Heat like the mid-1950s in Pennsylvania

Best video I’ve seen of the collapse of the building in Florida.

In other news:
There is an on-going volcanic eruption in Iceland. Here is a photo from the day it crested the rim and began to flow out.Fagradalsfjall Volcano, Iceland – June 14 2021

This reminded someone of this episode from 1912:
On the home front a 30 cubic yard dumpster arrived last Monday (14th), was partially filled on Tuesday, and was carried off Friday of this week. I added things during its stay, but high temperatures caused me to do less than I wanted. Still, over 90% was filled. I topped it off with mattresses and the box springs from an old bed. A couple of small lamp shades were discovered. I don’t recall having seen them. The circle on top is 4.5 inches across. The texture is sort-of crisp, and whether they began life that way or not, it is different and interesting.

During the cleanup, two old carpet vacuums were less than satisfactory. They got tossed. A third is more for things not on the floor. It gets too warm and quits if used very long, say 5 minutes.
So I ordered a large shop-vac. It has a 12 gallon container and a 2.5 inch diameter hose. About 50 years ago we had something similar, called a Filter Queen. This one is a different technology, and prettier.

Saturday morning, about 9am, Kathy and Janelle came with a pickup and flatbed trailer. Temperature was about 87 at the airport – maybe 85° here. That crept while we worked, in part shade and with a slight breeze, just 5 or 6 mph – but it helped.
We loaded about 6 tons of hay (110 pound 3-string bales).
While Janelle strapped the load, Kathy and I searched the edge of the stash of stuff I had put in the hay shed last spring. Years ago at our horse club meetings there would be a raffle of donated items, usually horse related. We won our share and acquired things, such as lead ropes, we already had. We found 2 leads this morning, and a few other things.
That pile of items and boxes are next on the agenda for a sort, toss, and repurpose day. We’ll need cooler weather.

I’m headed to a birthday celebration for an 80 year old I don’t know. I know many in the family, but he is the father of a son that married Suzy West’s younger sister. The gathering is at the old homestead NE of Kittitas, about 15 minutes from here.

Temperature at the airport is now 99° @ 1:00 pm.

From the Naneum Fan
John

Word of the week – hectic

I’ll start by mentioning that my sister had a medical hiccup on Thursday. I guess she is okay, but it is hard to know because in her best interest she was taken from a smallish ER clinic to a monolithic hospital. Therein cell phones do or do not connect with the outside world depending on cosmic rays, sun spots, or the concrete/steel/electromagnetic frailties of the structure. She called me last night, and a cousin today. My call tonight did not get through.

Friday morning I carried boxes of tax related papers to an EBRG CPA. I have to get a power of attorney signed so he can talk to the IRS about things. So, slow moving on that front.

Today, the three horses went to a new home. They were purchased early in Nancy’s recovery 10 years ago but we were advised that she could be hurt and bleed internally, so she and I stopped riding. They were lovely animals so we kept them until today. I did not have much success in Kittitas County with moving them to new homes. Friends from the west side thought they could adopt them. I have worked with the horses a dozen times in the past few weeks. Now they would come to a small area (known as “home”) and be handled, haltered, and led around – mostly well mannered. Far from a finished ground-work graduate. Still they loaded into a trailer for the two ladies that are taking them west – and by 5 o’clock they were gone.

The horse activity was interrupted because I have been looking for a simple pickup truck. The Subaru dealer was going to take my truck (F350), Nancy’s Forester, and my Crosstrek – but they could not find anything close to what I wanted. Neither could the local Ford dealer.
Last night a used truck dealer in Yakima posted just such a vehicle and friend Kathy was searching and found it – 6 hours after its posting. When she came for the horses this morning she had the listing, photo, and dealer’s number on her cell phone. I called and told them I wanted to look at it. So Kathy’s husband, Francisco, and I left after I put halters and lead ropes on the 3 horses.
At the truck place I was about to write a check for one truck when Francisco noticed another newer one out a side window. We hopped in that one and took a short ride. Meanwhile, Jennifer, the brains of the operation noticed that Nancy’s name, above mine, was on the title of the Forester. Jennifer said we would need Nancy’s signature. Oops!
However, if I had a death certificate the sale could go forward. Francisco called Kathy and I gave her directions on where to find said form. Francisco and I went for lunch, and got back to the dealer just as Kathy showed up with the necessary document. We cleaned out the Forester – Kathy found $22 to add to the $390 she found in the house last week – and we were soon headed back to the Naneum Fan and the horse situation.
The new ride is a white 2019 F150, 4×4, 8 ft. box, low mileage, and a full bed liner.
At home the ladies (Kathy & Janelle) prepared for horse loading. Francisco and I went inside and he wrote checks for the Crosstrek [purchasing for daughter Maraya ] and for the F350, for his own use. About the time the car dealing was coming to an end, there was a Whoop and a Wahoo! from outside as the third horse hopped into the trailer. Did I mention they had not been in a trailer since Nancy and I brought them home 10 years ago. Further, today was the day they were introduced to Horse Whisper Janelle.
With Janelle and the horses headed west, we cleaned out the Crosstrek of my stuff, and loaded a few things Kathy and Francisco decided to add to their stuff.
They will be back Sunday for the F350, more stuff, and the better of the two horse trailers.
Nancy and I bought our first horse, a Quarter Horse named Captain, in 1978 or ’79. We were up to 5 a few years ago. Now Zero.

Change is sometimes slow – sometimes rapid.
Uff da!

From the Naneum Fan
John

Memorial Day (long weekend)

My long awaited phone call with a Social Security clerk came at a little after 2 pm on Monday. I sent a note to friend Dot, who visited the DeKalb County court house to get the certificate of marriage.
That note follows.

I had my phone call with Victor of the Yakima office of the Social Security Administration on Monday afternoon. I either had to drive to Yakima (100 miles round trip) or mail the certificate of marriage.
I have no other reason – just now – to go there, so I mailed it on Wednesday.
The talk was as expected, except he asked if I could read small print. Maybe if I said no I’d get a large print version of whatever he will send to me.
It is also odd that a surviving spouse or child may receive a special lump-sum death payment of $255. This payment has bedeviled congress and the SSA since the beginning.
The amount of $255 was set in 1954, but with price increases since then the amount today would be $2,532.
I will ponder the use of my $255 as I await its arrival in my bank account.
I’m slowly making credit card and other changes as I figure them out.
A tangled web, as you know.

The last line is a reference to the things that followed the death of Dot’s husband Bill over a year ago.
– – – –
SATURDAY
Five of Nancy’s friends and I spent hours sorting and packaging stuff, mostly clothes, from a bedroom, including from on the queen sized bed, from closets, dressers, floor, and hanging on doors. Mid-morning Sunday two of the kind folks will be back for more of the same.
I’m too exhausted to write more tonight.
I should have spent more time over the past few weeks doing some of this, but not being in that frame of mind – and knowing help was coming, I didn’t do much.
A further distraction this past week was serious work on the last major project of the house remodel. Namely, concrete and joists for the deck were 95% completed. Photo #1 below. Photo #2 is the nearly finished entrance sign. This pulled the workers away from the deck; my choice.
However, the entrance structure and sign have been a goal of mine, and I wanted it to be there to greet some long-time friends.

The Nordic horse is a symbol of welcome (Välkommen, Swedish, or Velkommen, Norwegian). This one was painted 35 years ago in Troy ID.
On this Memorial Day (long weekend) spend a few moments remembering those who served.

I’ll put flags out Sunday and Monday.

John
from the Naneum Fan

Stuff happens

NOON Friday update:

3rd trip to bring computer health –
Most problems (see below) solved, but the default router-to-computer connection is assumed to be a cable. I need WiFi.
Old box and the new are back in town to see if the wifi of old will fit in the new. If not, I’ll have to buy a new one. Most components are smaller now than 7 years ago.

B e l o w:
The good: I just figured out how to use WordPress on the Dell laptop Nancy used — and I dislike bigly.

The bad: The computer I used (large tower, 2 monitors, wireless mouse and keyboard) went to the Great Trash Heap. I brought a refurbished Dell home but it doesn’t recognize the mouse or keyboard, and only 1 monitor appears.
I’ll call in the morning, but I may have to go back in with all the parts to get help.
Other than that it was a nice day.
John

March update #2

I knew there were issue a week ago but I’ll just start with Tuesday; that’s the regular blood draw day.
We started in the door (auto sliding) and made one step inside.
A man was coming from our right – the direction we needed to go.
Nancy started to pivot that direction, and I took another step forward. Oops!
Her feet tangled and she went down – I had her hand and kept it from being a hard fall. With the man’s help we got her up, and the receptionist rushed over with one of the tall chairs. A rest, and then on into the real waiting room.
I told Kim (phlebotomist) she need not draw a vial for the clotting index INR but could use a finger-prick. She did better, taking a drop from the vial being sent to the lab. INR this way is immediate.
We had little to do in town, so went home and had lunch.
Not long after our “doc” Chelsea called and reported the Potassium level had spiked into critical level and we should think about going to the ER. I questioned whether or not we could just walk in. So she called the ER, then called us back to say they were expecting us.
Indeed, they were – so no waiting. The ER doctor and about 6 or 7 others fussed around Nancy, and the hospital doctor of the day came in also. He came to talk serious stuff with me, and then arranged the transfer from ER to the Critical Care Unit (CCU).

To digress some – Nancy was mentally confused – this I knew, but also knew I was going to talk to Chelsea on Tuesday, so did not call her Monday. Nancy’s “sleep study” was scheduled for Wednesday at 8 PM, and I was sure that would be disaster in her condition. On the way to the ER (about 17 minutes), I called the Sleep place and cancelled.

The ER doctor asked Nancy about name, time, date and where she was. She knew all the answers. Then in an instant she would say something very odd. She heard the conversation when we cancelled the sleep study but then told a nurse she needed to get out for the study. At some point she told me someone in the hospital was going to take all my clothes and I would have to walk the streets of Ellensburg naked. (That happened the next morning, I guess; but she was behaving strangely.) She was trying to remember the words to the “doxology” song and wanted nurses and aides to sing with her.

At this point her Potassium was recorded at 6.5.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a normal range of Potassium is between 3.6 and 5.2 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) of blood. A potassium level higher than 5.5 mmol/L is critically high, and a potassium level over 6 mmol/L can be life-threatening. {Last year, mine was just 4.0.}
They gave her a cocktail of chemicals to bring that down while still in the ER. By Wednesday Noonish it was down to 5.5, and Thursday to 5.1. That’s good. Not so good is that she has retained a weight gain of 20 pounds since early December, and that hasn’t responded. With weak muscles from a year of inactivity, this complicates simple movements, such as getting on and off of a regular chair (think commode). I’m trying to locate a high and wide bedside unit.
As that dropped, her mental condition improved. To me the result was stunning. For the time we were there the CCU doctor was a retired man but working at least a few days a month at regional hospitals. He too (along with nurses and aides) were impressed with the rapidly changing (improving) mental state. I was told on Thursday to expect a discharge on Friday.
Had a short visit with a Physical Therapist and a long visit with a Social worker, Polly. They were (did) to set in motion actions to get help at home with in-home things. On discharge, I was told folks would be in touch Monday. Polly also arranged for Nancy’s 2nd Covid shot to be brought out to the house.
On Thursday I ordered a powered hospital bed for home, and borrowed a walker from Hospice Friends. The bed was to arrive at 11 am Friday, so I visited Nancy at breakfast, then went home.
A young man named Dylan came with the bed. This is his #2 job. Number 1 is with the EBRG Fire and Rescue folks, where friend Sara is an EMT. The bed has 3 small electric motors and the gear to (1) raise the entire frame, (2) put a kink under the knees and (3) raise the head & shoulders section.
#3 was dead on arrival. A metal piece had been drilled with two holes too close to the end that attached to the drive shaft from the motor. Those holes (metal) tore, leaving a sharp edge like on the lip of a just opened tomato can. Dylan and I tried to fix this, but could not make it work.
Otherwise the bed was fine, so he left it and will bring a new one Monday. My work-around is shown in this photo.

Once Nancy was in the bed, she thought it needed tilted more. I rotated the plank. I’d already taken the photo; a new one seemed unnecessary, but the height is now about double what you see.

Diet instructions were given to me. That is, a list of high, medium, and low K foods is provided. I managed to dress up a mushroom soup, with a side of pears. I will only note that this is going to be a problem. For example, when on the blood thinner Coumadin there are things one is to avoid. Of course these seem to be low in Potassium. Also, there are a few things Nancy will not eat – Watermelon! Butternut squash (she likes) is a no. Summer squash (sorta doesn’t like) is fine.

I guess that is it for now –

Remember to change clocks this weekend!

John

Not so Nasty News February 26th

Item #1: Parma Street Clouds

Left photo by my sister in NE Ohio.
Right image from here: Cloud Streets

Various sites claim that “cloud streets” typically form fairly straight lines over large flat areas such as the ocean. Ohio isn’t an ocean but the area next to Lake Erie (or parts of) is flatter than an ocean under a good breeze.

While in the region, there are some nice photos of Niagara Falls at this site: Ice is nice

Item #2: Vaccine
We went for the 1st dose of the Pfizer Covid vaccine on Friday afternoon. Two hours later I cannot (feel) tell where the needle poke was. I was talking to one of the volunteers and not looking. Maybe I got just a skin-pinch for some sort of test.
Our entry was at 3:30 and the folks had give over 400 shots.
There is a second site in the County. Hope the Saturday morning paper will provide information. We ought to be near half vaccinated.

Somewhat related is the number of times we keep having to give our e-mail, phone #, address, and more in a county where we have a “medical portal” that’s is supposed to keep track of health records. If this sort of stuff is what is being designed into self-driving cars – the lack of connectivity and intelligence, I mean – such cars should have a bright orange, with black skulls, paint job. We’d know to pull to the side when one is spotted.

Item #3: Snow

Washington is having a snow season. Snoqualmie Pass, 70 miles west of us has an accumulation of about 33 feet. There is 37 feet at the pass north of that. Farther north the road has been closed since last November 13th.
Many people are pleased with this. Others, not so much. Spring melt will have some flooding, so that is already being discussed; in the local paper early in the week. There has been 2 or 3 feet of new snow since then. We got about 5 inches.

To prevent snow coming down on traffic the roads are often closed, say from 4 AM to 6 AM. Various means are used to bring the snow down, then they clear what hits the road. Travelers need to stay informed and prepared.

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

Not so Nasty News February 19th

North from our driveway and Naneum Road. Hills were covered with fire and smoke during August, 2014. {2/19/2021; by John}

Item #1: A new national zoo

A wise owl wrote about all the odd things our nationally elected politicians do when they are not busy taking our money. Seems they put some fencing up. Where or how much, or how much it cost, I have no idea. Then the person connected the dots – – odd behavior + fence = Zoo.Item #2: A weather rhyme

Some wag said that history doesn’t repeat, but it sometimes rhymes. Search for “River Thames frost fairs” for stories and images. Painters made nice works, as the one below left shows. Ice on canals; one of many reports:
the Netherlands 2021

Item #3: Into the snowbank

The Washington Department of Transportation moves quickly to close the State’s important highway (I-90). After the first half-dozen vehicles spin into the snow, barricades stop traffic at Ellensburg and North Bend. After conditions improve, the traffic can move again.
Last week in other parts of the country, snow, ice, and fog brought a couple of massive (100+) piles of vehicles. I don’t want to discount the injuries, but I also wonder about the total costs accumulated from such an episode. I considered making a list of things but decided there were more than I had time to bother with. Hint: I see guardrails being replaced frequently. They are not cheap.
Anyway, regardless of the truth shown in the photos below, I got a chuckle.
Item #4: What heat wave? This is the January 19th look-ahead forecast for Feb. 2021 on the Weather Channel (see small box, upper right).
Grade: FAIL !

Item #5: Back in the real world

We have managed to get scheduled for Pfizer 1st Dose vaccine.
County Health opened the web page for next week with appointments for three people every 10 minutes during each day.
My attempt got me scheduled for Thursday afternoon. I tried to schedule Nancy for the same time slot, but the software would not allow a second name using the same e-mail address. So I called the phone number they gave, and after about 5 attempts (every 10 minutes) got to talk to Joe. By then all the Thursday slots were filled.
We went to Friday and Joe entered Nancy and me for 3:30 at the County Event Center – Teanaway Hall, in EBRG. Same place I took neighbor Kenny last week. Then Joe cancelled my Thursday appointment, so someone else can get in there.

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

Not so Nasty News February 12th

Item #1: Big Cold

The map below is available here: http://wxmaps.org/pix/curtmp.png
The time is from London, so 01Z is 1 AM there and here in WA we are 8 hours behind. As I write, 6 PM has just passed. Parts of Canada and the United States are shown. The dashed line across Texas is where it is freezing, to the north. Austin is 30°. Ask in search for a conversion from Zulu (Z) time for your location. The nasty news – there is the clash between Gulf air (moist) and the cold air from the North. That brought icy roads, a major multi-vehicle pile-up, and at least five deaths.
In central Washington, it is colder, there is little moisture in the air, and not a lot of snow at our elevation. Even at the elevations of the major highway passes, there is just normal winter driving conditions.
Higher elevations will get more snow as winds shift and begin coming from the west. Monday will be a transition day to temperatures 10 to 15 degrees warmer. Hallelujah or maybe just Yaa’HOO!

Item #2: Confusion

Thursday: Neighbor Kenny was scheduled for a vaccine, with a brother planning to drive him to town. Brother’s daughter has a water issue about 70 miles east, so I took him.
While in the building (fairgrounds) I had a greeter find a person that could answer my questions about getting an appointment. Interestingly, the person – Trinity – knew Nancy from years ago at one of the summer fiddle camps. Her mother and Nancy were in the same class for about 8 years in a row. Trinity, then just a youngster, would come and play with the older group when she wasn’t with her own age-class.

I explained to her about me getting on a web site and getting an “eligibility card”, but she said that was a State thing and not really useful. We needed to be on the County Wait List. She took our names, phone #, and e-mail info, and signed us up. She said we might have to wait a few weeks, but if people didn’t show up and they had vaccine thawed out we could get a call any time. From call to getting there had to be fairly quick – I said it will take an hour, and she thought that would be fine.
I’m going to guess it will be the first week in March.

Item #3: moving snow

I usually use a push broom to get pathways cleared, and often the driveway. Our snow is mostly light-weight so 3 or 4 inches is easily moved.
This morning, with about 5 inches and more on the way, I guessed there would soon be a big John Deere tractor working on the driveway. (There was – neighbor Allen.)
After feeding horses and quail, I pushed snow away from things and into the edges of the driveway. I anticipated doing more, but on the back side of the house I broke the handle. It was like on the left here.I think the attachment is cast Aluminum and there is no support to keep from twisting. 14° temperature might have contributed. I had a couple of things to do in EBRG today, so I bought one that is similar to the right image.
I have another nice pushbroom that has a glued-on handle. I left it in the pickup with the load of “composting” horse manure. I think the heat expanded the metal-tube handle and it came off of the attachment fixed into the horizontal piece. If I can fix those two broken ones, then I’ll have 3 good ones (and a 4th not so good).

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

Not so Nasty News February 5th

Item #1: Little bottles

Years ago we visited the Corning Museum of Glass (CMOG), assuming that is what it is was called then. The pieces of carved and blown, and all the rest is worth a look. The web site is
CMOG

The photo here is of a worker inspecting a small glass bottle or vial. If you have just guessed this has something to do with the millions of doses of vaccine being shipped around the world, you get a gold star.
Corning’s Valor glass

Item #2: What is going on?

Assume you have been in a coma since 1995. Now you wake and look at the woman. What would you think?
Correct. Society has gone kooky.

Item #3: From great to cranky

Last week our county was highlighted on news reports. Why? Because Kittitas County was doing better than any place in the USA with respect to its vaccination roll out. This past Monday there was a glitch. There was a surge of registrations reaching 100,000. The County’s population is about 50,000. The wait-list is temporarily closed. There was not a bunch of folks from other counties. There was an error in the system. Apparently there were a few other problems, thus they will use this opportunity to conduct additional troubleshooting before re-opening.

Item #4: We are eligible

While we can’t register for an appointment we can still get a cute form saying we are eligible.
There are no checks on one’s answers, so this seems pointless. Note, it uses the word “now.” We can’t get the shot now, but we are eligible now.
As of Friday, the shut down is still in effect.
I think the person that designed the message has a financial interest in an ink supplier. I’ve snipped about a third of the blue, and Nancy and I each have of one of these messages.

Item #5: Seattle

Sometime I’d like to show good news from Seattle. However, all the news from Seattle is nasty, but I have hope.

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

Not so Nasty News January 29th

Item #1: Really Old

Sister Peggy celebrated 80 this week. Photo was the summer of 1963, I think. Two of the 4 kids had red hair.
Neither of our parents did, but there is red hair on both sides of the families.
Brother’s wife, Kit, also had a birthday, but is a decade older.
Happy Birthdays to you.

Item #2: Calving season

On Thursday I noticed several Bald Eagles in the trees, about 5 miles south of home. How they know when the calves are about to arrive is a mystery to me. I haven’t seen any calves or eagles closer to home. Then again, we haven’t been out and about much.
Will try for a good photo this year. We have several but none of high quality.

Item #3: Candy floss ice

That’s the English term. Here in the USA some call it “hair ice.”
Candy floss

Or:
Hair ice

Item #4: To wait, or not to wait?

We will see about signing up in a week or so. We likely won’t see more than 5 people in the next 5 days. Under 6 feet? Tuesday when Nancy gets blood drawn.
Being in a small population rural county, the Covid Panic of 2020 has had moderate impact. Never made the news.
Now that vaccines have started to flow, the County made national news.
Fun with numbers

There it says:
ELLENSBURG – Kittitas County is making national headlines over its ability to administer all its vaccination doses.

Read down and the numbers are not so stunning. There are two places where shots are being given – the goal is 215 per day at each.
They actually did better with a bit over 250 at each site. Eat your hearts out, you with a population of a million or several million residents.

The county folks claim dealing with wildfires has given folks experience coordinating multi-agency activities. So all that you need to do is have more wildfires to make giving Covid shots efficient.

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