A week for reading

This has been a low activity week. I went to EBRG on Monday, stopped by the Law Office and signed a paper, and bought groceries. I haven’t moved the truck but twice in the past 2 weeks.
I have lots to read and learn. The history of pigments for the color blue was in a magazine I get. The article is also on the web:

Even if you don’t wish to read – there are photos.

Another more difficult topic was about the numbers. In this case I learned about the square root of 2, and a few other things.
The number 1.414213562373095048801688 … is an approximate value for the square root of 2, but the digits just keep going on and on. Likewise, 3.1415926253 … is such a number (the ratio π of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Both are called irrational. The odd thing is that while the digits go on and on, it has a position on the number line.
You can see how this is done here: {replace XXX with www}

Actually, I did do something. I read and watched videos about how my wood stove works and about proper maintenance. So, I have allowed it to cool.I cleaned the flue cap and its protector wire mesh. This is a photo from the web, but it is the same model as mine. This one is about 97% covered with creosote.
Yikes! I use a wire brush about every six weeks. If air can’t flow out, the stove won’t burn properly, or at all. The mesh keeps sparks from flying out, but it is also the coldest part, allowing the material to condense and cling to it.
I have ordered a brush to clean the flue (arriving Monday). The rest of the stove looks normal, although I will have to clean it after using the brush. I also ordered pipe cleaners to dust out the holes in the catalytic converter. I’ll do this without taking it out. Otherwise I need to replace a flimsy gasket around it. (Next year, maybe.) The photo here shows one similar to mine with some of the passages clogged. This clogging reduces flow of hot gasses and its function because the “air” cannot touch the coating.

Keeping up with news: The US shot a balloon drifting over the North American continent. Those that paid attention got schooled on wind currents at 60,000 feet. This week there was rapidly moving cold air following the same path. Relatives in North Central Pennsylvania had a minus 1 this morning (Sat) at dawn.
Next week we may learn what this was about. In any case, we have learned that the US Air Force is capable of knocking a big fat balloon out of the sky.

Keeping Track on
the Naneum Fan


January is ending with a cold

The sky over Washington is clear making radiation cooling pronounced. It is 28°F in late afternoon so there should be a sharp drop in temperature after 5 pm when the sun sets. Cold air from the Arctic Region has made its way south over the last couple of days. However, at Calgary the temperature is 2°F but beginning to rise. Clouds are developing. I’m doubtful that I will get down to 8°F – and will likely be proved wrong.
Weather forecasting technology is not as good as sliced bread.

You have likely heard someone say “This is the greatest thing since sliced bread.” Apparently, the first to say that was comedian Red Skelton. He began comedic work at the age of 10 and was on radio in 1937, then TV in 1951. Then he claimed “Television is the greatest invention since sliced bread.” Now, the comedian is mostly forgotten, as has been the inventor of sliced bread. You can look up Red’s story, but here is a link to sliced bread.


Home type electric bread slicers cost over $500.
There are numerous cutting-board things with side rails. You can get uniform thickness for between $30 to $50 dollars. I could make one with scrap wood. If I counted my time I won’t bother. I’m still able to cut uniform slices with a regular serrated knife that I have. Oh well.

Carrot cake is good too and here is a photo of me with the cake from last Saturday’s party. I was the person with the nearest birth day even though it was past and a couple of others were in the near future. I only had one candle, seen here in my hand.

Cameron and Phyllis brought party masks from German. These are flat paper with a description – in German – on the back. I have no idea what they were about. They had to be tied behind. Cameron’s appears to fit the best. Likely that is because the masks were wide and he has the largest head. I did not prepare anything. Phyllis and others prepared the food.
I had sorted my remaining onions from last summer’s garden. I took half to Phyllis and kept the other half.
I dug the onions six months ago, the 3rd week of July. I cannot keep them as cool as I would like – me about 68°; best 45°, but I do store them in single layers in darkness. Every couple of weeks I use or cut & freeze any that show signs of changing. What I have will last another month. With a cooler temperature I could expect some to last until the middle of March. For cooking, cutting them and freezing works.

I did manage to get several auto-pay accounts, such as the electric bill, converted to a new card. Each one saves the writing and mailing of a check. In talking to the Power Cooperative, found they did not change our rate for 2023. We are not the lowest in the Nation, but there are only a few lower. With a fully electric house, that’s nice.

I need to add wood to the stove.
Keeping Track on the
Naneum Fan.

John H.

Finally, a party

The weather cooperated and 10 of us got together at Phyllis and Cameron’s house – White Heron Winery. My birthday was the 4th, but now two more folks are about to have birthdays.
Some photos were taken but not by me. Maybe I’ll get sent some and show them next week. I left home at 9:30 and got back at 5:30, just before dark. Although not a lot, the daylight is noticeably longer.

I had 2 cold mornings – – 16°F. Two inches of snow Sunday morning. For Monday morning I expect 20° with slowly warming during the week. There is a rumor that next Sunday will bring more cold air. There is very cold air in the Arctic Region – 800 miles north of Washington State. Winter is still with us.
Unless one is interested in the President’s Corvette the national news is dull.
However, I did find a report from 2016 when a film was made for the season premiere of CNBC’s “Jay Leno’s Garage”. Retired four-star general Colin Powell also owns a Corvette. There is a fake race. All good fun.

There is a usatoday story with this title:
Jay Leno on Biden’s sick burnout: ‘It was fun’ (usatoday.com)
The TV segment has the following title.
(1) Joe Biden Does a Burnout In His Corvette Stingray – Jay Leno’s Garage – YouTube

In other news, the price of eggs went up. For folks that eat lots of eggs (not me), that’s important. I got a dozen free from a neighbor and froze them. So the problem seems to be Covid or Bird Flu – is there a difference?
Millions of egg-layers have been disposed of, apparently by “on-site” composting. Enough of that topic.
Someone has suggested a solution to bird flu, also known as Avian Influenza. This method employs sewers and fitters. I’ll pass.

We raised chickens while living in Troy ID and both turkeys and chickens here in Washington. The turkeys were Broad Breasted Bronze.

Turkeys lay large eggs, and they are nicely speckled. When friend Gina was teaching mid-grade students, I sent a few eggs to her in Houston. She still has them 25 years later. In the photo below, the turkey egg is the 2nd from left, top row.

Keeping track on the Naneum Fan

John H.

This week’s lesson is the word Irony

The Food Stamp Program, administered by the US Dept. of Agriculture is proud to be distributing the greatest number of free meals and food stamps ever – to 46 million people.

Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the US Dept. of Interior, tells us “Please Do Not Feed the Animals.” Their stated reason for the policy is because “the animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves.”

There will be a quiz at the end of the year.

Below is a photo with a caption from a famous song.
Lyrics by Don McLean:
So bye-bye, Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee
But the levee was dry
Them good old boys were drinking whiskey and rye

The question is: Had you been asked to provide a caption to the photo – what would you have come up with?

On the home front, I got a haircut. This was about 3 weeks late because of the holidays, so I was somewhat shaggy. The 3rd week in March needs an alarm.

Except for fog, the weather is uneventful.

Keeping Track, on the
Naneum Fan

John H.

NEXT POST: late Sunday 22nd

2023 begins calmly on the Fan

This, being the week of my birthday, was an uneventful week for me, unlike for many other people and places.
I slept, ate, fed cats, watched wood burn, and read.
My sister said New Years was a time to eat pork and ice cream – I think that is what she said. So, I baked & braised spare ribs and the ice cream was a Bordeaux Cherry. [Marketing hype: the cherries are Bing from Oregon] I’m surprised the “Bordeaux” name is allowed, especially in Oregon. I think she made the eating ice cream part up.

The web is full of interesting pictures. What impresses me are the captions folks think to put with them. These things appear with no attribution – who to thank? Oh well, here are two:

The current forecast of weather for the coming week looks like this:

I may need to find a new book to read.

Keeping track on the
Naneum Fan


Last post for that wonderful year 2022

This past week brought more snow, and then Allen came and pulled it out into the pasture. The rear-blade equipment on a tractor causes the issue of getting the snow out of the way. This time he tried pushing going in reverse and the blade went up and over the pile. We had to do a little digging to break that up. The tractor is not 4 wheel drive. The problem was easily solved – about 5 minutes of work and talk.

Wednesday I visited with a couple of university folks and signed a paper documenting a future donation. This just alerts them of the possibility. We met near a food court in the Student Union and Recreation Center, know as the SURC. The cost of items in the food court are about 2 ½ times what I have paid for the same thing in a grocery store. Being a student is a costly affair.

After a couple of delays, Eric N. and I were treated to a visit, cheese fondue, and a sampling of wines Phyllis and Cameron brought from Germany. All great. Although there was more fog on the drive than I expected.
The odd part is bringing bottled wine into the U. S. on the return trip. They brought 24 bottles and the duty (fee) is so low the agents don’t bother. It has to be declared but collecting so little isn’t worth their time. Who knew?

Me, I cleared the fresh snow from the path to the wood stacks, and I cleaned the dying embers from the wood stove – and started a new fire with (now) twice the room.

I saw a funny Christmas thing. Years ago a fellow packed ceramic angels in a box and label it “angles”. All the family knew of this but nothing was done until this year. A son replaced the contents with what you see in the following photo:

Now the family has a new Christmas memory.

Two other things for the holidays.
The original 12 days of Christmas story:


A new version of the song nontraditional:

I’m an optimist about 2023.
Check in next year for the outcome.

Keeping track on the Naneum Fan

Christmas Eve

The Naneum Fan has a white Christmas. Those that have prayed for this – please stop!
Get-to-gathers have been postponed. The roads are snowy but passable and a majority of folks have all wheel drive vehicles. That’s great for going but doesn’t help with stopping.
The region has the potential for sleet and/or freezing rain. Then, there is the fog.

I’ve snagged images from the WA-DOT cameras near Ellensburg. The low spots have fog that clears somewhat on the higher spots.

The left image is at the summit of Snoqualmie Pass on the way to Seattle. However, I-90 is closed: “this is an extended closure with no estimate for a reopening at this time”.
The middle image is from the top of the ridge looking north toward fog-bound Ellensburg. This road, on the way to Yakima, goes up and down like a roller coaster. It is not closed because none of the few vehicles have crashed. Big rigs are required to have chains.
The right image is of I-90 at the Columbia River. Below is the scene from Google Earth “Street View”.
Most people are staying off the roads here. We were warned.
Yesterday, the Seattle are had ice. Results made the news. There is an 18 second video – the episode seems to have ended well.


Video shows scary moment person almost run over by sliding car on icy Seattle street | KOMO (komonews.com)

Phyllis and Cameron have re-scheduled a gathering for Tuesday. The weather won’t be nice but the ice and fog should be gone.

Good times, good friends, good health to you and the luck of the Irish in all that you do.

From the Naneum Fan

Cold, no wind, icy fog

Contrasting views
Today I took the top photo from just outside the back door.
Five miles away, at the airport, the instruments claim no wind and visibility of 2 miles. Here, I can see about 80 yards. Some call this a silver frost.
The next photo was taken from Sweden about a week ago.
Found at this link:

The site explains the green and pink colors. Under a few lines of text there is a link to click on: “ take a look at the 1st ” – Wow!
I guess if you have money and time, a visit to Abisko, Sweden could be a nice tour.

Are you fed up with Christmas music? Radio stations started playing Jingle Bells on the Friday morning after Thanksgiving. December 20th would be a couple of days too soon.
Jingle Bells was not conceived as a Christmas song. The history of it is here: https://www.bu.edu/articles/2016/jingle-bells-history
If you care.
My night time lows have been between 6° and 14°F. The current forecast claims it will be Zero by next Wednesday morning. Great. After that, it climbs slowly. By Christmas morning I’m looking at about 20, although Sunday’s numbers are not yet posted.
The cold and freezing fog limits the time I am out, and the more time I have to eat. Not good. I’ve gained a few pounds since summer. This brings me to my “Wellness Visit” of Thursday. This is the 1st of two appointments. The purpose is to establish that the patient is still sane and mobile. One part is to remember three words for about 3 minutes and repeat them back to the Nurse. Drawing a clock is part two. Last December my mind was somewhere unknown. This year both of these exercises proved that my mind had returned – perfect mental health, or something.
The nature of the questions does suggest that the medical professionals have to deal with some odd and maybe nasty situations.
One site explains, in general terms:
First, your primary care doctor will ask you to fill out a questionnaire called a Health Risk Assessment that evaluates your health status, frailty and physical functioning.

It also assesses other aspects of your health, such as:

Psychosocial risks (e.g., depression/life satisfaction, stress, anger, loneliness/social isolation, pain, and fatigue)
Behavioral risks (e.g., tobacco use, physical activity, nutrition and oral health, alcohol consumption, sexual health, motor vehicle safety and home safety)
Activities of daily living (e.g., dressing, feeding, toileting, bathing, grooming, physical ambulation including balance and your risk of falls)

At my clinic a nurse handles 90% of the visit. My “doctor” – a Physician Assistant – comes in and says hello and visits for a few minutes. Then I go down the hall and have blood drawn. Next visit, called a Chronic Ailment visit, will start with a nurse and then a longer visit with the “doc” about the results of the blood and urine reports.
For me, this requires a 30 mile (one way) trip. This week the roads were clear. Next week there is a chance of snow and 16 degrees. This will be on the 22nd. Here the Solstice happens on Wednesday, December 21, 2022 at 1:48 pm PST. So, Thursday will be the first full day of the winter season, and the daylight hours will begin to lengthen. About January 10th or so, this will start to be noticeable.
That’s it for now – time to feed the wood stove.

Keeping track on the Naneum Fan.


Snow & Fog

Allen came a few days ago and plowed the 6” of snow. Actually, with a blade behind the tractor, is “plowed” the right word? Don’t know. Anyway late Friday afternoon snow began to fall and by 10 pm there was a new 6”. That makes for a foot of snow where he or I haven’t moved it.
The small birds and quail have a problem finding seeds in snow this deep. I buy a mixture of little seeds and Black-oil Sunflower seeds that meets with their approval. The small birds only go a few dozen feet away when I go to replenish the feeding station. The quail leave and settle in the trees about 75 yards away. They don’t return as quickly as the little ones.
Thursday there must have been a hawk nearby. Some of the quail were on the covered ramp and hunkered down motionless. I’ve had two quail knock themselves silly flying into windows. Both recovered and flew off. I think this happens only when the flock takes off in a panic in multiple directions – an action that the predator has trouble dealing with. One of the problems in feeding any of the animals is that the predators soon learn and watch.
¾ mile away, a family throws buckets of apples (rejects from a packer) in their front yard. At times it seems the entire local deer herd – 50 or so – is there at the same time. Usually there are only 10 to 20. There are cougars around but they have stayed a good distance away from the small cluster of houses.
Wild animals are not the only beings that have snow related problems.

A lady in Washington State received a $553 fine for driving in an erratic manner. The photo below suggests why. She told the officer her wipers didn’t work.
Wipers are supposed to work. I suspect a fine for that was tacked on to whatever else counted toward the $553. Buying a broom would have been cheaper, and she likely had one.

Earlier this week a truck driver on I-90, about 15 miles south of me, made a mistake in an icy fog. I haven’t found what that cost him, but he was cited as the initiator of a 38 vehicle pile-up.

One of the photos shows an overturned truck and its cargo, famous Washington apples in 5 pound bags and 40 pound boxes (a bushel).

There were no serious injuries to humans. I wonder what the total dollar cost was of this incident. There were police, fire trucks, EMT crews, commercial sized tow trucks — from two counties and a 10 hour closure of the main cross-state highway.

Flipping the page – some folks are having fun. The view below is from Saturday morning at Crystal Mountain Ski area just 50 miles away from me in the general direction of Hawaii. The usually route from me is closed for the season, so if I wanted to go (I don’t.), the trip would be 150 miles.
The home page has a rotating camera, and there are several others.

Meanwhile, a deer needs a battery. His string of Christmas lights won’t light! This year’s entry, from Oregon, is on the right. On the left is a 2019 version. This seems to happen more often than folks see Santa Claus!


Did I mention I have some snow to move.
It is going to sag because my outside temperature just rose to 33°F.
An hour later from the above the temperature is 35°F and Allen has cleared the driveway. 😊

Keeping track on the Naneum Fan – 12/10/2022


Winter – that wonderful time of year

Sunday at 11 o’clock there is snow on the east slopes of the Cascades. The forecast is for an inch or so both during the day and another inch tonight. The fall rate better decrease, ’cause I already have an inch. My area has an East wind (from the east) that blows the snow into the covered entrance and into the big shed, places I usually do not have to clear. Bummer!
Winter, that is what it is like outside, started here about 3 weeks ago. However the two standard definitions are Dec 1 to Feb 28 (Climatological Winter) and Dec 21 to Mar 20 (Astronomical Winter). Those interested in the topic of “what’s outside” will find observations and summary data for 3-month periods – in the current case Dec/Jan/Feb. Those that care about the Sun – Earth configuration pay attention to the special position of the vertical rays of the Sun.
There is a long history of folks tracking the Sun and celebrating the few unique configurations, such as the winter solstice when the night is long and the day is short. But the key concept is that the length of the dark stops getting longer, reverses, and the daylight begins getting longer.
Our ancestors celebrated the special Earth-Sun configurations long before folks started recording weather data. So that’s what most folks still do.
Anyway, I have lots of winter on my covered entry ramp and two buckets of fire wood.
Outside work this week was minimal. I used the log splitter and re-stacked the pieces. Those will dry faster but I don’t currently need them.
Feeding the wild birds and trekking to the mailbox and back is not enough exercise to compensate for what I eat. I need to give up ice cream and pie until the weather improves (March?).

Keeping track on the Naneum Fan