Hope everyone back east is ok

Saw some of the news footage from the storms and such in the northeast. Nasty weather. The news was showing scenes from Portland where a crane got blown over. I’m really glad we visited New England when we did since this past week/weekend was our Plan B.

Hope its not a prelude to a really bad winter. We’ll trade ya some rain for our sunny mild weather.

Sunday morning, the sniffles and buying friends.

It’s Sunday morning. My nasty cold is wanning, it took all of 4 days to get to a tolerable don’t have to whine about how sick I feel every hour on the hour, but I think we’re there. I have a hot cup of coffee and the sound of redwing blackbirds and a jack hammer floating in the office window on a crisp autumn morning breeze. That’s correct, a jack hammer. Art has finished the inverted-speedbump-drainage-trenchy-thingy in the front of the house and moved his powertool, along with the gas generator, down the driveway proper to the edge of the road where he is busily jack hammering away at yet another hunk of subterrainian granite. Go figure, we live on a chunk of granite, and the boy is determined to bore several holes in it. Well, he has about 15 minutes left before we have to return the power tool. Meanwhile, I’m organizing the pile of crap and mail on my desk, putting up pictures and contemplating my lack of interesting mail. So, if I cannot get cards and letters in the mail from my miniscule group of friends and family, I will settle for renewing and updating my magazine subscriptions. I will finance interesting conversation. My favorites? Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Fine Gardening, Fine Cooking, Equus, Horse and Rider and Perfect Horse (even though he already IS…can’t hurt to fine tune.) Now I will feel loved by the USPS, if only by periodical distributers. Dretti is begging for PlayDog, but seeing as he’s been neutered, I really don’t see the point…so no, no smut for you Dretti. Maybe BARK, or some other cool dog magazine, but the boy is barely over 2 years old, way too young for lactating bitch centerfolds. Geesh.

OOppps, time to roll. Power tools to return.

UPDATE: Power tools returned, I need to go with Art everytime he goes to that place to keep him from buying stuff we already have and don’t need more of. We went to the “Pick-N-Pull”……aka Dead Car Graveyard. Bronco needs parts. It was sad, all those unloved cars. They all smelled….used up. And broken. It was sad to me. No trim pieces (Art and Paul ripped off some of the inside trim and threw it away a few months ago….don’t ask. More of Art’s attempts to devalue my baby and make me give it up, no doubt.

OMG, it finally came.

The stuff I ordered from Rosemary Thornton, that is. Well, okay, it came about a week and a half ago….but WOW! I am simpley blown away by the quality and detail of the pieces I ordered. You MUST go and look at the stuff she has, it is better than what it looks like on the website. She made a gorgeous medical bracelet for E. and it turned out fantabulous!!!! E….come pick up your bracelet! If there is a combination of stones you like and don’t see, ask her, she can create anything and I guarantee you it will be just perfect. She made me a special bracelet of pearls and labradorite that I don’t even want to take off my wrist, it is so perfectly matched to my taste. She guessed, and she nailed it the first try, right down to the matching earrings.

And the necklace she sent? Woooo, pretty.
Christmas is coming people, and really there’s nothing easier than ordering stuff from this lady and having it shipped out. You won’t be dissapointed in the quality of craftsmanship, I promise. Order it, wait a little bit, USPS delivers it to your door. Heck, Rosemary even wraps it up with a bow and everything!

Okay, I’ve done my shameless plugging. On to other weblog stuff.

she just walks around with it.

Kristy that is. Visit her weblog, she will make you laugh. Not so hard you pee yourself, well, maybe a little. She lives in SF. She knits. She finds humor in just about everything. Her insight is witty and wry. She is a cat woman, but not in that crazy cat lady way, more like that Charlize Theron in Sweet November kinda way except Charlize Theron’s charactor was into dogs, not cats but she did wear awesome scarves and live in SF and so does Kristy. She loves the box wine, she drinks it with abandon. She has issues with her weight and her boobs (who doesn’t?). She just walks around with it.
Visit her.

Tom Petty in Berkeley

So, my buddy Paul called me yesterday – apparently, he had tickets to see Tom Petty up in Berkeley (or rather, Bezerkly) at the Greek Theatre and our friend Bill who was going to go with him ended up being sick. So, we’d headed over to the UC campus, found parking a mere 8+ blocks away (good hike) for a $20 ‘donation’ (I think some frat was running a parking lot and getting folks to pony up $20 to park).

The show was actually pretty good. Tom Petty still seems to be able to rock. He had Stevie Nicks show up to sing a few songs along with him. And the outdoor venue was pretty nice on a somewhat chilly fall evening. The theatre had a odd mix of odors – the unwashed hippie students, pot, clove cigarettes and eucalyptus (the whole area is ringed with huge eucalyptus trees. It was weird to see the mix of folks there – 60+ yr olds all the way down to college freshmen – sorta like the young women to the left of Paul who was there with >her mom<.


Well, we’re here at Friday – the guys from Poco Solar have everything connected except the AC line into the house and the cut-off switch outside. Major snags trying to run the line. They’ll be back Monday now with the engineer boss-man to assess the situation. When all is said and done, the 54 modules should generate around 9.18KW.

Here’s a few shots of what they have gotten done:

All 54 modules installed

DC-AC power inverters

Cutoff switch

Our fall fruit is finally about ready. We have our own pumpkin patch! (Ok, well, if a patch can be formed from 3-4 pumpkins):

And the one ‘mystery’ fruit tree has borne fruit. Fuyu persimmons – I’ve never really had persimmons before – they’re actually pretty tasty:

No smoking please

The winds kicked up over nite creating a serious fire danger today. Everything here is dry, dry, dry and with the winds in the hills kicking up to 60mph across the ridges, its making for a dangerous day/nite. Here’s a story on a fire that consumed 6 buildings or so down the road from us (basically at the other end of Calaveras Rd in the town of Milpitas) – slideshow of fire pictures here.

Getting there…

The projects around the yard / house are making progress. Monday the dude from Suburban Propane came out and tested out the new pipe that Paul and I put together. Passed with flying colors (rather than flaming colors). He hooked it up and was pleased to know that I’d be out of the propane ‘dog house’ 🙂

Poco Solar resumed work Monday on the solar system installation. By yesterday, they had roughly 1/2 of the panels mounted and were starting to set up the inverters in the generator house and run the conduit for the power cables:

Going solar

I have another long weekend of work around the yard coming up to clean up all the other open trench projects before the building inspector shows up to review the solar installation. I hope the inspector doesn’t flag something else around the yard/house. That would be a real drag…

Dear Paul

I love you. Even if you won’t let me kiss your legs. The deep chasm you have dug to keep us apart cannot stop my love for you. I will stare at you from afar, I will love you like no other dog. Forever, Paul, forever in dog years.
xoxoxo, Andretti Ducati Stine

P.S. How you likin’ that desk?