Well shit, I think I have a critter (probably a squirrel) that has worked its way into my attic. When I was working in the yard I thought I heard noise which I initially thought was a woodpecker working in a dead branch. It wasn’t until I stopped to listen that I determined the source of the noise was coming from the eaves of the ITP Estate. The ITP Estate has some rotting eaves, and I was hoping to get through another winter without any animal penetrating the attic. Next year I expect to bite the bullet and get the roof replaced, eaves repaired and painted, and perhaps even new gutters. Why yes, that will be expensive. In the meanwhile I have scheduled a company to come out to look into trapping the critter, and helping me assess the situation.

Because I’ve not been feeling great this week I decided to skip riding last night. I did go out to join the gang for a couple of beers, mostly because I wanted to deliver the bike stand.

I wonder if I will ever be healthy and happy again?

I solved today’s Wordle in four attempts; my starter today was FRAIL.

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50 Responses to 2023-10-11

  1. Connections: Yellow > Green > Blue > Purple

  2. steve says:

    Wordle in 4 and Connections a near fail.

    A short Games meeting last night as we have most everything under control. (I hope)

    I forgot to report yesterday as I was leaving the house, I caught sight of the Milky Way, one of the treats of living in the country. I still want to try and photograph it, but don’t have the right lens.

    And fingers crossed that Mickey does will on his “test drive” for a potential buyer later today!


    • I’ll see a lot of Milky Ways, well probably just their wrappers, on the streets after Halloween. Such is the joy of city living.

      What lens do you need for the Milky Way? I’ve never considered trying to shoot it. Ham/John, have you?

      • steve says:

        I just think I need a bit more magnification than I currently have. There are plenty of websites that tell you how to do it- I’m not sure I have the best location for a pic, as I have a neighbor with a bad streetlight.

      • HamWithCam says:

        Wider is more better.
        A long exposure is required, but not so long as to capture star trails due to the Earth’s rotation. A tripod is essential.

        Consult The Google for more details.

        73 de JG/HamWithCam

  3. Sally says:

    Wordle in 3 starting with HOUSE. 2 mistakes in Connections. I did finally get around to taping my living room in preparation of painting it. Now to paint it. Small group for the GUTS run. So many ran races this past week-end ending with stitches, hurt back, twisted ankles….. who said running trails was healthy. Moving mom and her dog to Georgia today. I had taken next week off to go down there but now I won’t have to. Found a place in Rome for her. Speaking of dogs I get Mia and Emma tomorrow thru Sunday.

    • Well done on Wordle!

      Best of luck with all of your tasks.

    • Bob says:

      One of my tasks in Florida is convincing my crazy step mother that they cannot afford the house they live in and get them to move. Good times and I feel your pain Sally.

      • Barb says:

        Good luck with that task Bob – luckily for us my parents house has been paid for forever – they have lived there 60 years.
        Where do you kids want them to move?

        I can’t imagine moving them at this point – even to assisted living – with the dementia, a new place would be horrible. They do know their way around their own house.

        • Bob says:

          They are currently in a split level house and my dad has a real hard time with stairs. We are trying to get them in to a senior living apartment that is all one floor and has activities they can partake in. Bonus is it’s closer to my brother and sister AND they can afford it.
          Step mother will agree to it one day and fight it the next. Super frustrating.

          • David says:

            That is definitely crazy-making, Bob. Good luck sorting that out.

          • steve says:

            The current season of “This Old House” is working on a complete rehab for a kid with muscular dystrophy. There are stair lifts that retrofit into existing houses pretty easily. Just a thought.

      • Jenka says:

        I continue to be so grateful that my dad just up and sold his house and moved himself into a retirement community. No work for me!

  4. Bob says:

    Short answer is yes Paulie, you will be happy again. It may take a little effort and getting over some things but it will happen. Too many of us care about you.

    Today is landscaper day but not my house. There are 3 houses around me that this landscaper takes care of so when they show up it is non-stop loud for over an hour. So frustrating.

    Trying to get ready for my Florida trip but things keep coming up. Last night was a work happy hour, tonight is chainsaw work at Big Creek, and tomorrow is ramble night. Good thing I work from home so can get some stuff done during the day.

    • Jenka says:

      Our previous yard guy also did other houses next door and across the street from us. If he came on the weekend I used to tell him to please not show up until after 11:00 am. He always showed up at 9:30 and did the other houses and then did ours right at 11:00. Fucker!

    • Sally says:

      No Wheelhopper? I am sad now.

      • Bob says:

        I hate to miss wheelhopper, I’m missing the quick six enduro too 🙁

        However, kicking off the week on a high note as my nephew Evan (you know him from BRAG) is getting married on Saturday.

  5. Barb says:

    Today should be a more under control at work – a co-worker who is supposed to be on vacation all week is back.
    Get this – he & his uncle (uncle traveling for medical tourism) flew to Istanbul – and because of all the unrest in the area – all US people were told to go back home. That is a lot of flying for nothing. I was shocked when he said he was going to Turkey last week. But then my boss said it was for a medical procedure (I think, hair plugs). Alex only has a green card (he’s from Guyana), so I was shocked he could get a Visa to travel there anyway. The things I learn.

    • Jenka says:

      The lengths people will go for vanity. BUT, if that is what makes him happy and that is what he chooses to spend his own money on, go for it!

      • Barb says:

        it wasn’t hair plugs – it was dental work.
        But – the uncle is being sent back home tomorrow, he got most of the work done.

        • David says:

          That’s intense, I know of people that go to Mexico or Colombia for dental work, but it would never occur to me to go to Turkey if I were in need of major work.

  6. Jenka says:

    We went to Sotto Sotto for Date Night (TM) last night, which was excellent as usual. Then we watched the first two episodes of season 3 of OMITB. Meryl Streep has always been my favorite actress, she is AMAZING.

  7. David says:

    Monday’s hike was phenomenal. To make a Friends reference, we had to immediately pivot once we got close to our starting point. The original plan was to hike 13.5 miles near Fontana Dam. We had a trail in mind that required parking a car at both ends. When we arrived at the dam, we found it was closed to vehicle traffic due to maintenance. Dam it! We talked to the folks at the visitor center, and we were able to walk across the dam. We could have walked to where our original starting point would have been, but that would have been a 15 mile hike or more, and that felt just outside of my range. This was the longest hike I’ve done since my 20s. So we pivoted and did a combination of trails that were mostly a loop, except for a mile back to our cars including a trek over the dam.

    I was hiking with my friend Rem, who was one of my best friends in high school. Prior to this year I last saw him in 1992, namely because in 1994 his wife had a massive stroke in her 20s. She is alive and well, albeit with some limitations. She has a cool job for UT in Knoxville where she helps young autistic adults make their way through job training, and in many instances, land gainful employment, often a the UT hospital. He flew as a fighter pilot in the Air Force, so he’s seen things and been places for sure.

    I reconnected with Rem at my 4oth high school reunion this summer. He joined me for the 5th eleven mile loop that I did in Cades Cove in August, but Monday was our first chance to get some meaningful one-on-one time and truly catch up.

    We saw lots of bear scat, but thankfully no bears. We got out of the woods just before darkness really fell, and the walk across the dam was lit, so we made it back to our cars without issue. Our trek included a stop at the Shuckstack fire tower, which was abandoned in the 1960s but you can still climb to the top if you wish. The stairs seemed a bit intimidating until I realized they had the same pitch as the ladders on the ship I served on in the Navy. Then I was off to the races. I did climb to the top, but didn’t stay long because the gaping entry hole was wigging me out. I was surprisingly much more comfortable on the stairs than at the top. I’m glad I climbed it, I did vacillate before I finally committed.

    We saw a wild pig at one point, and the remains of a chimney from a pioneer cabin. We also saw a collection of remains from 1930s era cars that were apparently abandoned deep in the wilderness when World War II gasoline rationing started. A lumber company had built a narrow gauge rail line that apparently cars used after they dug the tracks up at some point. The line is now part of the Lakeshore Trail, although it was not nearly the Silver Comet experierence we were hoping for within regard to long flat terrain.

    It was an excellent hike, and we were both lurching back to the car at the end. I’m glad to have a frame of reference for how far I can hike at this age. I’m also glad I didn’t go for 15 miles, because that last part of the trail was starting to border on death march territory. It didn’t get to that point, but it was lurking for sure.

    On Sunday I had lunch and a walk with another best friend from high school, Debra, who has been beyond a mensch throughout my recovery. I’ve known her since 8th grade. It’s a blessing to have such touchstones and great friends who have always accepted me where I was and now where I am. A lot of people haven’t had that capacity, and I do not begrudge them, I just treasure the special folks that do have that ability.

    Part of our approach to Fontana Dam included an 11 mile stretch of US 129 that motorcycle riders have dubbed The Dragon because it’s so curvey. A billboard informed me that there are 318 curves on that 11 mile stretch. I didn’t keep count, but I can attest that is not an exaggeration. The creepiest part of the day was the three different dudes at three different points that take a picture of every vehicle that goes by in hopes of selling you a picture of yourself. The first guy got his shot, I caught on quickly and used my visor to block the other two dudes. Assholes. As if I want a fucking picture of me driving my goddamn 2011 Lexus. Capitalism at its finest, apparently.

    • Bob says:

      Sounds like quite the adventure!

      I have ridden a motorcycle on that section of road and it is quite fun. Those guys taking photos have been there for years so apparently it is quite lucrative. Motorcycle riders like photos of themselves ripping through a turn and are willing to pay for it. These guys catch quite a few fails too as there are lots of inexperienced riders doing that stretch of road.

      • David says:

        It was definitely an adventure, and on the Dragon I saw at least 1 single tire skidmark aimed directly at a clump of trees. I did find it amusing that the motorcycle safety sign that the government had erected was bullet ridden. Clearly some people do not want to be saved from themselves.

        And yes, the photo dudes are likely shooting fish in a barrel for with regard to motorcycle riders. Just stay the fuck out of my lane.

    • Barb says:

      I have a friend that bought one of those pictures. I laughed.

  8. David says:

    Wordle in 4, only 1 miss on Connections. I think both days over the weekend I gnashed my teeth and closed the app as quick as I could. Apparently I still have somewhat of a penchant for self-flagellation.

    Speaking thereof, “I wonder if I will ever be healthy and happy again?” Yes, when you decide that you want to. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about thinking lately, no pun intended, and one metaphor I’ve been mulling over is our brains are like dogs, meaning if we tell ourselves we’re a good dog, we believe that, and if we tell ourselves we’re a bad dog, well then that’s the gospel instead. But I don’t think the dog analogy quite does it. This morning a new metaphor arose, where our brains are more like pool balls, where they go in whatever direction we send them in. And if we send them in the direction of things to clash into, well there you go, self-fulfilling prophecy, you have clashed into things. Send yourself in a positive direction, and positive things happen instead. Yes, bad things still arise, but you deal with it more gracefully. No, I did not have granola for breakfast, this is based upon my lived experience. Paulie, you know full well the computer term garbage in-garbage out. That plays out exponentially with regard to your brain. If you keep telling yourself that that you’re frail and decrepit, guess what man? Be careful what you ask for. Combatting that line of thinking was part of my motivation for Monday’s hike. Is it easy to beat that shit back? No. Is it possible? Absolutely. You can get there, if you choose to.

  9. Back from my morning choring:
    Bank to pay mom’s mortgage
    Post Office to mail my property taxes
    Piggly Wiggly to look for Tapatio Ramen Noodles (found, $1.09/cup)
    Aldi to buy ingredients for tonight’s dinner

    I will catch up on the comments in a sec.

  10. Whichever agency is making Aviation Gin’s ads, starring the owner Ryan Reynolds of course, is doing great work.

  11. Barb says:

    btw – that certain someone you try to avoid should be at Lake Lanier for the Banangasm Survivor hash on Saturday. IF, you want to go to Porch Fest.
    I need to figure out where to park down that way.

  12. Just ate a delicious lunch of an Impossible burger with some freshly harvested okra I cooked in the air fryer.

  13. As I rewatch “The Morning Show” I had forgotten Foo Fighters were on the show. RIP Taylor Hawkins, who died at age 50 about eighteen months ago.

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