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

Tired of snow?

The Great State of Washington is officially tired of snow. At the end of 2021 there was sufficient snow that the Cascade Mountains were depressing Earth’s crust. I just made that up, but 20 feet of snow does weigh a bit.
The WA DOT was keeping the passes open until this week. Now going from one side of the Cascades to the other other requires an airplane. 17 miles north of me, Blewett Pass is also closed. Thursday’s snow resulted in closures – – with Sunday as expected openings. Friday warmed and the wind started. Continuous speed is above 30 mph, with gusts to 47 mph. The surface warmed and settled enough that we didn’t experience drifting. The high wind last only a few hours.

On the Naneum Fan snowfall began Wednesday afternoon and by dawn on Thursday there was 22 inches (56 cm) or up to my knees. Through December I was easily (with a push broom) keeping a spot out back where Annie could squat and pee. In the morning I had to get a shovel and cleared a spot a few square feet. Because she has only limited sight, she was confused by the inability to wander out of the small space. I’d been taking her up the driveway (about 100 yards) twice a day, but such trips were impossible. I managed, with difficulty, to go to the two bird feeding spots. Annie was house bound, except for her tiny space out back.

The first photo shows a cluttered deck with snow beyond. Workers had worked inside this past week and finished the interior trim. The saws were under cover on the new deck. We didn’t clean up outside, but I will burn some of the left over pieces. Others will have to be sorted and cut.
An upper county police station had a melting snow problem with water running down an interior wall. The guys left here Tuesday afternoon and went there for a look. They worked here Wednesday morning and then went back up there. What ever the issue was, an additional 2 feet of snow wouldn’t help.

The next image is looking at the driveway through the posts of the front ramp. I made a path to the big shed where I store the seeds for the wild birds. That path splits to the left. The other path is just my trek through the snow to the feeding stations. Allen is in the middle of the lane on a yellow front-end loader. A tractor with the rear blade could not manage the snow. Although the snow was light (fluffy), it was too deep. The loader is a much slower method.

Here’s a zoomed-in version:

This machine does not have a cabin, unlike the farm tractors. This is not a 4 wheel drive machine but he can push or pull with the backhoe if necessary. In contrast to the tractor (blade behind), he is working in front and can push or lift and dump.
I cleared the space in front of the truck, out to where I connected with his work.
Being house-bound isn’t an issue for the cats. Czar has a favorite spot in front of the wood stove.

I’ve never ordered a drink at a coffee place, or wherever the cups come with a name. I believe this one was ordered by Bryan.

I note the cold has migrated to the east of the Nation. Eastern Ohio and Western PA expect 10° this coming Monday night. We no longer have nighttime temperature below 15°. Monday low is expected to be 22°.

From the Naneum Fan
John

New Years Eve 12 31 2021


Tonight at about 6 PM the temperature went to Zero and 20 minutes later it was -0.6°F. The airport, 5 miles south and a bit lower elevation is claiming 4° ~ ~ I’ve been about 3 degrees lower than there for the week. Cameron and Phyllis are bringing a weather station when next they come over. Maybe it will track the airport better than I do now – or not. The National Weather folks in Pendleton, OR expect the low about Midnight. There’s no wind and the region’s blades on the wind towers have ceased turning. Update: at 8 PM clouds moved over and the temperature came back up a little. 50 miles south at Yakima there have been clouds all evening – there it is 20° warmer.
My electricity comes from the big river just to my east. Woody Guthrie was hired by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), to write songs. Guthrie was 28 years old and unemployed, and the BPA needed to promote the benefits of building dams. Guthrie moved his family from California to Oregon, and was paid $266 a month to write songs. He came up with 26 songs in 30 days, including a tribute to the Columbia River.

Your power is turning our darkness to dawn
So roll on, Columbia, roll on

I’ve been watching and listening to Ken Burn’s film about Country Music – also a gift from Phyllis and Cameron. I have 4 more hours to go.

I-90 was closed for a long time because of fog and snow. Shortly after they opened, a truck with hazardous material crashed and there was a second 2 hour closure. Tonight the road is open; WA DOT lists it as “moving.”

Allen came twice this week to plow the snow. We haven’t had enough that the truck and I mind, but Annie has a problem – there are 7 to 10 inches. She does fine where he has plowed. Little birds and quail are eating all the seeds I put out. The turkeys seem to have moved on.
Thursday and Friday the remodeling got a spurt of activity. The guys decided working inside would be smart. A new Knotty Pine wall and much of the finish work got done. Willy’s wife, Amber, called and wanted to know if I had firewood for a bonfire. Jessie’ pickup had some room so we loaded as much as would fit. It is too cold for me, but I hope they have fun.

The photo below shows what I intend to do during the last hours of 2021.

From the cold Naneum Fan
John

Wellness visit & preparing for cold


On Tuesday afternoon I had the 2nd of two visits to the Cle Elum clinic. The previous week at the first one – I was not in the mood – I only remembered 2 of the 3 words. One was “car”, I think, and I said “cart.” Then I was to draw a clock face for 10 after 11. Here is a re-creation of what I drew.
I drew the long line first and then realized the “long hand” of a clock is for minutes. Rather than starting over I just made a notation to move it over. Then I drew the short hand for the hour and put “11” on the black line to where it pointed. I thought it was a rather good and innovative “fix” to my too-long of a line initially. Neither the nurse or the doctor were impressed.
There are various folks that said something such as “It’s a small mind that can think of only one way to spell a word.”
Same with time: If you can only do it one way, you might be a mentally challenged.
The medical folks offered a few comments but I assured them I was mentally fit. More or less. I have never been good at remembering peoples names, nor at spelling.

Most of the year I feed the small birds and quail early morning and about ½ hour before dusk. With such short daylight I’ve been feeding once, just after Noon. Yesterday, about an hour after scattering seed a couple of deer showed up. I chased them off. An hour later six (of a larger flock) turkeys were there. Later there were 18 behind the house and when I let the dog out the door I startled them and they flew into the pines and Cottonwoods about 100 feet west of the house. They then, a few at a time, disappeared and I assume found better roosting sites. I’ve used a photo from the web because in the low light my photo only showed the silhouette of a black bird against a gray sky.

I was out and about bringing firewood closer to and into the house because of an approaching mass of cold air. The weather forecast is for near Zero temperatures every night this week. The highs are from 12° to 18°. I don’t want to be out getting wood when it is 5°. I’m not expecting much wind or snow. Over in Puget Sound there is both snow, wind, and cold. The Fraser River of British Columbia is like an inverted funnel with cold air flowing into northwest Washington. Snow photos are misleading because of the drifting. Sunday morning there is 5 inches along the BC/WA border and ½ inch in the south Sound area.
Here on the Naneum Fan the low was 9° and at 10:30 it is 19°. Currently there is sunshine. About 97% of WA is cloud covered. I’m on the NW edge of a small cloudless area stretching east and south into Oregon.

Now I need to tend the fire in the woodstove
from the Naneum Fan
John

Winter has arrived

Here on the Naneum Fan Astronomical Winter officially begins next week:

Tuesday, December 21, 2021 at 7:59 am PST

However, some countries follow the meteorological seasons where winter began December 1st. There is 6 inches of snow here that began to accumulate Thursday Morning. Thus, I declare that winter started on the 16th.
Here is a Washington Dept. of Transportation traffic camera view of the summit at Stevens Pass, elevation 4,061 feet or 1,238 m.
Opening of skiing is somewhat late this year. Only about 20% of the parking area is visible here, so how crowded it is is not possible to say.
{he = the} –>

It has been an unexciting week.
I had the 1st part of the annual “wellness” visit. This is just a discussion that serves no purpose**(see end), and a blood draw that will be considered next week. Because of Christmas, I go back next Tuesday. I think it is split into 2 days so both Medicare and the secondary insurance company each have to pay. Next time these visits should occur in January (2023), and the next in February (2024). Of course I have to live that long. It will (maybe) be snowing this time.

Phyllis and Cameron came on Thursday.The main project was to remove the electric heater from the big shed. It is headed to the winery and will replace the one there that just failed (the fan). The shed is scheduled to be reconfigured as an open roofed affair with two walls, somewhat like this image. Because of anticipated snow load, the new roof will be slopped like the one shown here. It will have half-trusses. Like this.
The sign below is cute; being musically aware helps.
**One is told to draw a clock and also remember 3 words. My brain doesn’t wish to waste the energy, so I often screw-up these chores. The tester thinks I’m losing my mind. I think they are wasting my time. I win.

That’s all
from the Naneum Fan
John