TW’NSNN April 13

Item #1 Weeping Vines
We finished pruning vines on Thursday just before Noon. New cuts now get immediate seeping of the sap. No little green leaves yet.
I’ll go back in the not too distant future to help with bottling.
Meanwhile, I’ve lots to do at home, just as the weather begins to cooperate. The next couple of days look to be cool and damp – good working weather. Cheers.

Item #2: How to start a weekend

South of us 9 miles is the intersection of I-90 and I-82. Not too far south of this and to the east is a large U. S. Army area called the Yakima Training Center (327,000 acres; 511 sq. miles).
National Guard Units and other military traffic use the two interstate highways going to and coming from the YTC. We often see the convoys of soldiers and equipment.
The setting for this story is 75 miles west of us.

whitewhitewhi Pvt. Grace Hilinski

Four soldiers’ actions on April 6, 2018 saved a young girls life near North Bend, Wash. (Washington National Guard Photo)
The group was heading in convoy from Olympia to the Yakima Training Center and had stopped in North Bend to fuel up before heading eastward over Snoqualmie Pass.
They saw a lot of commotion — a young girl about 3-4 years old had stopped breathing and had no pulse.
Medic Gracie took on the staring role.
Army to the rescue

We will not likely learn the specifics or the ending of this story. The privacy of the family kicks in, the press is shut out, and we are left to wonder.
Still, what we do know is good.

Item #3: Kids on tractors
Many years ago, when most family members were still in western Pennsylvania, we held family reunions, usually at the farm of my Uncle Ed. The house was on a slight rise, about 10 feet above the general level of the place, and on the occasion of one such reunion, the farm tractor was parked in front of the house.
I climbed on to the tractor and managed to put in in neutral or disengage the parking brake, or something. What did I know? Nothing!
The tractor rolled down across the lawn and stopped after descending the little hill. This excited all my relatives, likely more than me. They thought I was going to die. I thought it was a slow ride, and not much fun.
That brings us to “Drive tractors to school day” – a more recent tradition promoted by the farm kids of the Future Farmers of America (FFA).

Hat tip to sister Peggy.

LODI, Ohio — Cloverleaf High School

In looking for related material – there is lots – I
found the logo of the FFA and thought is was cool (still an in word??). Pictured is an old walk-behind moldboard plow.
I wonder if any of the FFA students have ever seen one of these?

picture and story here

John Deere

More history here

Item #4: Live longer, be happy

So, we begin and end this week with the wine thing:

Put this phrase. . .
“over 90, alcohol better than exercise”

. . . in to a search box. Click, and you are on your way.
Now we just need to make it to 90!
And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.

TW’NSNN April 6

{Yellow text seems not to show up well on my screen.}
Item #1: Ours are 3 weeks behind
In the western part of Washington State, Daffodils have indicated spring just arrived. There are 59 photos here;

Is yellow your color?

A small article here and more photos: in the Skagit Valley

This next page will show how to pronounce “Skagit” and other Washington place names. It also points out that the State’s name is not “WARSH-ing-tun.”

Item #2: D. C. Cherry blossoms
Over in the other Washington (D.C., that is), the Cherry blossoms reach their fullness this week. The weather is not great – a chance of rain, snow, and wind – on Saturday, but Sunday looks better. Next Thur. & Fri. will be nice – so says the NWS.

Item #3: Huh?

I read this article:
Bush Tucker, and still hadn’t a clue.

The meaning is “. . . any food native to Australia and used as sustenance by the original inhabitants, . . .
Other people use the term – I don’t get out much – but it was new to me. It reminded me of Euell Gibbons’ Stalking the Wild Asparagus.

Item #4: Table tennis

Anna is an 11-year-old from Wales. Her claim to fame is that she can wipe your butt in a game of table tennis.

Anna Hursey

Item #5: Only the birds know
Finally, what’s this? →
It is a bird’s beak.
Yes, in the dark under ultra-violet light.
This is a Puffin, but other birds have bills that light up.
Why would this be?

Researchers are working on the issues: Which birds? Why? Who benefits? What else don’t we know?

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


March 31st: This week’s not so nasty news.

Item #1: Paint crew gone wild
30 miles north of Seattle, Machias area drivers have had to navigate through a tricky section of Storm Lake Road.
A new subdivision was expected to increase traffic, so the developer was required to expand the road width. With that done, sections of the double yellow lines were also repainted. Such lines are supposed to be in the center of county roads, but the painter had a different idea.
He or she zigged or zagged rather than producing a smooth transition, and put the new stripes off center.
On one side the lane was barely wide enough for a large pickup truck. The other side was wide enough for a tank. Still, the overall width is wider than before. All is well then. I think.
No, you are not hallucinating

Item #2: Chicken Little – the sky is falling
The good news is that at 47° North Latitude, we are/were not in danger of having space junk from Tiangong-1 fall on us. By the time you read this, someone, someplace may discover bad news from the sky.
Tiangong-1, a China space station, was launched in 2011, and, originally, a controlled reentry was planned. Firing the craft’s engines would have enabled controllers to allow the craft to burn up (mostly) over a large, unpopulated region of the South Pacific ocean. Any surviving pieces would have fallen into the ocean. But, in March 2016, something failed on the space station and ground teams lost control. This has led to the uncontrolled reentry … soon, or done.

Item #3: Busy, busy.

I have about 300 baby Onions and 75 Strawberry plants to get in the ground. It is early morning, and I’m out of here – playing farmer.

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

Trips – Doctor – Music

You have seen a few of the photos and a couple of videos in last week’s blog on Saturday, St. Patrick’s Day, but here is a rejoinder I didn’t have then, with all of the stills I took that day. Not many, and a couple are out of focus. Some you have seen in previous collages.
Google Photo link to St. Patrick’s Day 3-17-18

Sunday, Mar 18

We published the blog tonight at 9:46 p.m.
I succeeded in uploading all the pictures from Friday’s AAC, 3-16-18 from the End of the Rainbow party from my camera to my computer, annotating them, and cropping to a decent composure. Later, (Wednesday this week), I will give you the link as above to all the photos taken last Friday at the senior center party.

Monday, Mar 19

We went south today … for several hours. First, we had a nice breakfast, which had to sustain us until supper after 8:30 p.m., with only a snack of chocolate about 5:15 as we left Zillah.

Our first stop was the Yakima Heart Center for a device check for my ICD (Implanted Cardioverter Defibrillator), which has to be done yearly. Remotely, they check it every 3 months. I sleep beside a monitor that sends my data over phone lines about 2:00 a.m. each day. The technician checked the battery life, and it is at 12 years. Good !! the last one only lasted 6 years, and was replaced a couple of Decembers ago. This is a different make, a Boston Scientific. You’ll see it in an X-ray tomorrow (in this blog). Mine doesn’t pace often, which uses the battery to raise my pulse to 50, if it should go below while I sleep. It doesn’t happen often, and I have an Oximeter I can wear all night, to keep tabs on that and on my SpO2 (blood oxygen saturation).

Here is the definition of a Pulse Oximeter, as I own: “A pulse oximeter uses two frequencies of light (red and infrared) to determine the percentage (%) of hemoglobin in the blood that is saturated with oxygen. The percentage is called blood oxygen saturation, or SpO2. A pulse oximeter also measures and displays the pulse rate at the same time it measures the SpO2 level.” I have also worn it while exercising, just to see what happens over the hour.

After the device check, we were ushered to the other side waiting room to wait for my appointment with my new cardiologist. It was a longer wait than we expected, and I was sorry I had not taken my laptop computer along to work on things needing attention. They have Wi-Fi there but do not allow cell phone usage.

We finally went in, I was weighed, set up for an ECG, (many say EKG), prescription medicine review, and blood pressure reading. Then we waited. Met the “new” Dr. Kim (Antony) and had an informative visit. He said he’d reviewed my ECG, and it was fine. He asked about my device check, and I told him it was just done, with good results, and they were sent over on the computer for his review. He checked and was happy. He asked a few questions, and then examined me, listening to my heart, said he heard my murmur, but everything was in good shape. We talked some more, and he said, keep up the good work, I don’t need to see you for 6 months.

So, we left after seeing our old Dr. Kim’s nurse, Colleen Meyer, who still is my contact for questions for the old Dr. Kim (Anatole), who has ‘retired’ (a change, actually but maybe taking a hiatus), and for also for refilling my prescriptions from the Yakima Heart Center cardiologists. At checkout, I received a review of the visit, and I will get a copy of the transcription notes of my visit mailed to my home.

We jumped in the truck and headed south on I-82, destination Paradisos del Sol winery and organic vineyard, north of Zillah. The world’s first Zero Pesticide Vineyard. We have known the owners (Paul Vandenberg & Barbara Sherman) for many years, and they were always a favorite stop for our summer class, Geog 465: Wine, A Geographical Appreciation (3 cr.) – on our field trip to the lower Yakima Valley and the Rattlesnake Hills AVA.

This is an American Viticultural Area located in Yakima County, WA. The United States Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) awarded Rattlesnake Hills its appellation status on March 20, 2006, making Rattlesnake Hills Washington’s ninth federally recognized American Viticultural Area. So, we were a day early, celebrating the 12th anniversary of the AVA, in which we played a small part in the creation, as professional geography consultants. There are 29 wineries in this region and a “trail” map to follow for visits to those 12 members.

Here’s a link to some of the Rattlesnake Hill Wine Trail Wineries.
Rattlesnake Hills Wineries

Meanwhile, here we are at Paradisos del Sol.Forsythia with their winery signage, with a cool wall of used wine bottles; suns on their house – bottom right added today from us.

And here is an invitation from Paul & Barbara to come to their uniquely housed winery for tasting and a visit to their family farm.

If you missed it last week, here is a great video accessible on YouTube about their winery. Take a 3½-minute tour:
Virtual Tour Paradisos del Sol Winery and Vineyard

Their tasting is a great experience, and our class enjoyed the special treat, trip, and education each year (for a decade). The name is: “Sip Sip Bite Sip.” From Angelica to Zort, each wine is created with a particular food pairing in mind (and the Bites are provided with the wine for each tasting). Slow wines for slow food, friends, family, and fun. Traditional wines with a unique twist. No faux château here–it’s “the House” with turkeys, pigs, geese, cows, chickens, cats, dogs, fish, frogs, cherries, and melons… family friendly. Come Taste Paradise in our Garden of the Sun!

We feel as if we are part of their family. One of our Brittany pups, Max, joined Ellie (another Brittany), in the early part of this century. Now they have two dogs, neither of which are Brittanys, but are very loving and sweet companion dogs: Digley (small) and Marshall (larger), but with like markings! (black and tan).

If you have Facebook, check out their events. My favorite event is their Wedding Anniversary Weekend, closest to Sept 3, their own anniversary. This year it will be on 9/1 (my birthday) and 9/2. During that visit, all wine anyone buys is sold at a discount of the number of years you have been married, i.e., 49% for us this year. What a deal! I think the most they have honored was 67 years. My second favorite I suppose would be Spring Barrel Tasting in the Rattlesnake Hills, two weeks this year, April 21-22; the next weekend is Spring Barrel Tasting in the Yakima Valley, April 27-29, of which all the AVA wineries are included. Occasional music fests happen as well, and are enjoyable; take along your lawn chairs.

See more below on the cultivars in their vineyard. I have not included all the ones they have but they number ~ 15. Paul & John lifting the roofing from our truck onto their forklift.

First, was this transfer of the metal roofing, it will be used to cover their small structure out at the edge of the vines. This video below demos the move.
Transferring the Roofing from our Truck

The roofing was from our old red barn (replaced by a composite roof, in 2010). Why? Because it was a shoddy install, and leaked, despite a couple of tubes of sealant.

We had a great tour of the vineyard and winery, after the exchange noted above. The re-purposed roofing will be used by Paul, Barbara, & workers in a new bottle-walled tool/shade/rest spot ¼ mile from their house.

Next, in the parking lot we exchanged gifts (long time coming).Sun and moon curtain, sun face, place mat. John and Barbara on our way to the vineyard.

We took a tour from their parking lot down to see the vineyard and tool shed in progress.Before the walls were done; John & Paul on the inside, 3-19-18. The separators are railroad ties buried in the ground. Two outside bottled walls vs. inside the non-metal-roofed tool shed. The far right “last” wall panel will be finished to the top very soon.

In a subsequent email to Paul, I learned this neat fact about cultivars. This is commonly called “grape variety,” but they are really recognized as cultivars according to the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants because they are propagated by cuttings. The term variety is so well entrenched in viticulture that a change of usage to the term cultivars is unlikely.

Here is Paul Vandenberg’s response to my email.

Hey, thanks for the questions.

I think our only unique one is Xarel•lo. The nursery people say we have the only producing planting in the USA. The only other planting is the nursery mother block.

The AVA is probably the most diverse of the sub-appellations. Last time I tried counting cultivars it was over 40 in production blocks.

The state now has 100+.


Finally, here is a great addition from 3/24/18 of the inside of a Barn Owl’s nest high up in their vineyard. Barbara sent it to me, and I put it on YouTube, unlisted.

When you watch the video below of the Mama Barn Owl sitting (rocking) on her eggs, you will understand the following description from Barbara about the video recording. The left picture below I snagged directly from the video.

Barbara says: “We finally got around to checking up on our barn owls. This box is in our vineyard and only accessible via the forklift and a fruit bin. I put my phone camera in the opening, and took this. Mama isn’t too pleased with the intrusion. I assume she is sitting on eggs because of her behavior. And dad is taking good care of her. There are at least three meals in there.”

Barn Owl Nest in Vineyard-Mom on eggs, food around her brought by Dad
There are two different nest boxes. The colored photo is from the one in the vineyard and the black and white one is from the box in the Elm tree near the tasting room. There are at least four fluffy baby owls in that one.

Two more photos: the famous Elm/Apple tree with the Owl Nesting Box. Explanation below photo that Barbara took for me.This cracks me up. The Apple computer is to the right in front of the Owl Nest Box, way up in the Elm tree. Barbara wanted to make it an Apple-Elm tree. [John says: This appears to be an iMac G3 Tray-Loading, Bondi Blue – 1998; designed by Jonathan Ive.]

Mr. Turkey, they call Blue because he is a Blue Slate Heritage.

As we were leaving the tasting room, after meeting their turkey and some of the chickens and cats, they gave us a case of special wines (tonight we had their Sangiovese with our long-roasted beef dinner). As well, they shared two dozen fresh farm eggs. So neat, having the dark orange yokes from free-ranging chickens. We also saw some of the unique places the chickens lay their eggs. We enjoyed our visit very much, and we shall return this year in John’s little Crosstrek. Barbara likes large rock specimens and we have a few to share, and I have another special surprise for her.

On our way home we drove back by Union Gap and the Costco store to get some needed items, and fill John’s truck with less expensive gasoline than we can get in Ellensburg. It’s crazy how much the difference in 30 miles. There is 12¢/gal. difference. Was $2.79 with a 4% discount taken from that! This week, prices jumped a dime, across the region.

Tuesday, Mar 20

John left for pruning at the Mariposa Vineyard, after 7:35.

I left at 9:45 for Cle Elum for an 11:00 a.m. appointment, driving on I-90 to make faster time. Except, I pulled off the road to take a photo of Mt. Stuart, which called me. It was so strikingly beautiful. Above is my photo. Below is the geology about the mountain.

From Nick Zentner’s downtown lecture 10/13/2010 (we were there), here is a link to his talk:

Mount Stuart: A Closer Look

My need for traveling to Cle Elum this morning was to follow-up with a P.A. there who diagnosed my pneumonia a month ago, and he scheduled a chest X-ray for today to be sure my lower left lobe was clear and my breathing was back to normal. All’s well, and I have resumed my activities. Here is the X-ray he shared with me and let me photograph.My ICD and the wiring from it to my right ventricle is quite visible. Also, the wire that “sewed” my chest incision during open heart surgery back together always looks like a coat hanger message. To me it still shows something covering the airways in the left lobe below the ICD, but it is apparently not of concern. I wish I had taken a photo of the 2/20 X-ray John and I both witnessed. It was no longer in the system available for him to pull up, or else he didn’t want to take the time. They were having problems with their new computer system. All appointments this morning were reset back to 6:00 a.m.

I found the link to for the pronunciation of egophony:

EGOPHONY pronunciation

Back on 2/20 in the blog, I mentioned the term and how that recognition by my doctor revealed I had pneumonia. What he heard through his stethoscope when I said the letter e (dragged out) sounded like the letter a.

You can hear the difference in this link to sounds on line; this is my first reference to these two links above and below, which were not in the February 20 discussion.

Sound of letter pronounced through a stethoscope
Note: from another source on line: Crackling or bubbling noises (rales) made by movement of fluid in the tiny air sacs of the lung. … “E” to “A” changes in the lungs (egophony). Your doctor may have you say the letter “E” while he listens to your chest.  Pneumonia may cause the “E” to sound like the letter “A” when heard through a stethoscope.
(That is demonstrated in the link above).

I plan on going to Jazzercise today, but I imagine I will have to take it easy. Turns out, I did fine and my Fit Bit recorded 26 minutes of aerobic exercise.

Wednesday, Mar 21

John left for pruning.
I called Anne about my maracas, but probably she’s already left for Montana. She got my message and brought them to SAIL class to give me for our visitor from England to use tomorrow !!

I made my salad to take to food bank for music, which is followed by lunch. From there I went to the senior center for my SAIL exercise class and with my laptop computer to confer with Nicole about getting the pictures onto Google Photos.

Here is the link we created to get anyone who wants to all the pictures I took last Friday at the senior center Irish party you have seen a few pictures of in the last blog. These went by email attachment to the AmeriCorps gal (Nicole). She also assists with the Jazzercise class on Tuesdays.

Link to all my photos from the 3-16-18 event which will be put on the Ellensburg Adult Activity Center Facebook page, but many of our blogs readers do not have Facebook accounts. So, here you go with an alternate access:

Really End of Rainbow – 3-16-18 AAC

Really End of Rainbow – 3-16-18 AAC is the name, but published under Jan 1, 2013 for some strange reason because my Nikon Camera reset itself, and the manual gives me instructions to change the date, but it is not working. I will try to get Nicole to help me with that problem reset too, on my Nikon camera that was returned after so many months away.
Note the last few photos that show are taken the next day at Briarwood.

This morning I called Yakima Heart Center and left a detailed message with the nurse’s station about a needed refill on my Entresto.

I came home to a telephone call from Elaine Harvey that they have all her paperwork submitted for her Ph.D., but she needed me to act as a reference (she thought just a phone call) for a scholarship, but it will likely be more than that – I have to follow a link to submit my comments in a PDF file. So, I’m going to rewrite my Letter of Recommendation for entrance to a Ph.D. program to instead focus on the Cobell Scholarship, a Native American possibility for student financial support.

Thursday, Mar 22

John went pruning. I slept in.

I called in chairs we need for us, and carried all the stuff in.
My first stop actually was at the Rehab center to say hello to 3 different people there, in three different places. First stop was in the PT room, where I met up with Bernice Orcutt and her family, celebrating an Easter buffet put on for residents and family. After visiting there, I walked down to the east-wing dining room and saw Jeanne Gordon and her family. Finally, on my way to Hearthstone (in a heavy rain), I stopped off to visit in her room with Mickey Thayer and two daughters I had not met, and her friend visiting. I left rather quickly so Mickey would finish eating her meal. The others had left before me.

Great time at Hearthstone today:

The first video below is a long video of our music for 49 minutes. If you just run through a few you will get a review of most of our hour with them. But, spend your time watching the 3 videos that follow. They are the best of the day. DON’T miss the final jam session of Mountain Dew – we were having a lot of fun with that one.

Celtic Music, 3-22-18, Kittitas Valley Fiddlers & Friends

Next are videos of our guest, David Kay, from England, who entertained us with two songs and storytelling.

First Song (Caledonia) by David Kay

Storyteller David Kay (about 3 Scottish brothers)

Second Song by David Kay

Mountain Dew Jamming, 3-22-18 (after the program)

Wow, after visiting with friends and residents who have been my friends for years, then having a lovely musical time at Hearthstone, I came home to some more awesome news.
This came via Facebook by a tag from Amanda Taub, about an article, “Who are the woman pioneers and leaders in the Geospatial Industry?” by Greg Babinski, March 8, 2018. I had not seen this at the time.

Women Pioneers & Leaders in the Geospatial Industry

Within the article is this text: (a nice surprise)

Here are some GIS pioneers and leaders in Washington State
• Linda Gerull, Former Pierce County GIS Manager, WAURISA 2004 Summit Award winner, and now City of San Francisco CIO.
• Nancy Hultquist, Central Washington University, Geography Department, GIS mentor, and WAURISA 2006 Summit Award winner.
• Joy Paulus, former Washington State GIS Coordinator and WAURISA 2015 Summit Award winner.

To reach my interview and the award presentation, visit the following link to the story on p. 5 of the 2006 Summit Award in the summer newsletter from WAURISA.

Nancy’s 2006 Summit Award & Interview

Do note that I have lost weight since that year, and the gray hair streaks also disappeared after my heart surgery in 2009. Now I think I look younger than then. Weird.

Friday, Mar 23

Today, John took off again for pruning. I fed cats and stayed up. It is now 9:00 a.m. and SNOWING here. I knew it was a gray day, and cold, but wow. Wonder what it’s doing over at the vineyard. Guess it was cold, and they got a few flakes, but then the sun came out and they just looked in the direction of where I was and realized I was probably getting a lot more. I just checked here, where the temp is 35° and Woody was at the front door wanting fed again. She’s now eating more !! I guess we missed seeing them come in for dinner last night.

This morning they had cleaned the bowl of hard food in their house, and turned over the box. John refilled it before he left this morning. I listened for Czar and he announced himself, so I fed him. He ate a ton. Sue didn’t make it in until evening.

I ordered from my PCP office a new refill of my Atorvastatin at the Costco Pharmacy in Union Gap, for a significant savings over ½ price what I have been paying with insurance co-pay, and there I don’t have to use my insurance. Just print the GoodRx coupon, which they already have there in my file.

I fixed my brunch (sausage, eggs, orange, & toast) and washed & dried a load of clothes. I have more to do tomorrow.

I have been sending videos to You Tube, and have more to do.

My computer will restart at 4:00, so I have to be ready. I was ready, and in fact, restarted it myself at 3:50 right before we called and talked to Ethel Reynolds, John’s cousin in Brookville, PA (where he was born), who celebrated her 100th birthday today. Except for macular degeneration and the loss of her sight enough to dial her phone, she can still see clouds in the sky and enjoy the view. Her mind is sharp and the rest of her body, while aged, is in good health. What an awesome situation. She still knows all the scoop about our family back into the last century of her life, and is the encyclopedia we turn to for family questions. The only disappointment we have is that we cannot be there with 82 others tomorrow for the official celebration, with pizza, salad, cake, and ice cream. We’ll have to be there in spirit, and we will be! They will send pictures, I’m sure.

Mary and I are entertaining the Ruth Harrington Scholarship Luncheon bunch (on Good Friday). We are having soup (Mary will fix an Olive garden soup with Italian sausage), and I will be taking a salad, bread, tablecloth, the utensils, napkins, plates, and the beverages.

We called Ethel Reynolds this afternoon in Brookville, PA on her 100th birthday. She is amazing!

SAIL met today, but I stayed home to work on things needing attention. There are many, and I need the rest of not having to be anywhere today, tomorrow, or Sunday. It’s been a busy week.

Saturday, Mar 24

John’s home today. It’s supposed to be cold and windy, so he will probably be unhappy about spending time in the garden activities and anything out needing done in the yard or pasture. It snowed and blew and then the sun came out, and it wasn’t so bad after all.

Today, people gathered in the activities room where John’s cousin has an apartment to celebrate her 100th birthday. Her daughter, Pat, sent this picture with the title, “Party Animal.” We enjoyed a good laugh. Happy Birthday to Ethel, 100 years young !!!

Late night visitor – the skunk is back. John suspected this, but we had neither seen nor smelled the little devil. We think he may be climbing the cat ladder (steeply leaning pallet) and crossover to get to the food. So we shall not put food out except in the day time when the cats come to eat (morning and afternoon).

Sunday, Mar 25

John has worked outside all day, except for coming in to fix brunch. Onions have arrived from Texas, and Strawberries are expected late next week. Places for both are not quite ready.

I have washed a load of dishes and worked on the blog.

Just now he moved the canopy off the Ford truck. He’s also been working on a loading dock to get the non-running riding lawnmower in the truck to take for service. I’m not sure how he will get it from the barn over to where it will be loaded, but I’m sure he has it all figured out.

Now I’m ready to wash a load of clothes and submit my letter for the Native American Scholarship for my former student. Never ran the clothes, but did fill the washer, and I have been working on the letter; now need only to proof it and submit.

John just fixed us a nice dinner (leftovers from yesterday), with an added gravy with the cut-up meat (two kinds), onions, all on potatoes, and with beets (and wine).

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan


Item #1: Little BirdsThis group is mostly Gold Finches. Earlier, those with a raspberry color were in the majority. They seem to share the Black Oil Sunflower seeds. We chase larger birds, except Quail.
20 minutes later a dozen Dark-eyed Juncos showed up.
Other outside news: I opened the garden gate where established Strawberries grow. These are supposed to be mowed and cleaned after harvest. I let the deer do this. After a few days I close them out again and let the plants start to grow.

Item #2: Attitude
If you have a good Picture Dictionary and look up the word “attitude”, you will find a photo of a Moose.

At the link below, when you click to start the video, a short ad runs – just a few seconds – then the actual video will play. It is just over 2 minutes.
A person in a vehicle would like to get by the animal and seems to expect a Moose will get the hint and leave the road.
The driver should have known better. Moose have their own idea about how the world works.
(The Moose in the video is a littler older than the one here.)

Don’t mess with a Moose

Item #3: A bird rescue story

This seems a happy story, although likely illegal:
A Great Cormorant took refuge under a honeysuckle shrub outside a home near Conception Bay, Newfoundland. That’s the part of Canada that hangs out into the North Atlantic Ocean.
The owners brought it inside, thawed some fish, and after a good meal and a cozy night in a warm house, the bird headed out the next day in, seemingly, fine shape.
Cormorant Dinner and a Room

Cornell Lab of Ornithology {may be a slow loading site} LINK

Tatarian Honeysuckle

I always wonder where the names for plants come from, and go to this site for information: Latin and Greek Meanings

For the common honeysuckle in Newfoundland Michael Charters tells us: Lonicera tatarica comes from:
Lonic’era: named for Adam Lonitzer (1528-1586), a German herbalist;
and …
tatarica means a native to Siberia — refers to the Tatars

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

This week’s not so nasty news

Item #1: Fun in snow

There seem to be dozens of Corgi-in-snow videos on the web.
Snow – one Corgi deep
This appears to be the most recent, as the mountainous west has been getting lots of snow.

Item #2: Ghosts are fun too
Windsor, Canada had a courthouse and jail, built in the mid-1800s and named after Alexander Mackenzie, the second Prime Minister of Canada. It is now called the Mackenzie Hall Cultural Centre and used for many different social functions.
Prior to an event a local group thought to search it to see if there where ghosts or spirits about.
One of their EMF detectors, short for electromagnetic field sensor — was missing after the society completed a sweep for spirits.
The police were not amused.
the little blue light will flicker

The spokesperson said there were “strong signs of paranormal activity — especially in the old jail, dressing room and basement.
Okay, then! I’m thinking the person either needs a glass of wine or psychoanalysis.

Item #3: Win big or not

My father attended the University of Maryland for a short time. I seem to recall he was a “sprinter” and got some financial aid. For no other reason, I report the score of a basketball March Madness game:
U of M versus Virginia, 74 to 54. Not even close.
This is considered an historic upset.
Bracket Buster

Two of the blokes I prune vines with are interested in March Madness and fill out brackets (See image here ).

There are lots of bets on these games and then there is Warren Buffett’s NCAA tournament bracket challenge: Perfection earns $1 million a year for life for a Berkshire Hathaway employee. [ LINK ]

I wonder how many people picked Maryland over Virginia?

Item #4: A little win for the good guys
A part of Seattle is called SoDo. SoDo was originally named for being located south of the (King)dome, but since the stadium’s demolition in 2000, the name has been taken to mean south of downtown. This is an old industrial district, but now there are artists’ lofts, art galleries, and an assortment of other businesses, one being a large Costco warehouse store.
Three people decided that 5:30 Wednesday afternoon would be a good time to do some shoplifting. This did not work out well.
What were they thinking?

Item #5: A strawberry story
Japan, curling, snacks

Japan and South Korea are in a tiff over strawberries. This became international news when the ladies of Japan were seen eating large strawberries as snacks during and after curling matches. A South Korean newspaper claimed $200 Million in losses because Japan “Plagiarized” Korean Strawberries. It didn’t help matters when the South Korean women’s curling team bested Japan, taking the silver medal.
Fun story from my point of view. I have 75 plants due to arrive at the end of March. They are the variety called Cabot, and produce the largest berries we’ve ever seen. The best berries in Japan sell for $6.75 – – per berry.
Say we get 4 from each of 75 plants. That works out to be over $2,000 worth. All I need is to invite those ladies to the Naneum Fan.

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

This Week’s Not So Nasty News

. . . . from John, awaiting Nancy’s draft of her week’s news.

Is less bad news good news? Maybe there is less bad news this week than there has been, but it was hard to find the good news stories.

Item #1: Snowpack Pale Ale
Proceeds from Snowpack Pale Ale will support avalanche education classes

Not sold in EBRG, but otherwise I can see buying a couple of 6-packs.
Fremont Brewing

Local TV story

Note the colors on the can. Seems these are a match for the next photo from across the country. Coincidence?”

Item #2: Wash. D. C. Cherry Update
The so-called indicator tree is consistently a week to ten days ahead of the others. As of Thursday morning, it had some puffy white blossoms ready to pop.
Where is the Indicator Tree?

Expecting cool nighttime temperature through Friday of next week. Nothing that will kill unopened buds.
Main link to page: Cherry blossom update

Item #3: Road Trip
Mzungu and Shaba daughter, Kebibi, just 20 months old is off on a 750 mile trip.
Many years ago we gave a horse to a friend, then living in Eastern Idaho. The trip is about 700 miles. Although most of the distance is Interstate Highways, some isn’t and there is a lot of up and down. For 2 weeks before the trip, I took Teak on road trips around our County. At the end of 2 weeks our route took about one hour.
This is a similar story.

About Kebibi

Item #4: Wildlife
I’ve read of folks in large cities thinking something special is happening when they see a hawk or deer, or some wild animal in their neighborhood.
Today I saw several Bald Eagles, a dozen deer and a flock of quail. Then, late in the afternoon a couple of Canada Geese flew over, and back in the house and looking out the window – – 17 (?) Turkeys came past the front door. Nancy got photos of those, I think.
What’s not to like?

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

This Week’s Not So Nasty News

. . . . from John, awaiting Nancy’s draft of her week’s news.

Item #1: How’s your weather?

Much of the USA and Europe have been dealing with nasty weather.
We seem to be in a pocket of tranquility.
It is March, and March’s weather is said to arrive like a Lion with a thorn in its paw.
We have had a bit of snow that quickly melted. By mid-morning Friday the sky was mostly clear with a few clouds. Temperature at the EBRG airport hit 46°F this afternoon.
What’s not to like?
Sorry for the rest of you. Ya. Right.

Item #2: Until I got to ‘rats’, I thought this was a good story

From Eugene, OR came this story about a female turkey and her brood taking up residence in the City. The term “gangster” turkeys was used. That’s a play on the collective noun for a group of turkeys. In flight, birds are usually called a flock, but on the ground three terms are used for turkeys: rafter, gang, posse.
So. I was following this story thinking it might be interesting. Then there was this line: “The wild turkeys, along with a burgeoning population of rats . . .
So never mind. Links here:
Youtube video

A more interesting collective noun is ‘parliament’, as in – – –A parliament of Burrowing Owls – Florida.
(Photo: Tania Thomson)
More names here

Item #3: Why is Heather smiling?
By using high-resolution satellite imagery, Stony Brook University ecologist Heather Lynch and others discovered the population of
Adélie penguins to be 53% larger than had been estimated 20 years ago. They now think there are 4.5 million breeding pairs.
A few years ago a number of places where penguins had been in large numbers had none. There have been some ice flow movements in those areas and the animals either left or died. Researchers don’t know. The current story involves penguins inhabiting newly discovered breeding sites in the Danger Islands of Antarctica. There sea ice typically isolates the nesting area from fishing fleets intent on harvesting the krill on which the well dressed birds depend.
“When they examined old aerial photographs of the region taken in 1957, they found evidence that the penguins were already in residence on the islands.

Perhaps a “waddle” of penguins?
“All the evidence suggests that population there has been stable since the late 1950s,” Dr. Lynch said.”

Heather Lynch has been the lead researcher for this project. The photo was taken on a nice day in Antarctica, with numerous penguins behind her. Worth a smile.

Item #4: About Jim Palmer
If you are/were a baseball fan you likely know of the Baltimore Orioles’ pitcher Jim Palmer.
Maybe you knew he as adopted. Nah, me either.
At age 7 he learned he was, and at age 72 he learned more.
Here’s the story: It’s complicated

Item #5: Cherry blossoms

Not the ones in our yard, but part ours nonetheless.
If our trees produce cherries it is not until the first week of July. Also, that week, our Mariposa lilies bloom. I wrote “if” because many years we do not get cherries. At our elevation, clear sky at night can let the temperature drop below freezing. Or wind and rain can destroy the flowers and chase the bees away.
Such problems exist in Washington, D. C., but the National Park Service still tries to predict when you should visit to see the cherry blossoms there.
This year the “best” time is expected to be March 17-20. Others say the 23rd to the 27th. Either will be a bit earlier than average, as was last year. Last year during bloom, many froze. Again?
Here is a site that keeps track of such things, and has nice photos. Click link: Call your travel agent.
Photo from wiseGEEK

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


This Week’s Not So Nasty News
. . . . from John, awaiting Nancy’s draft of her week’s news.

Item #1: Olympics One – Ester Ledecká
I frequently read posts and comments on a blog hosted by a very smart physics & math fellow named Luboš Motl, nickname Lumo. When he writes about the physics stuff, I often only understand a little of it.
Of interest this week is that he is from Czechia – for you old farts, that was once part of Czechoslovakia – now officially known as the Czech Republic.
Being from Czechia, Lumo has been keeping his readers informed of the Country’s now famous daughter, namely Ester Ledecká.
Here are 2 links to the posts. Maybe these provide some information that you haven’t seen if you have been watching or reading about the Olympics on American TV or other news reports.

Link 1 FEB 17 after Gold for skiing

Link 2 FEB 24 after Gold for snowboarding

His perspective comes from this: “There’s a catch, however. For years, Ms Ester Ledecká has been winning medals in snowboarding. This is a gold medal from skiing! She borrowed the skis from Mikaela Shiffrin (the American …
. . . “there are good reasons to think that a top athlete in one sport may be very good in another especially if the two are similar enough.

If you are not interested in sports stories, move along.

Item #2: Olympics Two – a five-ender

. . . a five-ender, is so rare it has only been topped once before in the history of the men’s or women’s Olympic final. And it effectively clinched gold for . . .” the USA curling team. US wins historic Olympic gold

I’ve seen only one article about curling that mentions the mystery of the sport.
As the curler lets go, she or he gives the stone a little twist – this causes the 42 pound polished granite stone to “curl” at the end of its path, thus the name of the game.
If you have ever put spin (English) on a cue ball, you understand the concept.
The curling stone doesn’t do what you expect it to do.
The story I read is in the Wall Street Journal (with diagram shown here).
The WSJ is a subscription service. I haven’t found any other.

Link to WSJ

The activity requires concentration.
Nina Roth is pictured to the right.

Item #3: Snow
We received about 2 inches of snow Friday evening. This morning the sky is blue with fluffy clouds. Very nice day with the temperature approaching 40+°F. The ski areas at the mountain passes are thrilled. They got more snow than we did, but not enough to close the roads.

Item #4: The skunk won

Detroit man uses smoke bomb

. . . The crawl-space became a home for skunks. The man had a few smoke bombs. What could go wrong?

Item #5: Do you have an old bicycle that needs a home?

On a Bison enclosure in Saskachewan.

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


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

This Week’s Not So Nasty News

. . . . from John, awaiting Nancy’s draft of her week’s news.

Item #1: A neighborhood invasion
I wouldn’t normally use this item, except it is from a place very near (3.7 miles) where Nancy and her mom lived north-east of Atlanta. From Valley Brook Estates we have a porker of a story.

A feral sow emigrated from the Georgia country and moved into the neighborhood. She had piglets. With lots of yards, planted with things hogs like to eat, the babies have grown. What once was a cute family scene has become dangerous, creating a nuisance for homeowners. So they say.
The whole hog – story
DeKalb County Animal Control officers told them to hire a professional trapper service, or put up fences.
I’m thinking it must be a vegan community.

Item #2: 18 mph

From Wikipedia: Esky is an Australian brand of portable coolers. The term “esky” is also commonly used in Australia to generically refer to portable coolers or ice boxes and is part of the Australian vernacular, in place of words like “cooler” or “cooler box” and the New Zealand “chilly bin”.
We haven’t seen a motorized esky in our part of the world but it is common in Australia and New Zealand.
While it is a convenient way to haul drinks (or whatever) around, one is not supposed to be driving while drinking. Being intoxicated can lighten you wallet. U.S. $370

Item #3: They keep coming back

A Corella (Cocky) is a type of white cockatoo, common to Australia.
Horsham is a town in western Victoria, about 100 miles north of the Great Australian Bight (or the southern Ocean).
They are quite pretty, and apparently as welcome in Horsham as the sow and her piglets are in Georgia’s Valley Brook Estates.
Get them out of here

There is an Australia grown fruit called the Corella Pear. Also, there is a web page titled Corella and Cheese Make the Perfect “Pearing” [cute ! ] that could have been about these birds, but wasn’t. Oh well.

Item #4: Rum always tastes better after an ocean voyage
LINK: Voyage of the Picton Castle
When sailing ships were the means of ocean transport, rum was a major commodity. Sugar, molasses, and rum are high in calories and much appreciated in northern climates. Sailors that sampled the rum at the beginning of a voyage would claim that it tasted better after a long time at sea.
How would I know? Anyway, that’s what the Picton Castle is setting out to do.
“Rum History” involves the slave-trade and is written up here: Triangular trade

Item #5; The Eaton family cattle drive

Once each month Nancy gathers at CWU for lunch with a dozen folks who swap stories and provide a few $$ to a scholarship fund. One of the women is Peggy Eaton. The Eaton family runs a cattle ranch a few miles south of EBRG. Each year they move about 200 pregnant cows from down-river to up-river via State Highway #821 that runs through the canyon. Friends bring horses and help. They have a lot of fun.Because it is a State highway, the WA Dept. of Transportation and the Highway Patrol have to provide assistance, of a sort. Signage is one such thing.
I superimposed 2 of the road signs (orange lights on a dark background) on a photo of the cattle drive.
Nancy thinks the one at right-center ought to have been created by someone with spelling skills as refined as her own.

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