Tahoe burning

Sigh – a fire touched off in a community in the South Lake Tahoe area and its spread to 2700 acres and has destroyed 200+ houses so far. The Tahoe area is so beautiful, but this year, its super dry due to the lack of snow over the winter. We don’t usually spend time in South Lake Tahoe when we go up to Tahoe (usually, we stay around the north/north west area of the lake where there are fewer people), but this sort of situation doesn’t bode well for the summer. Its only June and conditions will only get worse (hotter, dryer, more wind).

Lazy weekend

Mostly a ho-hum, hang out weekend. Lisa had a dog training thing on Saturday in Watsonville (on the coast) with Dretti. I slept and then got up to futz with the supposedly ‘fixed’ washer that now decided to stop spinning again. I got it partially apart, checked all the wiring and then on a lark, disassembled and reassembled the door lock switch. That was the ticket. It works again (for now). Went out late Saturday to see the latest Pirates of the Caribbean. Lisa didn’t like it much and slept thru parts of it. I was surprised at how long it was for a Disney flick (2:45).

Sunday was even lazier – we slept late (although getting up a couple times to take Q outside so he wouldn’t pee/poop in the bedroom). Finally got motivated in the mid-afternoon to go feed the horse/sheep, cats, etc before heading down the hill to shop for a new washer/dryer.

Things are getting pretty dry around here. Welch Creek is dry now (at least on the surface). It usually doesn’t dry up til August. This is not going to be a fun year water-wise. I hope our well holds out til the fall. Fortunately, the weather so far hasn’t been scorching – we had a pretty mild weekend (70s) but even so, the park service closed the park due to ‘extreme fire danger’.

Tis the season

For rattlesnakes. And rattlesnake bites. We saw our first bite of the season on Monday (at the hospital I’m working at). A mini-Austrailian shepard that got bit in the face (where 90% of strikes on dogs occur) was presented on Monday as an emergency. Ehh, yeah, I suppose. I mean, it’s not like it’s a black mamba or a gaboon viper bite, that shit’ll kill ya. Rattlesnakes, mmmm, it should be treated asap. These folks were hiking at Mission Peak, the dog got bit, and they made it down and to the hospital in about 45 minutes. Pretty good for the odds of recovery. These pictures were taken 3 days post bite, with antivenin given.

The bite is on the right side of the upper lip. The tissue swelling and edema spread over the course of 3 days to the bottom jaw, left upper and lower lips and throat. Yesterday necrosis and sloughing started (that’s the black/bloody area), today, it continued and is worsening (it’s now black and grey around envenemation site). The dog will slough a good portion of the upper and lower right muzzle and jaw (just skin and other tissue, not bone or anything else). It’s not going to be pretty, and it’s freakin’ painful as hell.
BTW, this is what a normal mini-Aussi face looks like.

I suppose a bite to Q might kill him, we have to keep a very close eyeball on him. He’s just curious enough to get bit. Dee and Dretti have gone thru rattlesnake aversion training, twice, and they’ve been vaccinated with the rattlesnake vaccine. Q will get the vaccine just as soon as his demodex clears up completely and his immune system is back on track. Until then, we will have to be diligent watching him.

He’s just to cute to let something bad happen to:

Bathroom lizard

Yes, we have our very own bathroom lizard. I noticed him this morning when I went to get a shower. I suspect he came inside either to get away from the stifling heat outside or in search of water. In either case, he seems to have set up shop in back of the toilet. I hope he nabs some of the bugs in the house and doesn’t meet the dogs.

Toasty day

Bleah – high 90s today – so starts the less than nice weather here. I guess once it hits 115 again, 90s will seem ‘cool’ tho.

So, the irony of having a solar system is that even though we have perfectly sunny days now, due to the heat/intensity of the sun, the output of the system is going down somewhat – like other electronics, the silicon solar cells don’t like to be hot (go figure). So, they drop like .5% efficiency for every degree C over their base rated temp (25C – not ambient, but module/cell temp). Now I’m pondering whether I should have actually taken thermo for real in college. I have been thinking about how to keep the cells cooler w/o using more power to cool them than we’re loosing in efficiency. Anyone got a thermo book handy? 🙂

We ditched the idea of cooking at home tonite because of the heat and just grabbed some sushi. Found a baby kingsnake in the driveway when we got home. I herded him off into the bushes so he can go hunt baby rattlers.

Don’t Cry for Me Arizona…..

State that is. Arizona State. No, I did not attend that school. I never visited anyone who attended that school. I did date someone who attended that school for about 5 minutes forever ago. I came away from the ever so brief relationship with his sweatshirt. This sweatshirt:

I LOVE THIS SWEATSHIRT. And it’s not a healthy love, either. It’s full of holes at this point. It’s not thick sweatshirt material, it’s so worn it’s thin, like t-shirt thin. It’s hugely oversized, gigantic. Swim-in-it-huge. The lettering flakes off sometimes when I’m absently fingering at it. I wear it mostly when I’m alone at home now. Art the Husband HATES THIS SHIRT. I think he has hidden it from me a few times, but given in and recovered it when I had a complete hissy fit tearing drawers and the closets and the hampers apart franticly searching for it (he never admitted to hiding it, and I have no solid proof, but I’m pretty sure he did, mmm hmmm). He has threatened to throw it out on several occasions, but has yet to follow through (he’s not stupid; I’d come unglued if he tossed it, un-fucking-glued…and that’s a place he doesn’t necessarily want to go. He most def picks his battles) He has offered to buy me a new one, but you can’t GET this sweatshirt anymore. It’s ‘vintage’, which is E-Bay for ‘older than dirt’. Everyone who knows me well has seen me traipsing around in this eyesore. And a few who don’t know me so well (sorry horse-shoeing guy who got more than his fair share of my right nipple thru one of those holes a couple of months back. I’m really really sorry dude. I so swear I’ll wear a bra and a different shirt when you come up here from now on, I promise.) I’m not allowed to wear it in public, ever. I was wearing it this morning and started to feel it’s mortality as I discovered 3 new holes. I shrieked, outloud. Somewhere inside, Art the Totally Insensitive Husband grinned. He would love nothing more than to dig a hole for this thing. I refuse to let this sweatshirt give up on me. I’m going to sew it back together. It has to survive. Somebody out there must understand this sick connection I have with this shirt. It has nothing to do with it’s distantly long forgotten (really, I can’t even remember his name) owner. It has everything to do with MY history in this sweatshirt. It’s my comfort shirt. It’s like a big red hug everytime I wear it. I know where all of the big holes in it came from (I refuse to sew the huge one on the left sleeve, too sentimental).

I’m not crazy. I swear. I just love this sweatshirt.

Fruit and fruit thieves

So this year I am determined to get some of the fruit off our various fruit trees. Last year, we lost most of it to a variety of thieves, except for the persimmons (which surpringly, the birds left alone for a long time, allowing us to harvest most of ’em). Here are our two most prevalent suspects:

We picked up some tree netting at the hardware store and I proceeded to wrap up the apricot and one plum tree. Its helping, though any gaps and the first seem to find their way in. I guess while I was out at hockey last evening, Lisa said a woodpecker weaseled his way in and got trapped – attracting the attention of the dogs and Dretti promptly went up and grabbed the woodpecker. Fortunately, Lisa saw it and got Dretti to drop him and then set the little thief go. Perhaps he’ll be smart enough now to avoid the tree with the teeth underneath.

We’ll get more of the netting today and I’ll finish it off the remaining plum & apple trees. We have some orange, lemon and cherry trees to plant still. The thieves don’t seem to like any of the citrus, which is good. And I already picked all the cherries – all 5 of ’em 🙂


One month to the day later and we now have a working washing machine again. No, I didn’t finally cave in and buy a new one. I waiting out the repair process with the warranty company and Sears and they finally have it fixed. I guess the good part of this is I did find a decent laundromat near work that I can use for really big stuff.