Double-Bass Fiddle player, did not die from the virus.

Friday Sept 18, was Game Day at 10:00 Heads up I’m only an observer, not playing the head piece & acting out. I did get involved some with providing sounds or words to describe the words for them on their headpiece.

I have a 2:00 p.m. viewing of a Nick from Home today.
‘Nick from Home’ #78 – Exotic C: Craton vs Terranes

I talked to Sadie Thayer at the KC Historical Museum about donation of our treadle Singer Sewing Machine and her not responding to my message about it last week. Their website was hacked and it included involving their email receipts. She had not gotten it. I also paid my dues this year through the website on PayPal, and that was never acknowledged. She will email me Monday to see if I get all the information I was supposed to. Meanwhile, she would like a photo of the sewing machine. They have 3 there, one in storage maybe 2 and one on display, but none of them work. I am sure ours should still be working and we have all the attachments for zippers and buttonhole maker. In talking to John, he says he thinks the drawers are packed separately in a box, and we do not know where the box of drawers is. So, this may be a future give once we find the box.

I spent quite a bit of time this afternoon, working on attaching a new external drive DVD/CD reader on my system, so I could load Turbo Tax software from a CD. Then I spent a bunch more time downloading updates to the software. Once that was done, I started the form filling in all the details for the beginning of the software, which will compare and transfer the information from the previous year’s tax return, so all the columns for deductions or income will be indicated on the form as organized in the past year.

Supper: Fried chicken breast with BBQ sauce, battered cod, John’s homemade applesauce, baked beans, canned peaches. Had Deluxe Caramel Crunch Frozen dessert (looks like ice cream, but we wonder why they call it that).

Saturday, Sept 19

Continue filing 2018 receipts, check on Excel eventually.

Another Robocaller blocked on my Panasonic land line. Did 2 or 3 yesterday.

Brunch: John had leftovers from last night’s supper; I had a bowl of Maruchan Ramen noodle soup with roast chicken flavor, but added a bunch of cooked chicken breast meat and Cheez-its crackers.

Supper: Pork roast oven-baked at 250° all day; bowl of canned pears and red grapes, fried yellow summer squash (John grew); dessert last of the caramel crunch frozen dessert with thawed strawberries on top.

Sunday, Sept 20

Good to go at 8:00 a.m. on the GOES west satellite imagery, sunshine, no smoke coverage, and blue skies in Ellensburg, At the blue star. The Cascades and the Bitterroots in Idaho’s panhandle have clouds.From the GOES west satellite via UW Atmospheric Science

Started at 8:03 a.m. on line with comments on lecture by Nick.

This was a premiere showing this morning by Nick Zentner in ‘Nick from Home’ fall series on Exotic Terranes.
#79 – Exotic D: Passive Margin

Brunch: John had leftovers from the freezer, and I went through this morning with a large glass of protein drink, Chocolate Ensure & Blueberry Yogurt. If I get hungry later (which I doubt), I have leftover lunch chicken soup to heat up.
John’s resting after lunch and planning to go out and work in the shade this afternoon.

Currently, working on the blog.

Supper: Pork, onion rings, fried yellow summer squash, red grapes, mashed potatoes with gravy.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Not so Nasty News Sept 18

Item #1: He apologized

The red marker is on a driveway that leads between apartment buildings to parking areas for residents. New cables had to go under the driveways along the street. Prince Edward Island – Oops!

The plan was to do horizontal drilling under the driveways, but the machine broke. The crew chief called in a backhoe. No time to warn people. Sorry folks. Walk!

Item #2: Changes
While I wasn’t paying attention, Smokey has been changing.

Fires need Oxygen, an ignition, and fuel. Smokey grew out of the War effort of WWII. The War Advertising Council dreamed up the bear, the hat, and the dungarees. In August of 1944 (I’m 7 months older) the first “cartoon” of Smokey pouring water on a fire appeared. See the left image, above. The Council did not want fires distracting from the war.
The link is to a Smithsonian Magazine article on the campaign and how it changed. The problem is that Smokey dealt with the “ignition” part of fire. An unintended consequence of the campaign is that the natural process of growth of trees, woody plants, and grasses was interrupted. Fire no longer episodically burned some of the fuel and made space for meadows and other clearings, a patchwork of natural communities.
The fuel is overly abundant, Oxygen is there, and there will be ignitions. 84% or more fires have started because humans were involved, either accidentally, being stupid, or deliberately. Likely, for the next 30 years there will be uncontrollable Megafires.

Item #3: What’s the message?

A slow moving storm, Hurricane Sally, came ashore this week along the Gulf Coast. This one moved slowly over the warm water of the Gulf and picked up plenty of moisture. The wind at the Mobile Downtown Airport gusted to 67 mph, while the claim is that Sally had 105 mph wind.
In any case, the image above shows a church steeple that did not handle the wind, whatever it was. On the right side is the Flora-Bama restaurant and bar. No problem here.
There has to be a message, and as soon as I figure it out, I’ll let you know.

Item #4: Speaking of bears

For at least the second time this summer bears have contacted humans. Not long ago a woman was hiking and a large bear approached her. In the accompanying photo a bear visits a man taking a nap by his pool.
Years ago we were at a camp site in Jasper National Park in Canada. One morning I was splitting wood and a girl, about 6, was running water into a pot at the center of the camp. Her folks and many others were in a covered cooking area not far away. A large bear wandered into the clearing, walked to the girl and sniffed her arm. A dozen people watched, the girl stood very still, water ran into the pot, and the bear ambled away.

Item #5: Funny stuff; unrelated

In 30 years when your grand kids ask about the 2020 toilet paper shortage, tell them of the hardship. Say you had to drag your butt across the lawn.
In the snow.
Up hill. Both ways.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

Another wildfire week

Monday, Sept 7

ALERT to study group sent out at 9:30 a.m.

Spent the morning setting up to drain the hot water tank to try to get rid of the muck inside. Brunch: Bacon, blueberry pancake, and fruit cocktail. As it was nearing done, the smoke severity changed and smoke started flowing into through the patio door, where the hose draining the tank was. We had to close the door, and started researching the source of the smoke blocking the visibility to 2.5 miles or less. The temperature lowered with the smoke, from 81 at Noon to 71 at 5:00 p.m. We could not see the hills east of us. Late in the afternoon, the sun was a red disc.John worked some with the landscaping process, digging, sorting, and moving rocks and dirt. The loading ramp is filling with rocks, the garden soil is growing, and the front area is taking shape. All slowly. The smoke is not helpful.
Before the week was over, we had down to ½ mile visibility for several days. A week later, 9-13, it’s only at ¾ mile.

I called two neighbors to see if anyone knew the source of the smoke, and we got online to look for fires to the west of us.
Allen, our friend a mile up Naneum Rd. has relatives in Monse, WA near Brewster, and he knew there was a fire there. We found it on the MODIS Fire Mapping in our Google Earth Pro. I kept a watch on it, until it updated because all we had was the last 24 hours and the last 6 hrs.Less than 2 hrs. later it had increased in coverage. The orange in the bottom image is the red in the top images now, as orange. The top right image shows the measurement of the miles as over 20 miles to the south from the original start of the fire at the northern tip of the pattern.

I received burned photos from the area on 9/12 which are too depressing to publish, but here are a few. Heat was so hot it melted aluminum. The winds were clocked at 83 mph. People stayed behind to water down their house structures, and saved a few, while getting burned themselves.
Monse, WA after fire swept through:Burned trees-ground cover, heat melted aluminum, burned fieldsFORD Bronco & Allen Aronica helping family with cleanup efforts

Smoke coverage was severe by mid-afternoon, seen in this backyard video from our patio (only 19 seconds long). Using straight-line distance, we are 76 miles from Brewster and Monse is 6 miles farther away.

Smoky Atmosphere Ellensburg, WA 9-7-20

Tonight at 6:00 p.m. is the last of the Nick on the Fly (NOTF) series, with a new series beginning this Wednesday night, 9-9.

NOTF #26–North Cascades talk w/Ralph Haugerud

CWU’s Nick Zentner travels to Wenatchee to visit with longtime USGS geologist Ralph Haugerud. 52 mins. Recorded 9-4-20. Topics: North Cascades field mapping, Baja BC pros and cons, & future work in the North Cascades.

See you tonight, and then Wednesday night this week with Nick again with his start of the new Fall episodes of Nick from Home. That day of the week is being changed this coming week to Friday, and the time will be 2:00 p.m. This will mess up a few people from watching the live broadcast and they’ll have to watch the replay.

Supper: Beef Stew with Cheddar Bratwurst, Fried cauliflower, and Cheddar Biscuits, caramel praline crunch/vanilla ice cream for dessert.

Tuesday, Sept 8

I cannot keep up with all that’s happening around this place. Latest is that our water heater, water pump pressure gauge problems continue, and the filters on the water coming from our well are clogging with gunk faster than we wish.

John went to town and I stayed home. He picked up his own meds at Fred Meyer Pharmacy, and my med at Super 1 Pharmacy, buying groceries while there. He went to Mid-State Coop for a O-ring washer for the 10″ Big Blue filter that takes sediment out of our well water. The installed O-ring has stretched and thinned, and leaked with this removal and re-installation.
He went to Bi-Mart for some white petroleum (silicone grease is recommended) to put on the O-ring to secure the seal, and while there picked up a sheet of their membership card winning numbers (we won nothing). I checked other friends’ numbers when he brought it home. Above photo by EvieMae Schuetz. Particles in the smoke filter and scatter sunlight. When the atmosphere is too filled with smoke the sky goes dark.
I tried to take a photo but what we saw would not reproduce on my camera, nor on John’s. I asked Evie if she could get a photo. She said she’d try. The results are fantastic as seen above.
Sun photography is not easy; See here at B & H Photo
Scroll down there and you can see the sort of photo I took.

Supper: Pizza and our cherry tomatoes, with caramel praline crunch / vanilla ice cream for dessert.
Take pills, fluoride teeth, and go to bed.

Wednesday, Sept 9

Today’s local news, the Daily Record, printed the Obituary for Charles Larry Firkins, our friend whom we’ve known since my joining the Kittitas Valley Fiddlers & Friends music group.
I captured the digital version of the Obit to email to our music group and to the family.

We had many chores, mostly in the house because of the temperature outside, but about noon, John left for town to buy 4 desks at CWU surplus sale for $2 each and to fill his old 1980 Chev farm truck with gasoline. The price of gas was $2.55 at Pilot, 34₵/gal less than Circle K that’s often the least expensive in town! So, it was worth a little extra drive to the west side of town.

The desks he brought home are shown below. To have room and access to clean them up, he had to remove more junk from our big shed. We are going to get a large 20’ dumpster to empty most of this into to get it off our property, he has moved some of these things many times. Top shows the purple top of the desk barely as John demos the way the desk drawers work. Bottom: with the desks out, junk was moved to the truck and backed into the hay barn. Now he has to unload and stack it. About 8 of the boxes are, in fact, empty. Eventually, I will have my computer set up in the new room, using one of the desks, and the desk top will be enhanced with the lavender (came out pink) painted ceiling.

I stayed home to receive phone calls while he went to town. I contacted several people – searching for a plumber. Luckily, we later made contact on the weekend (Saturday) with plumber, Kelly.

The following video was on at 6:00 p.m. tonight as a premiere:

‘Nick from Home’ Livestream #76 – Exotic A: Geologic Time

Thursday, Sept 10

This morning at 9:00 a.m. I was on Zoom to play Yahtzee. I won today with 391 points and 3 Yahtzees! (that’s a record for me forever).
Gerald called at 11:20 and I told him about the Obituary. I need to send it to Jarred and to Connie and have them coordinate who will print it for him. I’m guessing Connie would be the best. But I wanted Jarred to see it too, because he once played with the group, and would have known Charlie.

I fixed a nutrition drink.
Brunch (Surf & Turf): Chipped beef, Boiled/Iced shrimp, breaded Cod fish.

I finished contacting four new study group members.
I wrote Sadie Thayer about making a donation of OLD Singer Treadle Sewing machine to the Kittitas County Historical museum. (Over 80 years old) – was my mom’s and what I learned to sew on.

Supper: Corn-on-the-cob, bowl of chili (with Cheez-its), and apple crisp with strawberry ice cream for dessert. The Rascal-Cat doesn’t like the strawberry ice cream. Dog is happy with any flavor ice cream.

Friday, Sept 11

This morning I had a nutrition drink (Strawberry Ensure with Chobani strawberry yogurt). Makes a nice “milkshake”).

Called the CWU Help Desk about out of memory problems on browsers, Edge and Opera. Had changed a month ago from Google Chrome because it was using so much memory space. Was told to change to Firefox, but it gave me severe problems too, so I switched to Opera. Now both it and Edge crash without much on either one, and right in the middle of things. It’s killing my production. I regularly have to RESTART and then rebuild my system to make it operate again. My question to them was, “Can you go through my task manager with me and help me see what I can end task on and maybe which I don’t need in my system at all! What they do is set up a shared screen entry, so I can watch what they’re doing but they have control of my computer.

50 minutes on the phone, reduced the memory usage to 75%, from 88%. I should be good to go!! Need to restart my machine before bed and after logging in, in the morning. Then things will be updated properly. I should have updated my Windows 10 this afternoon. It will take at least 30 minutes, which I didn’t have this afternoon. So, morning will have to work for that. The “rest of the story” is that everything was fine after time passed and I got all the stuff completed. So I have successfully been able to operate both browsers without problems throughout the weekend.

Also, unloaded the dishwasher from yesterday, and reloaded it and ran it this afternoon.
I spent a lot of time transferring videos from my Exilim camera because its memory was filled. I still have 2 years of work to backup, when the battery is recharged. I charged one today, but used it until it lost its charge. Have been recharging the 2nd battery, which will probably be charged in the middle of the night, so I can use it tomorrow. The second battery will need to be charged. Still have some more cleanup with that, but I’m making progress.

Supper: Fried sliced yellow summer squash, beans and pork, garden (to accompany our own summer squash). Dessert was apple crisp with strawberry ice cream.

Saturday, Sept 12

I actually slept in this morning. Lots to do.

We talked to a plumber who will come out to our place next week sometime to check out all that we need done, but he said he could handle it all, Kelly Hunter is his name.

I spent a lot of time finishing a long letter with photos to people we have known in Idaho for 40 years. We had 40 acres of farmland north of Southwick, ID, which we eventually sold them after they rented it for several years. It was to be our retirement home, but instead we left Troy, ID to move to Ellensburg, WA.
We kept our horses there and went riding in the hills while they were renters. They were originally from Iowa, and had a large family (5 kids).
Various snacks through the afternoon for each of us.

Supper: Beverage, orange juice, a cheeseburger with BBQ sauce, our homegrown onions fried, very hot oven baked scalloped potatoes, with strawberry ice cream for dessert. Orange juice.

Played cat rotation all day, and I just captured a mouse (dead) brought in as a gift for her dinner by Sue. Added it to the plastic bag in the freezer. She brought it in after John was already in bed, and wanted to exchange for a late dinner. I obliged her wishes and then went to bed myself.

We’ve run the fan of the air-handler all day and I stayed inside to stay out of the smoke. We have been socked in all day with only a ½ mile visibility with an orange tinge to the air. It may continue for a couple of days.
At 5:00 p.m. today, this was the extent of smoke in the PNW states: Not nice. Still, we are not threatened by fire, so we are lucky.From the GOES west satellite from UW Atmospheric Science

Sunday, Sept 13

Still socked in at 8:00 a.m. on the GOES west satellite imagery.

This will be a premiere video showing this morning by Nick Zentner in ‘Nick from Home’ fall series on Exotic Terranes.

#77 – Exotic B: Basement Glimpses

Brunch: Bacon, eggs scrambled with cheese, fried {from frozen} hash browns, bowl of our own frozen (thawed a little) Bing cherries. We had no cherries at all this year.

We are eating old stuff out of our very old and inefficient chest freezer we bought in Iowa at an auction, and brought here. That makes it well over 50 years old. We are trying to empty it to buy a newer standup freezer that is more efficient and accessible to put in our new utility room. We need to empty this old one and take it to the dump. There are not any freezers available in Ellensburg until late this fall, as they are all back-ordered at every store. People bought them out when Panic2020 arrived.

Since March of 2017 we’ve had a big pan of Costco Chicken Alfredo in a freezer: 3.89 pounds at $3.99 per pound. We cooked it for supper. Some will have to go back in the freezer, ’cause four or five days of leftovers does not make for happy times.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Not so Nasty News September 11th

Item #1: An odd thing

Monday about Noon our Valley had a massive infusion of smoke brought from the north by wind gusting to near 50 mph. The Cold Springs/ Pearl Hill Fire started 100 miles to the NNE of us, on the Colville Reservation. Photos and maps are now posted on the web.
The thick smoke is allowing orange light to pass so everything outside has had a strange glow, now more dull as the session continues into late afternoon. How can I make fun of the LA smog when our air is so nasty?
An historical perspective: A fire in 1950, in northern Alberta and British Columbia, called The Chinchaga fire, or Wisp fire , produced a dark atmosphere over the land to the eastern USA and to Europe. I was six and remember coming out onto the front steps of our church (1st communion or something, Sunday Sept. 24th ??) where we first noticed the dark sky and a feeble red sun. The smoke was high in the atmosphere so there was no smell, and we had no prior notion of the fire. Read about the “Great Smoke Pall” at the above link.
Cousin Ethel kept a clipping from a Pittsburgh newspaper in her daughter’s (Pat) baby book, so she told me some years ago.

Item #2: Mostly gone, and lucky

From our driveway on Friday afternoon, the ridge top (~5,000 feet elevation) is a little hazy at 8 miles away. Other parts of Washington have more smoke. California and Oregon have multiple fires.
The reason for massive fires is partly attributable to Smokey Bear. Smokey and the slogan “Smokey Says – Care Will Prevent 9 out of 10 Forest Fires”- – began in 1944.
Studies now suggest that 84% of wild fires are ignited by something that humans are involved in. The Western States now have massive amounts of grass, brush, and trees.
There is no good way of getting rid of most of it.

Item #3: Baby Oaks Last fall I noticed the Oak trees near the hospital not only had amazing red/orange colors, but they were also “masting.” ( the production of many seeds by a plant every two or more years in regional synchrony with other plants of the same species)
I gathered a dozen acorns. Six have grown; two of the largest are on the left in the photo.
Will they continue to grow here? Likely not. I need to find out what sort they are, and then maybe I can provide something they need.

Item #4: Electricity

On the last day of each month an airplane flies over our area and our electric meter says hello. A gadget on the plane records the numbers, and we soon get a bill.
Our house is all-electric so the seasonal change in use is interesting. The bar chart on the bill starts and ends with August. We manage to keep the summer use down by opening the house at night. The elevation of 2,240 feet (much higher to the north and west) with clear sky can produce quick and significant cooling.
We pay a facility charge of $22.50. The electrons cost at a rate of $0.0950/kWh. On the bill: 628 X .0950 =$59.66
December is often cold for the entire month. Late January tends to warm some.

Item #5: The new carport

We have had construction things and “curing onions” in the carport. This week I finished cutting the roots and tops from all the onions and consolidated into half the number of boxes.
This was incentive to move other stuff out or to the side. Note the 60 pound bags of concrete mix on the lower left. I’ve not gotten the gravel in yet, and I’m still landscaping nearby.
Still, Jessica fits comfortably there; and is no longer spending her nights under the stars.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

A wildfire week

We are the red dot north of the smoke. A map for Tuesday, below, is a zoomed image.
Mt. Rainier is the white place to the left.

Monday, Aug 31

At 2:30 p.m. today, a fire arsonist is suspected to have set a fire about 25 miles SW of us in the dry grass and trees near Wenas Lake north of Naches, WA. Official name is the Evans Canyon Fire. Many images are now on the web.

I spent a bunch of time talking with friend and former student, Kathryn Buckholz south of the fire on the other side of Cleman Mountain. She is currently in an area with an evacuation notice #2 (get ready to leave home). Spellings in the area are confusing. The fire came up Umtanum Ridge [The Road is spelled with a ‘p’, Umptanum; while most spelling of “tanum” are “taneum”], The first ridge south of EBRB is called Manastash Ridge, then Umtanum, then Cleman.

Kathryn sent a couple of photos of the smoke from her backyard, and Wayne Erickson took one from the north side of the fire:Top two photos from south with Umtanum Ridge in the background, left was 2.5 hrs prior to 2nd, by Kathryn Buckholz. Bottom taken from Cove Rd in the Kittitas Valley, the North view over Manastash Ridge, the next day, by Wayne Erickson. Story continues through the week.

A related new Nick YouTube video is scheduled at 6:00 p.m. tonight,
From WikiPedia: Manastash Ridge is a long anticline mountain ridge located in central Washington state in the United States. Manastash Ridge runs mostly west-to-east in Kittitas and Yakima counties, for approximately 50 miles. The ridge is part of the Yakima Fold Belt of east-tending long ridges formed by the folding of Miocene Columbia River basalt flows.
‘Nick on the Fly’ #20 – Manastash Ridge Field Trip, 8-31-20 (42 mins)

Supper: Pan fried chicken breast pieces with onions and lots of red grapes, strawberry ice cream for dessert.

Tuesday, Sept 1 – – Nancy’s Birthday! – –
A beautiful valley sunrise starts my special day:Sunrise over lovely “quilt-barn”, photo by EvieMae Schuetz

Today was our day to go to Ellensburg for the 10% off Senior Discount the first Tuesday of each month, to check our Bi-Mart numbers, plus pick up a bag for a Game Day this week at the Senior Center. While on the drive in, we saw significant smoke coming from the Evans Canyon Fire. Once home, we immediately added the Modis Satellite Imagery (Active Fire Mapping) to our Google Earth Pro to check out the fire’s hot spot history. An early image is below and the spots are all are bright red, meaning they started within the previous 6 hours.

Also, the fire is still not under control, and people have been evacuated. More than 100 dwellings threatened & high winds continue and fire acreage more than doubled. It has made it to MODIS satellite view. John just snipped this image for me to share, with the study group I was going to be sending a reminder for the video to be presented Wednesday night.I’m showing this here for you to compare in 4 days with what I will post below on 9/4 of the entire footprint of the fire, which has all the values (in the map legend) of the boxes and the colors and the spot in the center of the square, indicating the initial posting of a fire at that location. The dark red is 0-6 hrs since starting.

Supper: For dinner: spaghetti with meat sauce (93% fat free ground beef) we got on sale today, pears, and Rose’ wine. Rather than “birthday” cake, we are having peach pie and ice cream for dessert.

Wednesday, Sept 2

I haven’t figured the best way to thank everyone on so many platforms (Facebook, Email, Postal mail, phone calls) for all the birthday greetings I received. Do not have time to thank individually, with all this fire problem up to 13,000 acres now, major evacuations, extra firefighting crews called in, and high winds continuing. I’m sure this bunch is exhausted from fighting overnight. Not nice.

The Fire continues out of control to 15,000 acres, 0% contained, topped the ridge and now will be advancing down into the Umtanum Canyon which slopes eventually to the Yakima Canyon river road. Also, some rural areas nearby adjacent cities (Naches, Selah) are on immediate evacuation notice.

Right now our valley is not threatened, but the footprint is spreading rapidly. During the day they have airplane assistance and bombers with pink retardant spray. The jet resupplies at Moses Lake as it did when if flew over our house for the Snag Canyon Fire, 2014. Other planes and helicopters are involved.These I snipped from a video taken by a firefighter on the ground.

Unrelated: Not good 18 min waiting to renew our blog’s domain name, and never got my call back. I deleted the charge box and closed it. Will wait for Oct 2 automatic renewal and hope my change in credit card number worked and they renew for $16.99 for 2 years. That up significantly from the charge for two years in 2018, last time we renewed. Jason was supposed to return my call, but he did not.

For Nick fans, a short introduction to a new series started in a week on Sept 9th.
I know you have already been warned about this tonight, but want to add to the story, as you get on to watch:

‘Nick on the Fly’ #21 – Thorp Cliffs Field Trip

CWU’s Nick Zentner leads a virtual GEOL 101 LAB field trip from the Thorp Cliffs in central Washington. 30 minutes.

While you are waiting, watch the 2-min video below at the start, announcing a new series starting in a week on Sept 9th evening.

‘Nick from Home’ Livestreams return Wed, Sept 9th!

CWU’s Nick Zentner launches a new set of livestreams…this time with a theme. ‘Exotic Terranes from A to Z’ begins on September 9 and runs through early December of 2020. Wednesdays at 6:00 pm Pacific and Sundays at 9:00 am Pacific. Join us!

Thursday, Sept 3

Starting with a cute picture of a 16-year old girl in Idaho with her new puppy, a French Brittany. Back in the late 1990s we sold an orange and white Brittany to the family, we’d had for 3 months, and had named Brick. They actually picked him up from us in Ellensburg, but then they moved from WA to the Midwest (Iowa), and we lost track. They were moving back to Idaho, and decided to search for us. Found us still here. When I explained we were no longer breeders, they searched and found this puppy. He and she are so cute. Rebecca with her puppy Brooks, a French Brittany.

This is a video Nick put on for anyone to watch at any time. It was not published as a Premiere version with a livestream chat. He’s checking options to prevent buffering on his Premieres that have been happening.
This is well worth the watch for the two field trip stops 1 and 2, especially now that this lab will be viewed by the first meeting of his Geology 101 freshman class, next Wednesday, the first day of classes this fall quarter as a virtual field trip. Currently, it’s good he was practicing with us and filmed it in advance because now that road is closed and he could not even get there because of the current wildfire. Next is the field trip he was filming for them to take for their first Virtual Field trip of the quarter.

‘Nick on the Fly’ #22 Yakima River Field Trip (32 mins)

CWU’s Nick Zentner leads a virtual Geol 101 LAB field trip from the Yakima River in central Washington.
The Evans Canyon Fire increased to 52,000 acres and evacuation 3 notices (GET OUT NOW) posted to the Yakima Canyon Road. The road is closed at Thrall Rd (entrance to the canyon just south of EBRG), all the way to Selah. So any locals who planned to go to the two Field Trip stops Nick showed us last night, will have access only to the Ringer Loop Stop 1, and NOT to Stop 2, at the debris flows. (as of tomorrow, the fire jumped to Ringer Loop Rd, so Stop 1 is unavailable too).

Be sure to note to have read the Martin K. Kaatz publication before viewing yesterday’s Yakima River field trip. (Thanks again to Jessie Bunker-Maxwell for researching this for the study group).

July 3, 1998 Yakima River Debris Flows – Martin R. Kaatz

Marty was a CWU geographer, and hiking friend of John.
This was presented as a premier, and at a time when all could view it. (6:00 p.m.)

‘Nick on the Fly’ #23 – Snoqualmie Pass (26 mins)

CWU’s Nick Zentner improvises at Snoqualmie Pass in central Washington. The Yakima Valley Glacier and Guye Peak sandstone are discussed. Recorded on August 22, 2020

Friday, Sep 4

John and I had setup our Google Earth Pro with Active Fire Mapping Software to capture MODIS Satellite imagery of the hot spots of the fire, so we could be following its path. This is from 9-4-20 just to show the location of the fire jumping down near the entrance/exit we usually take at Thrall Rd, when returning north on I-82 {aka WA 97}.The fire has crossed the ridges and has come into our valley, and is at Ringer Road.

High winds overnight advanced the footprint of the fire from 2,500 acres to 52,000 acres; eventually growing to 64,000 acres. And changed evacuation orders at 9:00 p.m. last night to #3 (get out immediately), in several areas.

This is 3 miles from the south edge of Ellensburg. Not likely a threat to town because of being surrounded by irrigated agricultural farmland and roads. Everything north of there is on irrigated farmland, and will not be sagebrush and burnable cover (cheat grass) for many miles. Except our property is north of the highest canal, so we are in the semi-desert shrub-steppe.

However, I’ll add some fire photos made today to show the view during the late afternoon today, by EvieMae Schuetz.The hills are a’fire; taken from Alkali Rd (marker in prior map) by EvieMae Shuetz; The smoke picture she took from Clerf Rd east of Kittitas, WA.

This morning at 10:30 a.m. I joined a Zoom session at the Senior Center with 3 others for Game Day this week. I was playing a card game with two decks of special game cards, one Red and one Green. Neither of the players had ever played the game before. It is called Apples to Apples. A staff member was the leader and the judge, keeping the scores and explaining the game. The youngest gal there, was the winner with 16 pts. I had 9 pts. It lasted the full hour plus a few minutes. Next week the same folks will continue a game we played last week, Yahtzee. We all like that game and are happy to repeat it. It’s a short week because they have a Holiday on Labor Day. Our leader will actually be on vacation at the beach all week so the director will likely be our game leader. It will be at an earlier time on Thursday, next week.

Afterwards, we were scheduled to go to town for Flu shots with our pharmacist, but with the severe smoke in the atmosphere, I decided to stay home and inside with the a/c in our house to filter the smoke particulates. We rescheduled for a later date in Sept.

Today, we got 4 scammer calls, with two each coming from the same number, one from Missouri and the other from Issaquah, WA. I blocked them both for the future.

I’m not sure all of the outside chores John accomplished today, and I was worried for his being out in the smoky air. He says it was “not too bad.” We had worse smoke in our valley today than in recent days, because of the wind direction. The Evans Canyon Fire is still raging. The Yakima Canyon Road at Thrall Rd is now closed to any traffic (except evacuees and firefighters, until Tuesday, 9-8.) Firefighters are poised to prevent its crossing the Yakima River and burning upslope to reach Interstate 82.

Tonight at 5:00 I went on line on Facebook: to this site, the inciweb.nwcgov/incident/7132/ link to get the Facebook link to a meeting with the community about the Evans Canyon Fire. It was a bit disappointing and did not provide much information I didn’t already know from local social media. The only new information received was depressing, and that was that 6 structures (homes?) were totally lost in the fire along with several outbuildings. We have yet to hear if any of our friends who were evacuated lost anything.

Clarinet music from Kathy Williams-DeVries in Brisbane, Australia.

Kathy Plays Reger 9-4-20 (80 mins)

Supper: tonight we ate late, but had meatloaf & potatoes, and a piece of Key Lime pie for dessert.

Saturday, Sept 5

This morning at 9:00 a.m. is a premiere YouTube showing.

‘Nick on the Fly’ #24 Seattle Glacial Till, 9-5-20 (37 mins)

CWU’s Nick Zentner visits glacial deposits in Seattle, Washington. Recorded on September 1, 2020.

I was tired from a restless night, so decided to take an afternoon nap. Guess I needed it, as I slept for an hour. Might not have awakened if John hadn’t come in the front door.

Worked on the geology study group necessities planning for the future (the first, tomorrow a.m. at 9:00 a.m) and then adding a new member to the study group. Also, had to load the dishwasher.

Supper: Meatloaf, potatoes, and fried cauliflower; butter pecan crunch ice cream for dessert.

Sunday, Sept 6

‘Nick on the Fly’ #25 – Icicle Creek Exotic Bedrock 9-6-20 (49 mins)

Nick’s explanation of this video when introducing it:
“We started up canyon at the Chiwaukum Schist and viewed that, (coming on down the canyon, we realized that the Mt Stuart Batholith is younger and intruded into the Chiwaukum Schist, and at the same time also intruded up into some of the Ingalls Terrane which was all that Ultramafic Mantle material. This area is a key portion for the Baha-BC discussion and unraveling the exotic terrane history in the northern Cascades.”
It’s our lead into a new Nick from Home livestreaming on Exotic Terranes in WA, accreted on from Mexico when Mt. Stuart was moved from Mexico to British Columbia, but because of offset eastward rotation, Mt. Stuart stayed in WA. Geological history of our region, this theory is now well-followed by the science community. Those lectures officially start this coming Wednesday evening at 6:00 p.m. and continue for 26 episodes two days/week until December. The 2nd day is Sunday morning, at 9:00 a.m. to pull in the European community.

Brunch today: cheese bratwurst and Protein shake.

At 12:40 we received a disturbing call that there was a fire a mile west of us headed east, so I have been logged onto the police scanner listening. Sandy Meier called to warn us the fire was in our vicinity and 6 fire trucks had gone up Wilson Creek Rd by their house. John got in the car and found a deputy sheriff at the Corner of Naneum and Thomas Roads, who told him the firefighting crews knocked it down, and there was no longer any danger or need to evacuate. The cause was a backhoe hitting an electric utility pole on Frontier Rd, which fell, starting the fire within the Rustic Acres subdivision, in the “rural area” north of Ellensburg, with Wilson Creek Rd on the west, and an east-west road along the south side, Thomas Rd. This development is accessible about a mile west of our home. At the time, of the fire report, the winds were blowing from the west, at 21 mph across dry shrub-steppe vegetation and much cheat grass toward a forest of trees along a creek.

Another warning we had was from our neighbor a mile north on Naneum, who saw the smoke (we had not seen, and can’t because of the trees to the west). Allen and his son drove down to check it out and talked to a sheriff’s deputy at the closed road on the north side to get to Wilson Creek, Rd, closest to the start of the fire on the west side of Thomas Rd. So he had heard the same story as John did on the East side of Thomas.

As they drove up, I received a return call from a friend on Thomas Rd east of the start of the fire. They were receiving a lot of smoke in their location and realized how they might be evacuated, when hearing the fire engines arrive. They were packing their motor-home with all their important papers, to be ready to leave. They were notified by a deputy sheriff very quickly when the fire was contained. The Public Utility District crews are now replacing poles and wires.

At 3:00 p.m. today, temp at airport is 94°; temp on our front porch in the shade is down from 94° earlier to 90.5°.

John is preparing a major chore today for a Monday happening. We will be draining and flushing our water heater to get out the crud in the tank, and the hose has to come out of the back patio door, which is the west side of the house and our hottest outside part of the house. Power to the tank has been shut off and we have continued use of that water. Thus, it is now cooled. Those in the know suggest this flushing be done once a year. Don’t ask. Okay. Never. New tank 15 years ago.

John started his nap at 3:25 waiting for the temp to decrease before going outside, and slept for over an hour.
I need a nap too, but I need to finish this blog as well so we can go to bed earlier tonight. I’m enjoying a cool PoweradeZero drink of Strawberry/Lemonade while working on photo insert creations for the blog.
Today’s activities now include finishing the blog, unloading dishwasher, putting medicines in for the week. Enjoying Labor Day holiday. Ha! Retired. Every day is a holiday.

Supper: Cheezy biscuits and Beef Stew.

Wind is still blowing but John just opened the windows in the house and the temp is down to 79°.

Here’s one last view of the fire extent ending this morning and still okay. The fire is contained with a “footprint” of 75,800 acres. Not everything therein burned. Report by authorities will follow.Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Not so Nasty News September 4th

I enjoy science related puns. Like this:
Dear Gaia: Thank you for your rotation. It makes my day.
Item #1: Bad & Good Above: Looking NW over Wenas Lake late Monday, Aug. 31, 2020.
The bad news is that 20 miles south of the Naneum Fan there has been a fire burning through grass, brush, and some trees. Monday afternoon start time. They haven’t given a cause yet, but likely a person or group did something that should not have been done. As of Friday afternoon the area involved is 70,000 acres, about 110 sq. miles. That is about 3.3 times the size of Manhattan island. When the smoke clears it will be apparent that much of the land was not burned. Five homes have burned, but most of the area is structure free, except along the road that runs along the right side of the Lake.
The good news is that by Friday afternoon the increase has been nearly stopped. Lots of crews and airplanes have had time to move to the region and wind has slowed.
Left of the smoke is a long sloping surface to a sharp ridge, called Cleman Mountain. We have ridden horses there to an elevation of 5,000 feet. To the right is a less high area called Umtanum Ridge, that is visible from here. We’ve been there too. We have riding acquaintances in the area where the fire started.
Nancy will have more on Sunday.

Item #2: Scarcity of color

This week there are two plants blooming; both (as far as I can determine) are a form of Rabbitbrush. The larger is called Rubber Rabbitbrush (also Gray RB) apparently because of the gum-like sap of the roots. The leaves are thin, like a pine tree needle. The smaller plant is called Green Rabbitbrush, with blade-like leaves that curl. Upper right insert. Why?Summer has been dry and hot, and still they bloom.

Item #3: Remember polio?

In the photo, the nurse is at a smaller tank respirator (“iron lung”) while the closer one is adult size. The tank had portal windows so attendants could reach in and adjust limbs, sheets, or hot packs.

This Panic2020, in the early part of the year, included a frantic search for “ventilators.” Now the big story is a search for a vaccine. A search for common sense is in order.

Anyway, this got me to thinking about the Polio scare when I was about 10 years old. I do not recall our school, or anything else, being closed, but I have found newspapers, like this 1946 one, that report school closures. I don’t remember 1946.
We lived about 70 miles from Pittsburgh where the Jonas Salk team at the University there developed a Polio vaccine. That became available in 1955 and we youngins got our doses in school. I’ll have to ask some elders about what they remember.
Iron Lung

Item #4: Ice

Ice is scheduled to retire at the end of September.
This Belgian Malinois U.S. Forest Service police dog, 11 years old, has been stabbed on two occasions. The events happened as officers were making raids of marijuana growing in the Klamath National Forest in northern California.
Did we really need more reasons to dislike Californians? Story link

Item #5: News you can use

Do not let anyone take your temperature on your forehead, it scrambles your brain cells. At the grocery store I went in for lettuce, tomatoes, and Blue Cheese dressing. At home, I realized I had purchased a pizza and 6-pack of beer.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

Food and geology

Monday, Aug 24

Called Bi-Mart pharmacy about PreviDent 5000 ppm Booster Plus Prescription strength toothpaste. Spearmint. 3.4 fl oz Rx only.
There I can get 2 containers for $11.75, which is considerably less than $15.00 for one. Turns out the 2 containers are filled by a different pharmaceutical company (Cypress) into two tubes, that seem easier to dispense than from the Colgate one plastic bottle from the dentist, and in the process, I get two more ounces of the gel toothpaste. I only use it at night, when on my way to bed, because I cannot drink anything (even water) until ½ hour after using. So I take my nightly pills before brushing my teeth. I talked to Tiffany at my dentist office, and she’s calling in the prescription for me.

Of all things, at 9:15 a.m. I looked out the back patio door as I sat down with my 2nd coffee refill, and saw movement. It was a hummingbird in front of a red ribbon bow attached to the back glass door to warn birds not to crash into the window reflecting the sky. While watching and wishing I had access to a camera, a second hummingbird flew up seeking nectar neither found. That is not the first time we have seen that behavior, but it is the first time for twin hummers.

I spent a good amount of time cutting John’s hair today, but he looks a lot better.
John fixed a late lunch (a spicy grilled cheese & pepperoni sandwich, ending with a caramel/vanilla ice cream bar.
Now he’s taking a late afternoon nap.

Supper: John had hamburger & onions & Cod fish for meat; I had Fried Chicken Breast. We both had our garden tomatoes, beets, & fried onion rings, dessert: vanilla ice cream covered with hot chocolate fudge sauce.Tonight’s sunset, by Mike McCloskey, taken from J. Ronald Road 6 miles south of us. We’re surrounded by trees for our view west.

Tuesday, Aug 25

John to Dentist, for a filling, and we will be billed. I did not have to pay ½ up front. I went by Hospice Friends for a case of Chocolate Ensure, by the AAC to pick up my card and dice for a Zoom game Thursday of Yahtzee, and to Bi-Mart to pick-up 4 bottles of GoodSense Artificial tears Megan left for me at the front desk. On back to the Pharmacy to grab some Fisherman Friends, and to pick up my Prevident Fluoride toothpaste.

Here’s an interesting broadcast—Nick Zentner being interviewed on another guy’s podcast (audio):

#018 – Nick Zentner: Teaching in Creative Ways

But, tonight is another presentation from on the road from Nick’s field trip to Bellingham, WA.

‘Nick on the Fly’ #16 – Baja BC interview with Darrel Cowan, 8-25-20 (53 mins)

Supper: was more breakfast for me with left over ham & cheese omelet, red grapes, tomatoes, and then ice cream for dessert with hot fudge sauce.

Wednesday, Aug 26

We’ve a friend in Super 1’s pharmacy named Tuesday. I called her about flu shots, ’cause John read they are being distributed. Flu shots are in; she’s going to get hers early too, and will be working 3 days next week: Sept 3, 4, 5 and we are just to stop by.

Wrote check for our farrier David Hazlett, and John is now out waiting for his arrival coming at 11:00 to trim Myst. There was a delay in his arrival because of our living in a rural area. The road was full of cattle being moved from summer feeding grounds on the mountain to the ranch. Had he actually been on time himself, he’d have made it in the driveway before they came by.

At 11:00 a.m. the temperature outside is up to 76° at the airport, and on our front porch it’s 79°.
I’m working on in–house and on-computer chores. Currently, alternating between dishwasher loading and computer needs.

At 4:00 p.m., it’s up to 87° at airport; front porch: 82.4°.
5:00 p.m., 84° at airport; 81.3° on our front porch.Nick with Bijou in his backyard

‘Nick on the Fly’ #17 – A return to ‘Nick from Home’ Livestreams (20 mins)

Supper: Cross rib boneless steak sliced thin fried with onions, corn-on-the-cob, ice cream with chocolate hot sauce for dessert.

I sent an ALERT to our study group tonight in preparation for tomorrow night’s viewing of another field trip led by Nick Zentner.
Tonight, those watching the video from Nick’s backyard, with Bijou his cat buddy, heard he had posted another video for Thursday night’s showing at 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, Aug 27

More fun time with Yahtzee game this morning. It was held on Zoom at the AAC (Senior Center) at 10:00 a.m. We only had time for one game but enjoyed it. I did not win, but all of us except the winner had decent scores. She won because of getting an extra 100 points from having a two Yahtzees (all 5 dice the same). Pretty unusual, I imagine.
11:00 a.m. temp on front porch, 83.1°.

Another evening field trip from Nick Zentner for our education:

‘Nick on the Fly’ #18 – Quartz Mountain Exotic Bedrock, 8-27-20 (39 mins)

Quartz Mountain is about half-way between Ellensburg and Mt. Rainier. Shortly after we arrived here 31 years ago, we went exploring and visited. Great luck! We hit the peak of wild flowers and the large high meadows held jumbles of blossoms and many bumblebees. They didn’t mind our intrusion – just moved away and let us take photos. [About 6,300 feet; here: 47.073521, -121.078980 ]

Supper: Boiled shrimp, tomatoes, and pears, ice cream and hot fudge sauce for dessert.

Friday, Aug 28

Today, I paid on line, our support classification dues to the Kittitas County Historical Museum. I captured the payment details and filed in a folder in my 2020 Donations.

We sometime get two Scammer calls per day and I usually look up the number and block it for future calls to our landline. Then we know when we get one, because it only rings once and stops.

This is the first time for this (but we have heard of it before because we know the Social Security Administration never reaches anyone by phone, but only by postal mail.

SSA Scammer call at 2:01 p.m. today:John came in because of the heat and for a snack, Reece’s Peanut butter cup, followed later by a half of an ice cream sandwich for each of us. He finished digging onions this morning; now they are drying.

It’s now 84.2° outside at 2:30 p.m. The last reading at the airport was 85° before 2:00 p.m.
At 3:00 p.m. it’s 83.5° on our front porch & 85° at the airport

Our morning delivery load of 15.84 tons of gravel from Ellensburg Cement Products (ECP) was an hour early arriving, instead of the planned time of 11:00 a.m. We’ll be billed on our credit card Monday for $260.57 + 21.63= ~ $282.20.

I had a time conflict with being able to watch tonight’s music, but I’ll list it here for you to choose, if you wish to view and listen.
At 5:00 p.m. PST, Kathy Williams-DeVries presented her music livestream from Brisbane, Australia.

Kathy presents Sacro-profanus Concentus Musicas by Schmelzer 8-28-20

She also sent a “Geology Teaser” with a lot of slides of a tour, with many geologic specimens, in a museum setting and she added a musical background she is playing on a recorder:

Geology Department University of Queensland

About 6 PM tonight, Nick Zentner added a new Nick on the Fly video to his packet announcing it on Instagram (social media). You’ll need to follow his YouTube Channel to see when he plans to show it, so you can set your reminder for the time and date. It is going to cover Rimrock Lake (on White Pass-Hwy 12 west from Naches, WA), to discuss another exotic terrane which is called the Rimrock Inlier and has been studied by Bob Miller and other geologists.

Supper: thinly sliced pork fried with onion, corn-on the cob, red grapes, and crunchy butter pecan ice cream for dessert.
Now taking meds, and going to bed!

Saturday, Aug 29

The tops and roots of some of the onions were dry, so John trimmed those for storage. He’s wetting the landscaping activity to prevent dust, and alternating between onions, rocks, dirt, gravel, and fixing meals. Annie and he go for the papers and mail, and feeding the horses. The resident deer and cats are frequent companions. Woody is a stealthy watcher while Czar is like a familiar. Sue just lies around in the shade watching the activity.

I’ve been torn between computer chores, getting out information to the geology study group in preparation for tomorrow morning’s broadcast at 9:00 a.m. which has a worldwide audience.

The next “Photo” is to show the high wind speed (gusts) we experienced during the time we attended a gathering. At 4:20 this afternoon, we went 2.5 miles north to the end of Naneum Rd to a Celebration of Life party for two people–most recently, Beth Brunson, who died of a brain tumor. Damned cancer! Sad thing was she was only 58 and she had survived for 2.5 years the first time she had it by going through chemo and radiation. She was unwilling to through the treatment again, and made an understandable decision not to redo the ordeal.

The surviving family members put on a very nice BBQ gathering outside and invited many people in the valley. Everyone there visited during 43 mph wind gusts and 70 degree temps. I was dressed for it and still cold. I’m glad we went. Now I need to send a nice sympathy card to the family, via email to the couple’s daughter, even though I wrote in the guest book. Beth’s husband Randy died 3 years ago, also of cancer. Today’s activity was a joint Celebration of Life dedicated to the couple with several tables covered with books, photos, and photos on story posters of them in their younger days, being active in our community with their two children, especially in outdoor activities.

Supper: At the BBQ we had choices of several salads (including potato salad, Caesar salad), hamburger (I had ½), ½ bratwurst (excellent-should have had a whole one), chips, roast beef & turkey sliced meat), two items from a full table of many desserts, cookies, cakes and candies. We had one like a Nanaimo bar and another with Chex cereal, caramel, and chocolate.
Everyone at our table loved it. The photo here, from the web is close, but not quite what it looked like. Once home, we had some butter pecan crunch ice cream for dessert.
Take meds, fluoride teeth, post FitBit stats, and get some sleep!

Sunday, Aug 30

I had hot coffee to warm up this morning after a low outside temperature of 50° at 5:00 a.m.; inside, when the hallway got to 69°, John turned the heater on. Also, I made a strawberry protein shake to tide me through the morning before our brunch.

This was the geology of Washington excursion of the morning:

‘Nick on the Fly’ #19 – Rimrock Lake Exotic Bedrock, 8-30-20 (52 mins)

The YouTube description includes this: CWU’s Nick Zentner visits the Rimrock Lake Inlier in central Washington to continue learning about Mesozoic exotic terrane basement rocks.

This morning’s show added two more people to our study group.

Brunch today: Bacon, an egg, and a blueberry pancake, with coffee.

3:00 p.m. today, temp at airport is 77°; temp on our front porch is 75.6°. John’s napping.

Last week we were concerned about the hurricane threatening our friend Gina in Houston. With her broken leg and all her harbored rescue reptiles, there would be no way for her to evacuate. Happily, Hurricane Laura turned northeastward and did not threaten her. It did quite a job on Louisiana, however.

Supper: Spaghetti with sausage meat sauce.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Not so Nasty News August 28th

Item #1: No got dirt?
This is odd. Way over in merry Ol’Otley, West Yorkshire, a young lad saw an imperiled hedgehog. A rather rare creature, this one was white with a pink nose.
Jack Frost

Wildlife biologist Dr Toni Bunnell, who has treated albino hedgehogs in the past, said they survive well in the wild.
She said: “Although it might be thought that the light colouration would make them more visible to predators, this is not in fact the case.
“After only a few days in the wild, the coat of the albino becomes dirty and serves as camouflage.”

I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but do they not have plain ol’dirt in West Yorkshire? I could get Jack Frost to turn into Jack Dirt with no trouble at all.

Item #2: rather clever folks
Note the Roadrunner painted beside the painted tunnel. This prank worked too well: Crash!

The folks that repair hiking trails claim camp gear ought to include 3-in-1 oil for things that should move – but don’t, and duct tape for things that do move – but shouldn’t. Utility poles ought not to move, so duct tape to the rescue.

Item #3: More than clever
Just one image here, but go to Nikolaj
Read about the chalk artist and then go to “gallery.” And then 3-D.
There will be scroll tabs.

Item #4: A Unicorn story

A young girl (age 3 ?) had to be rescued by ferry workers after she was swept out to sea on a small** inflatable unicorn.

White with pink wings

**Folks have claimed it is a “giant” inflatable. Not exactly. Search up “inflatable unicorns” on the web.

Scroll down until the video with dark sides and ship scene in the middle. This is in the Gulf of Patras, a branch of the Ionian Sea, with the “toe” of Italy to the west.

Item #5: wrong attitude

I couldn’t decide which of these to use, so both.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

A week of the color orange

Monday, Aug 17 Ryegrass Hill sunrise by Cindi Crawford Ackerlund
Ryegrass is a rest stop on Interstate 90 with nearby wind power facilities. 10 miles down hill, to the east, is the Columbia River.

I called about Sirius XM and established it for another year of service for $69.68. That’s one of the best prices I’ve had in recent years. Considering we are not traveling in my car that much anymore, it is not necessary. However, we can access through our computer.

Wrote Kara Chin about Hike-A-Thon and renewal WTA. They are having it this year and we will be sponsoring her as usual. I processed her donation and stored in our folders for WTA & donations. Many of the office staff have been working out of their homes during Panic2020. So many activities are affected, and we learn of more daily.

I slept in this morning and it is going to be another hot afternoon, and problematic for the valley. Highest temperature at the airport today was 102°, but on our front porch, it was never higher than 96.9°. However, John needs to move our outside gauge, as it is presently in a hotter spot than it should be. Not as bad as the high temperatures at sensors in Death Valley, which are near a black asphalt parking lot.

We have a smoke-filled valley from 3 nearby fires in our region. Last night was so bad, that after the temps dropped to 77 (from 101), we couldn’t open the windows to cool down the house because the smoke was so severe. (As well, the high pressure didn’t help.) At least the high wind gusts have slowed that would fuel the fire.

John’s still outside working in 81° heat at 10:00 a.m. moving lumber cut in early July.

He vacuumed out the a/c filters on our heat pump this morning. We were using it late last night filtering the smoky air out of the house from leaving the doggie/cat door partially opened.

Now he’s unloading our dishwasher and going to worry about lunch.
Lunch: John made me a grilled cheese sandwich and we shared a banana. He had pork and rice from the freezer; cooked months ago.

I loaded some more soaked dishes in to the dishwasher today, but have been working on lots of different unrelated projects.
Did not have to cut John’s hair, as his dental appointment was postponed until Tuesday next week, and he had stuff he was doing today.
We received a nice package from a Zentner study group member who made cloth masks for John and me and sent them up from San Jose, CA. Thanks for her generosity.

Tuesday, Aug 18
Sunrise at the south rim of the Grand Canyon photographed by MotoJW photography (Jason Wiegand, from Wenatchee, WA) who has given me permission to publish his artistry.

Nice and cool for John’s morning work before it got up to 81°
I slept in until 8:30, after being up at 3:00, 5:00, & 7:00. Guess I needed it.

Hummingbird moth – I was introduced to this (never knew of before) by my friend in New Jersey, Elise Schlosser. I asked my lepidopterist friend, Caitlin LaBar about the moth and she said they are one of many several species of day-flying sphinx moths.Hummingbird moth by Elise in NJ; right pix from web
While searching ‘images’ for the moth, I found a video by Mark Fraser, truly a must watch:
Hummingbird Moth Natures Incredible Mimic! 3-30-14 (7 mins)
His commentary follows:

It doesn’t take long to be amazed by wildlife, in fact all one needs to do is simply to look closely. Many species have evolved to mimic other species as a survival mechanism and in the case of the Hummingbird Moth that is a truly an amazing thought. The wings of the humming bird moth are incredible and they hover just like the hummingbirds that give them their names sake. They are also a great example of why avoiding pesticides is so very important. Insects are the main staple of the food web for so many other species and also are amazing when we admire them with an open heart and open mind.

Today at the Bi-Mart Pharmacy, I bought two packs of GenTeal Severe Dry Eye Gel Tears and picked up John’s medication refill. Also picked up Bingo cards at the AAC so I can play, via ZOOM, on Thursday. I went for my monthly blood draw (INR was 2.7), and will go back, 9/15. Then we went by Joanie’s for my blue pants she added elastic to the waist. I was wearing the purple ones she did for me last week.

A nice sunset photo from a former student in the 1970s (at Idaho), Jerry Johnson (now a senior executive at ESRI), but on summer vacation in Wisconsin. This sunset in Ephraim, WI over Lake Michigan from the peninsula that juts out into the Great Lakes in the NE part of the state.Supper: Chicken stir-fry, with mushrooms, our onions, 3 colors bell peppers. Toasted English Muffin bread slice. Dessert: one last piece of Key Lime pie shared between us with a half a caramel ice cream bar each.

Wednesday, Aug 19

Our workers, Jesse and Willie returned this morning early, while still cool, to work on building the forms for the concrete ramp under the new covered entrance. They just left to go get the company’s 2 dump trucks to pick up a little more than a ton of gravel for the base of the walkway, to prevent its settling and cracking. They left to transfer trucks, and will return to spread the gravel.

At 11:00 a.m. the temperature outside is up to 84° at the airport, and on our front porch it’s 89.2°. John’s out working partially in the shade on some of his landscaping projects.

I’m tackling various in house and on computer chores. Got my “jobs list” site worked up ahead, and need to send a few job notices. Loaded the clothes washer and John helped unload the dishwasher, and then helped with the transfer of wet clothes into the clothes dryer. He can reach farther into the wash tub than I can.

While starting my morning computer I opened Facebook to find that a former colleague at CWU Geography, now in Deland, FL had his house hit by a tree, tornado blowdown, but thankfully, he is fine.

At 1:00 p.m., it’s up to 90° at airport; here on the front porch: 91.6°.

3:30 p.m. just off the phone in an 18-minute nice conversation with our 102 yrs. old cousin in PA, using our speaker phone. What a lovely person. Ethel has no health problems except Macular Degeneration but still lives alone, in the same town with her daughter, Pat. She is amazing. Her mind is sharp and if we want to know anything about family history, she’s still able to provide details. We so much enjoy talking with her. Her biggest problem is not being able to see enough to dial her own phone.

5:00 p.m., 89° at airport; 87.4° on our front porch.

Supper: rest of the chicken stir-fry, with tomatoes from our garden, red grapes, meatloaf & beans with franks, piece of buttered English Muffin Bread loaf toasted.

Thursday, Aug 20

I called this morning about an eye appointment. We are scheduled for Sept 30th, Wednesday, at 9:50 a.m. We must call from the parking lot, wear masks, the technician comes out and checks our temperature, and brings us paperwork to fill out. Chairs will be outside the building. This COVID thing has really altered everyone’s lives and businesses (even medical, dental, and vision are caught in the middle). At least they are finally open for business. Normally, we go in in May, but they were closed completely then.

From my camera, I transferred my videotape of the gravel dump trucks for walkway and other still photos, from yesterday’s work. Then I processed the video to YouTube.
Here is it for your viewing pleasure.

Dusty dumping a load of gravel (1.5 mins)

By 10:00 a.m. I was ready to rest. I sat in my recliner and had some fun & relaxation with the Game Day of Bingo. It was held via Zoom from the Senior Center, officially recognized by the name Ellensburg Adult Activity Center.
Next Thursday, we’ll be playing Yahtzee. That should be a lot of fun. I’ll be going by Tuesday to pick up my cards and dice.

Brunch: Pork CheddarWurst “dog” fried and served with pork & beans, I had a slice of English Muffin Bread toast with butter. John had added ham bites also.

Spent over an hour soaking my feet, cleaning, and cutting my overgrown toenails. Our foot doctor closed at COVID and has not yet caught up, if he is even open yet at all. We’ve not heard. We’ve already done our own twice. Medicare was covering the cost. I wore myself out and should have taken a stronger pain pill for my left shoulder before using it to stabilize the toes to do the trimming.

For a couple of years I’ve been calling Gerald (from the music group) just before a TV program he watches. Now he goes to a son’s house for supper, spending the night, and he now has started calling me earlier — 4:30 today.

I keep working on emails, and then I was so tired I took a 2-hr nap. John had had his earlier in the afternoon.

Supper: Nancy had Chicken Noodle soup, added chicken breast meat, red grapes, Cheez-its, and ice cream for dessert. John had ham & beans, red grapes, and piece of pecan pie.

Friday, Aug 21

John’s morning chores were accomplished in cooler temps. It was warm all night because of clouds, and we even had some rain last night. I heard it on the sky light. Not enough to wet the dry grass. Western WA got more, and also in the mountains.

Afternoon at 5:00 p.m. PST is Kathy Williams-DeVries livestream program of music from Brisbane, Australia. Jonathan Cohler, an international clarinet virtuoso from Boston, MA, will be her guest. She’s known him for 2 decades.

Kathy talks to Jonathan Cohler

Supper: small bowl of crockpot chili, red grapes, our own red cherry tomatoes, fried onion rings, glass for me of PowerAde. John will have pecan pie and ice cream for dessert, and I’ll just have ice cream.

We had another delivery of gravel today; a full load of washed material from the crusher. You can see a still photo of the first unload of about half the dump truck and the associated story, below in John’s Friday column, Not So Nasty News. It’s another interesting column you don’t want to miss.

This video is of the unloading of the second half, closer to the house. Near the end you can see the forms waiting for another big truck to bring the cement. If your eyes are really sharp, the dark line to the right of the wood plank is the run-off from our little bit of rain.

More gravel for projects

Fires are raging in California. I sent this report to our study group which has many members affected, and we have friends and relatives in CA as well we are concerned about. Thoughts and prayers for all those involved and especially the firefighters.This is a still above taken from time-lapse photography of fires started by lightning strikes, viewable in the article as a video. All information provided is instructive with the fires threatening many California cities; Vacaville is seriously engulfed with fire. Many in the state are in danger. Note: You may have to close and accept cookies to view the video part at the beginning.

Western U.S. on Fire from Lightning Barrage

Cliff has another interesting post on Sunday: Fog UFO Spotted in the Strait of Juan De Fuca!

There is a blog archive on the right side.

Saturday, Aug 22

Orange sunrise through the eyes of a spider:This unique view was photographed from a bridge by Evie Schuetz on her early morning walk in Kittitas, WA. The web is empty; a caption might be “Waiting for breakfast.”

I’ve been slowing working on soaking dishes and loading them into the dishwasher. Also putting in time on the blog creation, and on getting information to the group about Nick Zentner’s plans for a ‘Nick on the Fly’ episode in the morning at 9:00 a.m.

John’s been doing various outside chores. Hottest was digging out some more onions and bringing them into the shade of the carport to trim the leaves and the roots off. Early on before the temperatures increased, he was out rearranging the gravel at the base of the to-be concrete walkway entrance to our front door.

This arrived on Facebook today, from that gal mentioned above as a lepidopterist, Caitlin LaBar. Her photograph and comments are below:Noticed this Fork-tailed Bush Katydid as I was getting in my truck this morning. Exciting find, I’ve never seen a big green katydid before! I moved her over to the bushy area so she wouldn’t get squished.
Katydid was on my tire, I thought it was weird that a leaf would have stuck to the side of the tire so I took a closer look.

Supper: Fried Chicken Breast, red grapes, cherry tomatoes, ice cream for me for dessert, and John added pecan.

Sunday, Aug 23

Up at 4:30 a.m. with the cats outside wanting fed. Then slept in until 6:00 when John got up and we decided to sleep another hour. He wanted to get an early start before the heat of the day while it was still cool. I slept in another hour before needing to awake and watch a Nick field excursion.
This morning at 9:00 a.m., we had almost 700 folks around Earth watching an incredibly amazing adventure. It has views, breathtaking hikes, and even his family (son & girlfriend) climbing the rocks. Walked right by a large rattler, who moved out of Nick’s path. You must view this episode, it’s a classic.
‘Nick on the Fly’ #14 – Smith Rock 8-23-20 (31 mins)
CWU’s Nick Zentner travels to central Oregon to visit Smith Rock State Park. 31 minutes. Recorded on Wednesday, August 19, 2020. Topics: Crooked River Caldera, Supervolcanoes, rhyolitic welded tuff, Yellowstone Hot Spot, and related things.

Just took me ½ hour to put in all my meds for the week into a container.
Soon, I’ll be fixing me a protein nutrition drink to tide me over until lunch. John’s planning to do some watering and come in to fix a ham omelet. We had a bowl of fruit cocktail and banana to go along with it and a bunch of red grapes. I helped with fixing a bowl of eggs, and washing and de-stemming the grapes. We have an excess of eggs now. I’ll have to make an egg salad. I used to fix a salad to take to a Wednesday Noon music gig: with Iceberg lettuce, smoked turkey or chicken, pistachios, and can add some of our garden tomatoes, and a hard boiled egg. For croutons, I use Cheez-its. That won’t use many eggs, so I’ll have to give some away.

Cooler this morning in Ellensburg, going to 49° before 7:00 a.m.; however, the predicted high today is 85° so it will be warm. At
11:00 it’s 71°, at 3:00 we reached 88°.
John alternated out-and-in; work/rest/drink – trying to not do things in the sun. He’s gone out to move a hose from one to another of our pine trees, and now back in to cook us a ham omelet for brunch. The cats are outside as his companions.

Late afternoon call from a dear friend in Houston, TX.
Two hurricanes are headed toward her.

We talked for ½ hour. She fell and broke her right leg over a month ago, had surgery, and is in a boot now for 3 days but still using a scooter to get around her house. She’s a high school teacher but has to ask for help with getting groceries and going anywhere, because she cannot drive. She also has runs a volunteer reptile rescue operation and needs help caring for all the animals, although she can do some.

Supper: Progresso Soup with added cooked chicken breast. John had breaded cod, fried.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan

Not so Nasty News August 21st

Item #1: in the driveway

Monday morning there was a feather in the driveway. I always wonder why an intact feather separates from the bird. In this case it appears to be from the outer part of a wing, a primary flight feather. The pennies help with scale, but end-to-end it is 5 5/8ths inches. In the smaller image, note the series of whitish/rosy humps on the lower edge. This one is more like the 5 or so on the upper right, no humps.
I did some search up on the web. The source of this pink-rosy shaft apparently was a Western Flicker (Colaptes auratus). Eastern cousins have a yellow shaft.

Item #2: Color this week

Just off the driveway about 50 feet is a small bunch of Choke Cherry trees. This week the small trees (about 10 feet high) provide new color on the Naneum Fan.
Based on their location in dry rocky soil, I’ll call them Prunus virginiana, known across much of the USA.
Washington State has a similar tree called Bitter Cherry, Prunus emarginata. Our native plants site claims they may be found in moist, second growth forests, often along streams. There is more I could investigate, but haven’t. Unlike our domestic cherry trees, plums, and walnuts, these plants were not harmed by our spring frost. I need to compare the bloom times next spring. There has been no rain for many weeks and the leaves are showing browning, but the berries look fine, but will now darken as the summer continues.
A neighbor sometimes makes jelly with these. My take is that they provide color and a bit of flavor in a sugar that has been boiled.
See invert sugar basics. Note the part about light passing through regular sugar and its direction, but goes the opposite direction when the sugar has been “inverted.”

Item #3: Almost

Years ago we set up a horse “round pen” and wanted the surface covered with a coarse sand. The truck almost got stuck. There was one spot of very fine sediment with some water beneath. The concept is termed “thixotropy” and you can search it up. Start here: Link

After the sand dump, the driver got his big truck moving as fast as the distance allowed and rolled over the danger spot. Later, a backhoe removed all the fine material and left me a big hole.I was slowly throwing rocks in the hole to not much effect. Then a 13 year-old neighbor showed up. She explained she wanted to earn money to go to our County Fair. So for a time she and I collected rocks from the property, threw them in the pickup, and then sat on the tailgate, and while visiting, threw them into the hole. Any time she could come (she had younger brothers and sisters to help with) we did that from 9 to Noon. The hole wasn’t quite full when Fair and School rolled around, the family moved, and that episode ended. I went back to the occasional rocks in the hole routine.
By this year the hole was mostly filled. The photo shows basalt rocks, now with two small piles of gravel. That’s about half a truck load of nearly 16 tons. The other half is nearer the house where it will be used in the new landscape.
Now I have to spread it out. Thus the title above: Almost.

Item #4: What’s up?

Here is a USA Total Stock Market chart for 1 year. Note this market is up 0.24% from the same date a year ago.
The blue line shows the Panic2020 action and the rebound.
While many companies’ stock price dropped and many are bankrupt, several are doing very well. Those big companies that were involved with e-commerce and related providers, and major components of stock indexes are leading the rebound.
It is somewhat amazing, but that’s what is up.

Item #5: Good news is hard to find

Each week I look for funny, odd, or otherwise interesting good news.
Such has been scarce this week.

This photo sums up the feeling. It has been a tough couple of months. California is the poster image for many things. Weather this week was not kind to the State.
The hot and dry period was punctuated by a massive display of lighting strikes over most of the Western U.S.
The Corn Belt was host to a serious wind storm, and now the south has tropical storms (hurricanes ?) approaching.

Looking forward to September.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.