April 2nd March Madness

. . . ends in April

Work continues on the reconfiguration of the Big Brown Shed, as does pruning the wine grape vines over at White Heron. Thursday morning, we noticed “weeping” – – the first sign the vine is coming back to life.
The photo here (from the Web) is of an older cane – brown, rather than a cane from the last growth season – green interior. Not all cuts have produced weeping, but a few more warm afternoons should see that happen. We will also see buds start to enlarge and leaves start to emerge.
This early growth is pretty, and delicate – the pruning near them has to be done with care or they can snap off.

The wine from the 2021 harvest is still in large food-grade polyethylene tanks.
Some of the 2020 harvest has been bottled; most not yet.

Crazy medical stuff.
Last week I needed prescriptions filled.
The co-pays were:
$ 0.00;
$ 0.12;
$ 0.82;
$ 2.75

All the paper, little plastic bottles, and inserted drying agents likely cost as much as the co-pays. There is something odd about this but I can’t figure out exactly what.

Nancy and I each got an envelope of paper from the Medicare folks. These usually make no sense and these were true to form.
Near the top there is: THIS IS NOT A BILL

Then there is: Total you may be billed – – $17.79
This statement if for a visit to the University of Washington on March 11, 2019. Repeat: March 11, 2019.
By way of explanation, there is this:

Footnote E is “After your deductible and coinsurance were applied, the amount Medicare paid was reduced due to Federal, State, and local rules.”

In the end, there is no way to know exactly what was happening with this over the past 3 plus years.
However, they do include the statement: “You have now met your deductible for 2019.” There are 2 pages of stuff I don’t need, such as the a “rights’” statement in 12 different languages.

My statement looks like this:

This has the same sort of non-helpful information. It is for an annual “wellness visit” and a subsequent visit following a blood analysis. It mentions a personalized prevention plan of service (pps). If you can’t draw a clock or remember 3 words for 10 minutes, maybe something happens. I haven’t found out – yet!
I find it interesting that the Clinic (the facility) charged $258.00 while Medicare paid $303.78.
I guess someone in the Federal system thinks the service is worth more than do the folks that actually provided it.

The statement is called a Medicare Summary Notice (MSN).
I can switch from a paper MSN every 3 months to an electronic statement (eMSN) and have such information every month. That would be 4 times the garbage every year, and easier to ignore. Thrilling.

The wind blew in the Kittitas Valley this week, so while I was away pruning grape vines, and the building crew couldn’t go climb on someone’s roof — they came and worked on the Big Brown Shed.

In another work session, I’ll have to change the name.

From the Naneum Fan

John

News you can use, maybe

I’ve been pruning grape vines at White Heron / Mariposa Vineyard. So there are just two interesting related things, but not closely.

First, “mariposa” means butterfly in Spanish, but then the botanists named some flowering plants – Mariposa Lilies. They are mentioned on Wikipedia under the name Calochortus. Here on the Naneum Fan they bloom about July 4th. At the Mariposa Vineyard they bloom a month earlier.
As for butterflies, over the past few years there have been reports of the demise of the Monarchs. This seems to have been mistaken. They are migrating in North America in numbers not seen in recent memory.
Here is the story: {replace the XXX with a period or dot}

https://wattsupwiththatXXXcom/2022/03/22/2022-monarch-butterfly-report-a-mystery/


The second item of interest this week was discovering the way fuel from a can has to be added to the Ford 150. Getting to and home again to the vineyard is a trip of 125 miles.
I keep a 5 gallon can of gas at home – it is ethanol free. I use this for the power tools, such as chainsaw and mower. About this time each year I use the over-wintered gas in an auto, and then refresh it on the next trip to town.
The 2019 F150 has a no-cap filler. The no-cap system has a stiff flap that needs to be pushed aside and past. At a station there is no problem because the nozzle is long and steel.
The average plastic funnel, such as I have, will not work with this system.
You need something strong, stiff, and straight. Ford, fortunately, provides such a thing. I had to search the web for the solution after having gas gush out and over the side of the truck.
This white funnel is tucked behind the passenger seat with other gadgets in a cloth package.
I prefer to not have the truck cabin smell like gasoline, so what is one to do with this white funnel after using it. Well, I was home, so I washed it in hot soapy water and left it outside overnight before restoring it in its cloth hide-a-way.
Next – – put a box with soap and water in the truck, just in case I ever have a need for gas in an unhappy circumstance. Maybe we should be warned about this system. Check yours.

Goings on, on
The Naneum Fan

John

Spring is coming . . .

This is the time of the year when the warming Sun moves northward at its fastest rate. Today (3/13), the vertical rays (subsolar point) are about 200 miles south of the Equator, and will cross that position on Sunday, March 20, 2022 at 8:33 am “my time” — your time will be different. Spring will have sprung.

A story this week was about Rod Stewart – the famous singer – filling potholes near his home because an ambulance had a burst tire and other drivers were bashing their cars up, and his Ferrari didn’t like the holes either.
{replace the XXX with www; then paste into your search box}

https://XXX.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/sir-rod-stewart-fills-potholes-26451565

So the question was asked by someone (Who?): How come there is enough asphalt for speed bumps, but not enough to fill potholes?
On I-90 east of Ellensburg there is a hole in the concrete – yes I hit it this week – and nearby are precast concrete barriers (aka Jersey Barriers).
Smallish ones of these weigh 750 pounds, ship 60 to the truck load, and cost $315.95 each.
Does anyone have Rod’s phone number?

I was on I-90 because this is vine pruning season. A direct flight to the vineyard is just 24 miles. Highway distance is 65, half of that on I-90. I skipped a few of the early days because of the cold. Others did prune. Also, we moved to afternoon (1 to 4) work, rather than the usual 9 to Noon. The next scheduled day is Thursday, St. Patrick’s Day, and the temperature my be high enough to go back to mornings.
Here is a link to a video showing the basics of vine pruning:
{replace the XXX with www; then paste into your search box}

https://XXX.youtube.com/watch?v=Pv-n2Bolps0

These are wine grapes and the pruning is designed to restrict the quantity and encourage the quality of the grapes.

The one-way drive for me takes 1.25 hours and about 3 gallons of gasoline. I last pruned in 2020 when the price as $2/gal. And now it is $4.40. Ouch. I’m now getting about 20 mpg with the F150 truck. The Subaru got 30. Ouch, again.

The building crew put all but two sheets of the blue metal roof on. The mist didn’t bother them, but when the temperature dropped to near freezing and they risked slipping on the metal, they stopped. There is trim to do, and then the siding – false sandstone on the lower part and fiber/cement siding on the rest of it. Meanwhile, I continue to clean up some of the debris and remove nails from the lumber that supported the old roof.
I’m contemplating a functioning and decorative sundial for the shed. The building does not have a fully South-facing wall so the design has to accommodate the imperfect angle to the sun.
Here the blue rectangle represents the building, with the Sun directly to the South. Actually, the orientation means the wall and sundial in early morning hours will be shaded, but better exposed in the late afternoon and early evenings. I have a different idea for the morning hours. More on this in a few weeks.

Goings on, on
The Naneum Fan

John

Friends and I had a busy week

Last weekend I was talking with Gina who lives on the west side of Houston. She is a school teacher and has an avocation you can find by searching: Gina’s Heart of Gold Reptile and Exotic Rescue
I think this began many years ago when she introduced live animals into the classroom.
While we talked, she was going from room-to-room looking for a wandering snake.
As the photo shows, she found it in the toilet bowl.
All’s well that ends well.

Kathy sent photos of a rehabilitated saddle she carried away from here last year. I had neglected it. Nancy and I bought it used in Idaho, but it was made in Portland in the early 1900s. I feel guilty about how it looked and now I can let that feeling pass – thanks to Kathy. Her dog thinks it is a house. Ain’t that cool!

The Big Brown Shed got de-roofed, and partially re-roofed. The weather forecast for Friday included winds of about 20 mph. The guys decided not to be up handling sheets of metal that are 39 feet long.
The 4-part image below shows the progress.

Thursday morning I went to the vineyard, arriving at 9:00, pruned until Noon, and had lunch there with Phyllis and Cameron. Friday we pruned from 1:00 until 4:30. Cameron had winery visitors about 3:30 and Mark left at 4:00. Eric, Tom, and John finished all the rows that were started – the last of the Roussanne. Syrah vines are next. The weather was nice, but January and February were cold. So far, there are no signs of growth, such as weeping of the cuts.
I used Saturday to drag the heavy trusses, that supported the old roof, to an out of the way location. I had worked some to take them apart and realized that was taking too long for a low priority project. It will be a morning project for summer.
I split a few wood rounds and used the chainsaw to cut three small old trees into burnable size.
The grocery store had a meat sale on Thursday. I bought a large beef roast and (Saturday AM) cut it into 4 pieces. I froze three, and cut the other into chunks and used the crock pot to make veggy-beef stew. It will cool during the night and I’ll have a put-it-away project in the morning.

From the Naneum Fan
John

Progress, several

Despite the cold temperatures this past week, the roof of the Big Brown Shed (BBS) was removed. The heavy trusses came off with the help of a pretty blue machine, a Genie GTH-844.
I tried to keep the work site clear of materials, such as nails, insulation, and lumber. The latter had lots of nails. I could not keep up.
I intended to work on the boards and nails on Saturday, but Walter came and started the fork lift and began backing – it has an irritation “beep-beep”. His plan was to move the new (half) trusses down to the BBS from up near Naneum Road where they were deposited by the delivery/boom truck.

The trusses are 39 feet long and about 12 feet wide. The easy way of picking them up with the fork lift would orient them with the long side going across the drive. There is only a 20 foot distance between the trees. Darn.
So, after a couple of tries, we had them lifted, hanging from a single chain. Then I could rotate them to aim down the drive. I used a rope so I could stay out of the way of the trusses, the trees, and the forklift. When delivered, there was one broken 2×4. Now there is one more; both can be easily replaced. Several of the connector plates twisted out. They can’t be put back in place easily or with a strong bond. Where the trusses are made the wood is laid flat, connectors are placed, and then a heavy roller is used to drive the connector flat.
We will get new ones and have to use a heavy hammer to place them.
You can watch how the factory does it: Delete the 3 XXXs and watch the video, if you care to.

https:/XXX/www.youtube.com/watch?v=dduOdTaXwP0

Monday, weather permitting, the trusses will be fixed and lifted, set in place and stabilized. Then sheeting can go on, and the new blue roof.
By next Thursday, March 3rd, the roof should be well under way; routine stuff. I may go over to White Heron and prune a few vines. The weather forecast looks good.

Friday I went to the group-luncheon of which Nancy was a member at CWU. Both Megan Walsh and James Beard came and we talked a bit about the scholarship gift we (Nancy & John) just finalized. Peggy Eaton is part of that group, and of a cattle ranch family famous in the Valley for a cattle drive on the Yakima River Canyon Road. This was done a couple of weeks ago and so we talked some of that – especially about trying to keep your feet from freezing while riding a horse in February – a fun experience now left to younger riders.

In other news:
I have been missing one of the truck key-fobs. Replacements are expensive so I just kept looking because I knew it was here at home. Years ago I bent over a chest-type freezer and the keys to a car fell in. I found that one a year later.
This time I lost it last fall. It was out where I feed the native quail and small birds. It spent about 4 months under snow, but worked fine when I found it. Even without the snow cover it was not very noticeable as the photos below show. I’ve now tied on a piece of orange ribbon.

I saw the photo of the Striped Skunk and German Shorthaired Pointer on the web.
Did the photographer have a good zoom lens or a remote release camera on a tripod? The third possibility is the person is adventurous!

From the Naneum Fan
John

Close, but . . .

The schedule was to take off the front of the Big Brown Shed. Things happen. Jessie, Willy, and Ryan showed up Thursday morning. Willie’s young (5+) son, David, was ill so he did not stay. He and Amber took David to the ER, where he tested positive for Covid. He was not admitted, so I assume the doctor thought he was going to be okay. I’ll find out next Monday or Tuesday.
For Willy, the doctor suggested a 5-day period of not working with others. Thus, Willy did not come back.
Jesse and Ryan worked on the removal, with a bit of help from me.
Jessie had a dental appointment (in Yakima) Friday morning, so just Ryan and I worked. Mostly, I worked on dismantling the upright piano and Ryan pulled and bagged insulation. Both jobs involved contact with the messes caused by mice and squirrels.
Jessie came back at lunch time. By about 3:30, 100 percent of the siding [(T1), T stands for “textured,” which references the grooves or channels cut into the siding], and 85% of the structural lumber was removed. I quit the piano project, helped some with the tear-down, and removed nails from the stuff they were taking apart.
The work was lessened because Jessie took the big door panels – he’ll use them on a small animal shed (goats +). We didn’t have to take them apart. Other pieces, we sorted. Lumber that might be useful went into one pile, broken and unstained I can use as firewood; stained and plywood will have to go to a landfill – ‘cause the catalytic burner in the wood stove doesn’t handle chemicals.
The wall had one bit of electrical wiring – a 220v outlet for a welder. There was a standard door with frame and framing. These came apart but did slow things down.
Because we were short one worker, the project isn’t complete. But it is close.

At the beginning of the week, I went to the computer store {help when I need it} in EBRG and bought a camera to plug into my computer. It is a Logitech C920X. That won’t be of interest unless someone is looking for such a thing. I plugged it in, and it worked. Then I went to the Zoom site and had to work through the log-on procedure. That was more of a problem than anticipated because Nancy had registered, and I didn’t know her specifics. I watched a presentation, sponsored by our local Audubon Chapter, on Thursday evening about Shrubsteppe habitat, the animals, and issues – loss of that landscape and fire. One of the people from WA’s Fish & Wildlife that I worked with last fall was the presenter.
See the post Mountain snow, lowland rain, at this link:

Mountain snow, lowland rain.

It involved planting baby sage brush and scattering native grass seed on a burned area.

Friday a Culligan water tech came for an annual visit. He replaced the 4 filters under the kitchen sink, declared all was good. This is a once a year thing, but the tech has been the same guy for about 4 years.

My faucet – #9 in the upper left – is on the right side.

I’ve been bringing wood in. My temperature went to 52°, the wind gusts hit 40 mph. Even in an open sided shed, it was not lots of fun.
Monday night is expected to be 13°, then 9°, then 14° on Thursday. Slow warming to follow. I didn’t stay outside long. Friends and relatives in the Midwest and Northeastern states will be similarly impacted by the massive amount of cold air drifting south from Arctic Canada.

I learned a new word today, so life is good.

Not that I personally know anyone that might be called a cockwombe.

All the best
from the Naneum Fan
John

Happenings this week on the Fan

The #1 happening this week


When Nancy died last year (3/30/21) and I notified folks at Central Washington University there were numerous individuals that offered support. Not unexpectedly (because of previous donations), the College of the Sciences Dean, and Director of Development, responded and inquired if I wanted to honor Nancy with a donation to CWU. I replied but said I’d get to that toward the end of summer. In September, I contacted Megan Walsh of the Geography Department (she leads the department’s scholarship activities, and is a friend and neighbor) and asked her to set up a meeting. The image above is the heading of the document we signed this week.

Some details: This is now a permanent endowment honoring Nancy, but my name is on it because I’m the one that had to sign the donation document. I used the Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from Nancy’s IRA that I inherited. I’ve worked with the CWU Foundation and the Geography scholarship committee since September to get the wording right, and then with Vanguard to pass the money to CWU via a non-taxable charitable contribution. That had to wait until 2022 rolled around. If you are retired and have an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) you will know about RMDs. If you are not retired and have an IRA, you will learn about RMDs when you retire. Otherwise, ignore the above.
For the past 10 years, Nancy had been giving a scholarship or two as “current use funds.” The University takes the money and passes it on in the same year to the recipient chosen by the Geography Department. An “endowed scholarship fund” works differently. The University invests the money, and a few years later when there is sufficient earned income a scholarship will be available. The core funds, and some of the earnings, remains to grow. To not have this delay, I am continuing the sort of award that has been given. This year there will be $3,000 available for current use. I suppose this will be distributed as three $1,000 awards. The Geography scholarship committee may decide something else if circumstances warrant.
I’ve set this up with the University Foundation with the intent of growing
the fund for several years while also providing the current use funds.
There is a concept called “a black swan event” [an extremely negative event] and I told my College of the Sciences contact that my plan assumes such an event does not happen.

At home on the Naneum Fan:

Well, our big snow was in early January and most of it was still here at the beginning of the week. I got very tired of a month of cold and fog. Despite what the groundhog claims, this week is better, and it is warming slowly so there is less chance of EBRG flooding.The city and county are passing out sandbags & sand, I guess.
I shoveled much of the snow out from between the house and the big brown shed. Had it melted rapidly it can seep into the house – once the 2-car garage.

Safe now forever, because within a week the construction crew will begin to tear the roof off and replace it with one that slopes away in the other direction. The metal for the roof was delivered in December. The trusses were delivered Tuesday. I got a call about 7:58 a.m. – I wasn’t aware of the delivery until the truck was 2 miles away. I took photos of the unloading but I’m having trouble making the iPhone do what I want. I was already outside when the call came and did not think to run for the camera – that I do know how to use. I did get a photo onto the computer, as seen below.

These are extended (cantilevered) half-trusses. The extension on the right will be over the passage way {left side, below] so only a little snow will blow into that space. The near edge will be on top; that is, the roof part. The next photo is the front of the Big Brown Shed (BBS). The roof and front will all be removed and the structure will be open – like a large car-port. The orange line shows how the new roof will slant, and carry rain and snow away from the narrow passage on the left side.
This will correct a number of poor decisions by the prior owner, the builder, and the county folks that allowed this.
One of a 2-building combination in the – more snow – upper county had to be demolished in January after snow slid into the passageway and destroying a wall. An inspector insisted the building could not be saved and it was pushed over.
Almost all of the land-fill destination stuff has been removed. Cameron and Phyllis helped sort and load again Friday. The truck is full, although the load is somewhat less dense than last week. Likely there will be about 1,700 pounds and a $100 dollar tip fee. There are a few pass-on things, and tools and such that remain.

Another thing that got done this week is that 3 years of back taxes got submitted to the IRS. I started this process in the summer. Had to find someone to agree to work on it, then wait for them to fit it in, and get it done. I think I have all the papers now for the 2021 tax year. I promised to bring those to the office real soon. The issue now is how long the IRS will take to process all this. How can I complain? I’m 3 years late on the one they no longer accept digitally. I got a letter on Dec 24th warning me to send the stuff the next day or maybe lose my return. Their timing was wonderful.

About 3 weeks ago several eagles were in trees a few miles south, where there are cattle. Calving was not in progress and a day later the eagles were gone. Yesterday there were two calves with that herd. The eagles will be back to clean the birthing grounds. This is one of the first signs of spring on the Naneum Fan.

Best to y’all!
John

Activities and weather are improving.

I am one of the people in the USA that have had little impact or inconvenience from the Covid Panic. Still this cartoon provides a good summary of my feelings.
The cartoonist is Stephan Pastis and the comic strip is Pearls Before Swine.
This appears in our local paper in gray-scale form. I went to the web to get the color version.
https://www.arcamax.com/thefunnies/pearlsbeforeswine/s-2625459
On the left is a scroll list of other comics. I always look at Breaking Cat News, by Georgia Dunn. The cats are often involved in a story line that may go on for a week. Also, some other characters come and go. To appreciate the strip, one has to be a regular visitor, and learn the cats and there personalities.

Local stores have “wear a mask” signs but the patrons seem half-hearted about it. Many just don’t bother. I carry a mask and put it on when and if I have to talk to or be near others. Otherwise keeping a physical distance {social distancing} is quite easy in the community. I’ve been told the big cities and more formal settings in Puget Sound towns are more masked-up than the EBRG area.

On a similar vein, I read of a candy shortage with Valentine’s Day approaching. This is not apparent in the EBRG stores. Shelves are over flowing with everything imaginal. About this difference my hypotheses are (a) candy is priced too high for our local folks, and (b) we are higher-order procrastinators than others.
Maybe heart shaped boxes are very costly to produce, but $20 for a 20 ounce indulgence seems excessive. That’s in an inexpensive general merchandise store. Some are much more expensive but most EBRG stores never stalk those. The one shown here is $21.95 for 5.8 ounces. I’ll never know if the pieces taste good. That’s over $60 per pound, before an 8% tax. Wow!

This week I was expecting a call from the CPA office that has been working on taxes. Thus, all week I stayed close to the house telephone – I carry a handset when outside – it works for about 200 feet. The call did not come. On Saturday I went to town for a multi-purpose trip. (Note below for Friday.)
I made 6 stops and got home about 1:00 o’clock. At 3 I got the call from Scott, the CPA. I went back in (gas costs me about $6 per trip), signed my name 3 times and came home again. Next is working on last year’s taxes. The filing date in 2022 is April 18th. The 15th is “Good Friday”, so “Tax Day” is delayed to Monday. I found the following on the web:
“A rampant virus, skeleton staff, ongoing legislative changes, and flailing funding all make for a decidedly bumpy tax season ahead. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is battling backlogs with a grossly understaffed team (20,000 fewer employees than in 2010) and the delays and complexities engendered by stimulus check deliveries and advances in Child Tax Credits.”
I’m not betting on an early response, although I think the back-year submittals may go to a different office than current year stuff – and it is all electronic. Will that help?

Friday:
Phyllis and Cameron scheduled a trip over for Friday – work and lunch.
They brought metal shelving and an outside weather station. I figured we could work outside for an hour with a temperature of near 40° only if we were quite active. Well, last Oct/Nov we sorted and filled boxes with papers, books, and old magazines (+more) and stacked the stuff at the front of the Big Brown Shed. Thursday I shoveled the snow from the area in front of the swinging doors.I backed the truck as close as I could get to there (~10 feet) and I got in under the canopy and Cameron carted boxes. I stacked things to the roof. Leer claims this canopy has 40% more volume than a standard “cab-height” model. I can’t find a number for that, but it holds a lot and we filled it top-to-bottom and side-to-side. I ran out of space before Caameron ran out of boxes. I think one more (smaller) load will mostly clear out the accumulation of 50 years of books & papers & magazines & personal documents.
Saturday I went to the transfer station (aka “dump”) and unloading, without help, took nearly a half hour. OK, 20 minutes. I weighed out at 1,920 pounds lighter than when I went in. The dump fee was $121. With the prior trips either with or without a smaller canopy I was only carrying half that weight and the fee was closer to $50. Without a canopy the load has to be secured. That was a pain and limited the bulk.
The two images above show the under-roof part of a solid waste transfer station. Once things are on the floor the machines place it into a large concrete trench. Then it is compressed and baled and loaded on to trucks to be “transferred” to a far off burial site. Most of the area’s solid waste goes to East Wenatchee, about 80 road miles away.
My spring project will be dismantling the Pace Arrow motor home.

About senior moments and my iPhone:
I got my i-12 via Consumer Cellular and, perhaps this is normal, it had almost no documentation. I got started but easily lost the information about codes, passwords, Apple ID Code, and Verification Code. Later I bought a $12 book “for Seniors” that hasn’t been a lot of help.
Well, my desktop computer doesn’t have a camera and I wanted to get a ZOOM ability. The iPhone seemed doable. I tried but needed the various codes that I didn’t have. I had to request a recovery appointment.
I did that on January 26th. The return message was that in a few days I would get a message telling me when I would be able to do a recovery. That message came 4 days later; it said:
“You will receive a text or a phone call at this number when your account is ready to recover on February 5, 2022 at 9:04:48 PM PST.”
Last night at 9 PM I got ready with an open text document and the phone turned on at 9:04:30 PM PST. Apple-recovery was a few seconds late. I really didn’t know the difference between an Apple ID Code and a Verification Code – – and I was getting responses via the internet and via the phone. What great fun. Apple Support (digital) and I finally got all this straightened out. Monday, I think I’ll call my computer guru and find out what it will take to get a camera & whatever on the desktop to do video, like ZOOM. Also, my friendly Adult Activity Center director, Katelyn, is knowledgeable about iPhones and answers questions for us old farts every Monday at 1 PM. We were stymied last week ‘cause I didn’t know the codes.

From the Naneum Fan
John

A dull week here

The biggest news of the week was going for a haircut. Actually, that was sort of a spontaneous activity. I was due about the time we got the two feet of snow and stayed home. Then on a couple of occasions I drove by the place – The Barber Chop – but didn’t stop. There was lots of snow where folks were trying to park. Next time there were about 5 cars around. Finally, on a return trip from Umpqua Bank, I went in, got right in a chair and a nicely tattooed young lady, also nice, (Baily) had me trimmed in about 15 minutes.

The trip to the bank was initiated by me asking about a loan to finish the remodeling work. The bank’s interest rate is about 3.5% and the retirement funds were earning more than that, so the idea was to use their cheaper money. I decided not to do that, but banker Brandy found that we had an unused Home Equity Loan, initiated in 2003. This had a yearly fee of $50. Thus, the cost has been $900 – and I don’t even remember why we signed up for that.
The details included having the Bank’s name on our deed – even though we never borrowed a dime.
The real kick in the butt is that in order to cancel that the Bank has to send a signed document to the government to have the bank’s named removed. One can’t burp in WA State without paying a fee, in this case $236.11. No mortal knows how these strange fees are calculated, but that 11¢ must be important to someone. It is called Reconveyance Fee. I had to visit the bank to sign the form and authorize the withdrawal. Thus, the total cost over the years is $1,136.11. Plus the cost of the gas to drive to town.
To make the drive more purposeful, I went to a grocery store, I dropped my ballot in the box at the Courthouse, and stopped for a haircut.
The vote was for school levies. Today a flier arrived from the district asking for my support for the two items. I had already voted yes, so they need not have sent the full color large document. Oh well!

My sometimes neighbor came home last night or early this morning. Recall we had two feet of snow 10 days ago, and it is still here. It has sagged some, so maybe there is only a depth of 15 inches covering her 200 feet of driveway. She drives a small Honda with a clearance of about 6 inches.
She decided to try, and made 20 feet before high centering.
Hondas, unlike Subarus and many other vehicles, have nothing in the rear to hook on to. The body is plastic and the back has a gas tank in the center and mufflers on either side.
I shoveled behind the car and got some of the snow out from underneath. Then I called Allen and he came with the front end loader that he used here. I brought gravel over from my spare pile and got a little under the tires. She is not good at the “rock back and forth” technique – this is the 3rd time in 20 years she has used her car as a snowmobile. We got her out and I came home. Allen cleaned her drive, I think into her house, but I’ll have a look tomorrow.

I do get a little exercise moving snow off where I want a path. It will dry rather than get soggy. Also, I split wood rather than just use what is already split and stacked. Oh, and I feed the wild birds. They approve.

From the Naneum Fan
John

Bread instead

I intended to bake an apple pie.
The recipe said I needed five apples cubed.
The grocery store only had 97 apples.
I made bread instead.

Another math problem:

A school teacher was arrested at JFK International airport as she attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a compass, and a device identified as a “slide-rule” as well as a wooden code device she called an abacus.
At a press conference, the Attorney General said he believes the woman is a member of the notorious Al-Gebra movement, and that she has been charged with carrying weapons of math instruction.
“Al-Gebra is a problem for us,” the Attorney General said. “Al-Gebra has terrorized many young people for years. Children are forced to work with codes like X & Y and strange signs like ∑, √, and ∞. They calculate means and extremes and sometimes go off on tangents.

I didn’t realize this until now, but going off on tangents is a rather interesting life style that I have been accused of. The following photo includes a meter stick, just over 39 inches.

Friday, about noon, I heard and felt the snow slide off the Big Brown Shed (BBS). I was in the new room with the side next to the shed. The stone and blue corner is on the house. The BBS is on the right. The slope & overhang of the roof causes the snow to fall against the house wall, then some tumbles back toward the shed.
The fall and sudden stop causes the snow to compact. The result is a 6 ft. wide and 30 ft. long jumble of tightly packed snow. If this melts rapidly there is no place for the water to go. It can rise to the level where the wall bottom-plate (also called sole or sill plate) is attached to the concrete.
The wood-to-concrete space is not water tight, and so there can be seepage into the building. When this wall was the side of a garage such an event happened, and was a big pain, but not a serious failure. Now, with the conversion to living space, such an event is not acceptable. I’ve started to remove it, and the weather is cooperating. There are no big snows coming, nor fast melt days.
The BBS was built too close to the house. The shed was built 35 years ago, about 5 years after the house, by the second owner. I think the County building department would not approve of this now. The space is too narrow for equipment and the floor of the shed is higher then the house foundation – they built a gravel pad and poured concrete thereon. There is enough space that the shed could have been built 15 or 20 feet away. There is 70 feet from the shed wall to the property line. I think the issue might have been the location of the power lines, and the pole and lines would have had to have been moved. Regardless, the choice made was wrong.

Fixing this is the next project. The metal roof panels are here, and the half-trusses would be, except for the big snow days ago. Those were to be delivered on the 6th, and the contractor has gotten all the fasteners.
I’ve started to think of this as the “cameron conversion” because Vigneron Cameron suggested the final form of the converted structure – a bit like the image below.
This one has to be in a place where it never snows. My conversion will have trusses, and solid walls (fire resistant) on the back and right sides. The covered space will be good for gatherings, when not being used for parking.

With an all electric house, the winter months have a high heating cost.
I started the wood stove the second week of December. Since then the electric bill was reduced by 60%. Twice I took ash out of the stove without a complete cool down. This week I let it burn out and cool completely. Then I cleaned about 90% of the ashes out; as recommended. Now it is back on line.
The months of November through February are the critical heating months, but in ‘21, November wasn’t very cold, so I didn’t start.
Had I started on Dec. 1st, the savings would have been about $200.
I gave a week’s worth of split wood away and may have to split some to finish through February, if I want to do that.

Keeping track on the Naneum Fan
John