June 24 – Dirty jobs, and swim meets

Tuesday night I took Savannah to a swim meet in Hannibal.  Stacey couldn’t go because she had booked herself to work the EOC.  Savannah had only swum 2 of her 6 events before the meet was called because of lightning.  Even though it’s an indoor pool, I guess they don’t take chances.  At least Savannah got to swim her best event, taking first in breast stroke.  We got a nice lightning show on the way home while it poured down rain.   It rained and thundered all night.  This upset Kane and he was barking in the garage most of the night.  Most, that is, until he accidentally opened the door with his jumping up and down and got in the house.  I woke to him running by my bed.  I put him back in the garage with a chew toy and a benadryl for good measure.  It didn’t work.  He still was barking all night.  I did not sleep well.  We got 5 inches of rain.

Wednesday morning I took the Taurus in and got it registered and plated.  After I got home Savannah and I did car detail work.  She got the interior of the Tracker detailed while I did the Taurus.  I found a hotwheel car in the trunk (a police cruiser).  Probably one of Lowell’s toys.  Stacey actually didn’t have to work the EOC, and we had a normal family night at home.  The river is falling and we’re hopeful the EOC will be dismantled in a couple of days.  We got over 5 inches of rain in 24 hours.  All the smaller local rivers are flooding too.  Surprisingly, this does not make the Mississippi go up here for us, but it affects downstream people.  We are more affected by rain in Iowa.  One consequence of all this flooding is that I have a brand new kayak and nowhere to float it.  The Mississippi is closed to any boat traffic, the smaller streams are now not safe either, and even the local state park, flooded by the Mississippi, is closed.  Arrrggghhh! 

It was another night of thunderstorms and dog barking.  Two benadryls didn’t help.  He knocked over my crate of electrical supplies.  Back to the crate for Kane. 

Thursday morning I tackled the air compressor.  It hasn’t been making more than about 20 psi.  I filled the oil and tightened the belt, but those efforts did not help.  Lowell pulled up as I was wrestling with it.  We figured out that the pump was just not making adequate compression.  It’s so old, I don’t think I can get parts for it.  That’s just great, following last night’s discovery that the carpet cleaner also has self destructed.  I went down to the rental house and fixed the garage door opener.  The front of the track where it attaches to the wall above the door had come loose.  Someone had mounted it with one lag bolt in quarter-inch plywood.  Nice.  I used 4 bolts and got one of them into a stud.  The weather kept holding so I ran out to Ferguson’s pond for a quick round of fishing.  I caught seven bass of modest size.  The last time I was out there, two years ago, I caught a bunch of huge ones.  I guess I wasn’t likely to repeat that experience.

 
I spooked a red-winged blackbird hen from her nest, which made it easy to find.  I think this is an eastern kingbird.
 
This Horse Nettle is a new one for me.  It’s a Solanum, which means it’ll get you either high or dead.  This mini-meadow of fine grass was on one bank of the lake.

Friday morning I did the two most unpleasant tasks of the summer: soot and slime were involved.  The first was the scraping and oiling of the inside of the wood furnace.  So nasty that I have to wear a face mask.  This is supposed to prevent rusting and prolong the life of the unit.  Second was to bail out the fish pond.  Not so difficult, but the bottom eight inches was mud and slime.  I found none of the minnows I put in there a month ago.  Fortunately, I found no mosquito larvae either.

After that I felt like doing nothing but sitting indoors and watching movies, which I did.  At the suggestion of a friend, I watched Grizzly Man.  Dang that guy was annoying.  By the end I couldn’t wait for the bear to eat him. 

Savannah’s friend Hannah spent the night and Saturday morning I drove them to Pittsfield for a swim meet.  An hour’s drive for me, an hour of sleep for them.  It was hot as heck, even though I had an umbrella attached to my chair for shade.  Savannah did about as usual, winning breast stroke and a relay, and placing in a few others.  I think it was her first Individual Medley ever.
 
Diving in.                                                                                                  Butterfly–she hates this one.
   
Backstroke: not too crazy about this one either.                                    Breast stroke–the favorite.

I set up a photo album on Picasa, which I will attempt to embed here.  There’s a lot more free storage available there than on Photobucket.  Let’s see if it works:
 


It should show up immediately above.  You must have Flash Player installed.  Unlike the actual photo album, the captions (species IDs, in this case) don’t show up.


 Sunday morning I took the first real bike ride of the year.  I took my usual route.  It was overcast and misting heavily at times.  At least it was cool, but the wind was seemingly always from the wrong direction.  There wasn’t much insect life moving, so I didn’t get many pictures.

Today I had an awesome day out at Lowell’s, but it’s late and I’m too tired to write it.  Check in next week.

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