2021-03-29

Monday already? ๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ€
And donโ€™t look now, but we are reaching the end of March!

It was an interesting weekend for WLF, which is now continuously getting blanketed with pollen. On Friday I spent a long time digging Potato Trench #2, getting quite the workout extracting a fairly large tree root and tweaking my left knee in the process. Successfully dug, I was able to get some potatoes planted into bags and set into the trench. Given that we are predicted to have freezing temperatures at week’s end, I’ll have to hold off moving anything else outside for at least another week โ€” not that anything has grown large enough to necessitate getting planted outdoors… โ˜น๏ธ On Saturday I did a few more chores for WLF, the most notable of which was feeding sticks through My First Wood Chipper/Shredder and creating wood “chips” to line the bottom of Potato Trench #2. At lunchtime today I will have a look around WLF to see if anything was disturbed by yesterday’s wind and rain, do some weeding, and figure out a plan for covering anything that may be sensitive to frost.

Of course on Saturday morning I walked with Betsy and Bella, and picked up an entire bag’s worth of trash around East Atlanta Village before our appointed meetup time.

Yesterday I drove out to Braselton for Black Sheep. It’s a really long way to go if you are not actually doing the hash trail nor going to the brewery for the On After, but I wanted to get out and I figured there would be a mention of Blue Ball Special’s passing, so I went. I played dog sitter while Double Suck ran trail and walked Mrs Bojangles for a bit. Mrs B and I walked though the family cemetery of the Braseltons, many of whom lived long lives even during the 1800s, and I took a photo of a half-remaining freestanding hearth. Along a power line cut I saw plenty of flora that I wished to take home and plant in/around WLF; I don’t know who I am anymore?!?! I also found my first tick of 2021 while sitting at the end awaiting the hounds to arrive. Ticks. Ugh.

I have a late afternoon meeting today and won’t be able to be Glory Mole’s flour mule, but I will be there for her trail and some pizza eating. ๐Ÿ˜

Hope you all had an interesting, healthy weekend.

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2021-03-26

I’m “in the office” early so that I can “leave the office” early as well. The plan is to assess the storm’s impact on WLF and make any necessary adjustments later this afternoon. East Atlanta was mostly spared, receiving only a couple of inches of rain (I’ll know exactly how much when I get outside to look at my rain gauge!). I heard there was hail “up north”; I hate to think what that would have done to the plants that are actually doing okay growing outside currently. One of the tasks that I know that I need to work on is shoveling some (now very wet) red clay up against the latest raised beds to ensure that the expensive soil I’ve put into them doesn’t leak out. These last two beds sit a good four inches above the current dirt level. The final design has them being buffered by pavers as has been done internally in the FGP, but I need to have much more red clay moved in order to accomplish this. I wonder how many roots I will encounter digging Potato Trench #2? The answer: way too many…

I’ve not whined about my knee recently. Unfortunately this doesn’t mean that I am back to being 100% pain free, but the percentage is high and I wonder if the pain I do still have can be attributed to the meniscus, or it’s from some other part of the knee that is weak/damaged. I hope to start getting out on my bicycle(s) more very soon, so hopefully that will strengthen the knees.

Post-vaccine shoulder is fine. Looking forward to jab #2. I never expected to look forward to an injection!

Yesterday I made a post-work trip down to Aldi. Inexplicably I failed to get some of my standard purchases, such as almond milk, onions, and mushrooms, so I suppose I’ll be making a return trip sooner rather than later. It’s probably a good thing that American?/Atlanta? Aldis don’t carry the wide range of household goods I’ve seen in YouTube videos recorded in European Aldis, otherwise who knows what stuff I’d be buying. ๐Ÿ™„

Today I may be purchasing an A/V Receiver from Best Buy (to be picked up next week), and then with some cleaning/decluttering of the basement may return to riding the trainer as well. (note for my brother: I’m considering purchasing a new laptop very soon. I need to hear some updates about work first. I’ll keep you posted via text.) I’m also still doing research about getting a new television. See? How can I be expected to perform much-needed house repairs when all of my money is going toward filing my electronics world?

It’s Friday? Oh? I haven’t done too much planning for this weekend, save the walk that I will do with Betsy and Bella tomorrow morning. I expect that I will be going to Black Sheep on Sunday, though it is way the fuck up in Braselton. The hash will be doing an on-after at the Braselton Brewery, a place Bonnie and I visited for Hop Passporting, but that will occur after the hash. And how much beer after a hash should I be drinking if I need to drive for an hour in order to get home? Decisions, decisions. What’s on your weekend agenda?

I hope that you are doing well and remaining healthy.

Posted in My Daily Life | 14 Comments

2021-03-25

The only effect of yesterday’s COVID jab this morning is a slightly sore arm; I was warned of this. While waiting in the observation area of the Delta Flight Museum, where my vaccine was administered, I scheduled my second jab for twenty-one days later. The second jab will occur the day before the start of Spring Tune Up, so I am hoping that I don’t suffer any side effects from it. For all of the people telling me horror stories of getting my vaccine shot there, at 3:20pm (I was early for my 3:45pm appointment โ€” shocker!) on a Wednesday, there was anyone hardly there and I waited five minutes before getting jabbed while sitting in my car.

I wanted to celebrate vaccine jab #1 by stopping at Red’s Beer Garden on the way home from Hapeville, but I wasn’t sure that it was okay to drink alcohol after the shot, and it was still too early to eat dinner (even for an old fart like me!).

I spent the evening eating leftovers and watching Top Chef before falling asleep around 10pm.

A lot of things are happening in my world this week, most of which I won’t share for fear that everyone will tell me that my world is completely falling apart. You are probably right, I just don’t want to hear it. I’ll just say that the ITP Estate has provided another disconcerting mystery making me hope that some day it collapses while I am not inside so that I can build a small, functional house on its foundation. I’m baking a breakfast casserole at the moment, so at least you know I don’t have a natural gas leak. All I want is a house that stops giving me angst. Is that asking too much? Probably.

WLF is doing okay. I am still flummoxed at the death of, and slow growth of those not dead, my plants. They are getting light, fertile soil, the proper amount of water (now), and appropriate warmth. Short of singing them songs and praising them I don’t know what else to do.

Hope that you are relaxed, happy, and healthy. I’m working on it, but keep getting pushback from external forces.

Posted in My Daily Life | 12 Comments

2021-03-24

Big day today, it’s the day after I gave the front lawn its first mowing of 2021. Oh, and today I get my first jab of the COVID vaccine as well. Future Paulie: fifty-three weeks later your life has improved (even if some of your technology has failed you this year, and most days you’d love to tear down the ITP Estate and start anew) and you won’t be on the return path the “normal” but rather on the continual path of your life. Deep, man…

Yesterday was a day of getting some chores done โ€” Lowe’s run, a little weeding, lawn mowing, dirtying and washing many pots, bowls, and dishes, and some seed sowing (have put the next round in the “ground” to replace those that died this week). I suppose that I did some work for “XYZ Corp” as well.

As I mentioned in a comment yesterday, my lunch incorporated some lettuce and radishes harvested from WLF (the new moniker so in your head you can read “Wee’s Little Farm” or “Wee Little Farm”). I thought it was cool to eat my own food, even if it was included with store-bought goods. I should mention that I am not attempting to be a fully sustainable homesteader, I know that I can’t produce milk, make cheese, whatever, I’m just trying to incorporate this hobby’s output into my life.

Dinner last night was a failed, but edible Thai dish made in the Instant Pot. Because I couldnโ€™t get the Instant Pot to achieve pressure the ingredients for the sauce never really came together so the sauce was grainy and none too pleasant at which to look. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

My attempt to watch entertainment on my iPad failed last night in part because nothing I started to watch thrilled me, and in part because I fell asleep early. Yo ho ho the farmer’s life for me! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Hope all is going well and you are staying healthy.

Posted in My Daily Life | 3 Comments

2021-03-23

Not much to report today. Yesterday was mundane โ€” I worked, transplanted new seedings into my failed recent transplant trays (hopefully these don’t die too), and then walked the Moonlight trail.

The plan was to take the short option last night, but we missed the turn off and wound up walking the entire 4+ mile trail. While I like that I got the extra exercise, it put at the bar (we sat outside) past 9pm and it was too late for me to order food. I was hungry and many of the menu options at Jo’s Grill (the improvised end since Pure Taqueria wasn’t being cooperative apparently) sounded good, and got very grumpy when everyone else’s food started to be delivered and it looked a amazingly unhealthy (read “delicious”).

Captain Cranky is back! The City of Atlanta didnโ€™t pick up yard waste again yesterday, therefore the bags have been on the curb for at least three weeks โ€” so I reported this on the 311 website. Whatโ€™s the male equivalent of being a โ€œKarenโ€? ๐Ÿ™„

With rain on the way I’ll be doing some cleanup chores and battening down the hatches today.

Yet another solid purchase trip to Loweโ€™s completed. Seems like I e spent the last year underestimating my soil needs and buying more.

Hope you are happy and well.

Tuesday Tale of the Tape: 183.8 pounds (+0.2 from last week’s weigh-in); slightly disappointed since I did so much hard work last week, and essentially skipped dinner last night.

Posted in My Daily Life | 12 Comments

2021-03-22

Geez, it’s 6:45am? I’m late!

It was a busy, busy three days in the life of yours truly.

Taking the day off from “XYZ Corp” on Friday (and it felt great doing so) I ran chores in the morning, did some farming chores in the afternoon, and then joined a small group for a socially distanced gathering in Grant Park for dinner. Eighty percent of the participants had at least one COVID vaccine injection, guess who the slacker was…. Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday!

I woke early Saturday morning and puttered around the house before joining Betsy and Bella for our weekly walk. By the time I arrived home it was a little after 11am, and I then kicked the farm choring into high gear, spending a good five hours working in the backyard. I quit with enough time to shower and then walk to a friends’ house where I repeated Friday night’s activity of a social distanced dinner. I may have been the only non-vaccinated person out that group of four as well.

By daybreak yesterday I was again in the backyard doing farm chores, putting in about three hours of work. I quit with enough time to gather my goods to ride Wheelhopper (um Steve, where were you?). The ride was a fantastic loop of single track trail on the Westside. Bonnie and I were not DFL, mostly because a group of real riders stopped at Scofflaw for an extra credit beer stop. ๐Ÿ˜‚ After Wheelhopper Bonnie and I returned to East Atlanta where we ate dinner at Midway before have a nightcap beer on the ITP Estate’s deck overlooking Wee’s Little Farm.

Ah the farm. It was a big weekend for the farm, for good and bad. First the good, I have completed laying all of the raised beds in the FGP! I still have some paver work to do, but that can happen whenever. More good was the clearing of branches (too large for the chipper/shredder) and pulling another yard wage bag’s worth of English ivy. The entire backyard is starting to take shape. Now the bad, which apparently centers around my inability to grow healthy seedings and successfully transplant them. I transplanted a lot of small seedlings that were starting to look anemic in their starter pods, but unfortunately it appears that about half of them are dying / have died already. ๐Ÿ€ ๐Ÿ€ ๐Ÿ€ I know this is all a learning process for me, but it’s frustrating to watch YouTube videos where people seem to be doing the same thing as I am but having much better success. Oh well, I still have seeds so I will live to sow again.

Today? Well I do need to go to work now. Moonlight is a possibility, but I will make that decision later.

Hope you had a wonderful and healthy weekend.

Posted in My Daily Life | 12 Comments

2021-03-19

Taking a different tack today. I have a series of tasks which need to be done, all which conflict with the idea of being a dutiful employee, so I am taking a day off from “XYZ Corp”. Writing this blog post is the first task of the day.

Yesterday afternoon I spent an inordinate amount of time planting my first round of potatoes! Obviously I have never attempted to grow potatoes before, so this will all be experimental.

I harvested my first radish yesterday, and it was tasty.
Radish Radish

Last night was the final German class of this quarter. Starting today I am going to make a honest attempt at creating a habit of learning German each day.

Once done with this blog post I will be watching a two-hour long YouTube video about an Apple coding technology called “Combine” that I am in the process of learning as well. I need to start doing some iOS development in order to be able to interview again in case the need arises this year.

I will be running some errands once I am done with the video, so I think that I am going to eat out lunch today, perhaps even eating meat?

Depending on what time I return home I will either do some yard work this afternoon, or prepare my tax paperwork so that I can drop it off next week.

Even though I haven’t yet joined the Cool Vaccinated Kid Club I expect to be hanging outside with friends this weekend, observing social distancing and masking up as necessary of course.

On Sunday I will be bundling up and riding Wheelhopper. This will make two in a row, thanks in most part to my healing knee and the promise of non-technical rides.

Hope that you have a healthy and happy weekend.

Posted in My Daily Life | 8 Comments

2021-03-18

Yesterday afternoon I made a quick trip down to Value Village and Dollar Tree. While I had no specific reason to go to either, I wanted to get out of the house and was trying to see if I could satisfy some “needs” without spending big money. At least in one endeavor I think that I succeeded. At Value Village one of the things I was seeking was a device to sieve compost. Much of the compost I buy has bits of sticks and such in it, and for sowing seeds and transplanting seedlings that’s not the greatest thing. What I found at Value Village was a tray with holes, originally created to be veggie basket for grilling vegetables, for the big price of $2. Score!

While at Value Village I also realized why I am looking forward to being vaccinated — to reduce my anger toward people who either don’t wear masks indoors, or wear them so that it doesn’t completely their mouth and nose. I understand that there will be a period of time between now and some time in the future where fully-vaccinated people will start parading everywhere without wearing masks, and that this will cause me angst for awhile, but if you are wearing a mask please wear it correctly for fuck’s sake.

On the drive home I discovered that Dunkin Donuts is building another Drive-Thru on Moreland Avenue, this one closer to Value Village across the street from where El Mexicano used to stand. I hope that they are building enough parking lot space to avoid the traffic congestion the one a few miles further north on Moreland Avenue creates on a daily basis.

Yesterday afternoon I spent some time trying to “debug” my A/V receiver issue in the basement. After trying many, many things including resetting the receiver, I Googled the make/model only to find out that I am not the only one whose receiver has mysteriously stopped emitting audio. So, it appears that this is not a fixable problem and that more electronic waste will be headed to CHaRM. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Tonight is the final German class of this quarter. While I could have diverted the money toward an electronics purchase, I have decided to try one more quarter of classes.

After German class I need to gather all of my tax paperwork so that I can take it to my accountant either tomorrow or Monday.

Hope all is going well in your world today.

Posted in My Daily Life | 16 Comments

2021-03-17

Not so happy St Patrick’s Day to me. I am extremely frustrated.

As of last night I have an audio/video setup upstairs that has audio but no video, and an audio/video setup in the basement that has video but no audio. Before you suggest that I combine the two to make one functioning setup, please don’t; that’s not how this works.

I had gone down to the basement to do indoor chores since it was chilly and wet outside. I decided that I wanted to listen to some music while I did my chores so I cranked up the projector, a/v receiver, and AppleTV only to see video but hear no audio. I tried switching input to the receiver from the Roku box, then from my old over-the-air receiver, and then finally the FM tuner, none of which produced audio. I was too fed up to try to debug the problem, and then I was in such a foul mood that I gave up on doing chores. I know that none of the tear down work I did would have come close to messing with the cables or receiver since they are on different sides of the house.

I sure could use a tax kickback to help stimulate the economy, Uncle Sam. How about a small portion of the hundreds of thousands of dollars that you have taken from me over the years? Thanks in advance.

Dinner last night was an amazing risotto consisting of onion, mushrooms, yellow squash, capers, and garlic. In order to make it healthier I served my helping over a bed of spring greens.

After eating dinner I retired to the bedroom where the internet stuttered often before I gave up trying to watch anything on my iPad and closed my eyes. I was probably asleep by 8:30pm.

More of the same today? Geez, I hope not. When the sun comes up, or as is probably the case today the sky becomes a brighter shade of gray, I do have an pending chore to accomplish. My “rain barrel”, a spigot-less plastic trash can, has filled from the rain and drippage that occurs from a gutter. Before the rain starts again this morning I want to fill as many empty jugs as I have on have for future watering needs, and then let the garbage can fill up again. Eventually I will either have a proper rain bucket in this location, or install a spigot into this trash can. Given how (un)successful I have proven to be at building/repairing things the former is probably a better plan than the latter.

Nerd Alert: Today is one of the few days that Atlantaโ€™s sunrise/sunset times are exactly twelve hours apart. I pay a lot more attention to these times since becoming Farmer Paulie of Weeโ€™s Little Farm. ๐Ÿค“

No St Patty’s Day Mexican restaurant visit for me today. Perhaps by Cinco de Mayo I can be fully vaccinated and feel comfortable enough to drink a Guinness outside an Irish bar.

This Day in COVIDhistory: I watched the Dropkick Murphy’s perform their annual St Patrick’s Day show, this time to an empty club. I don’t know if they are planning to do that again today, not that I currently have a functioning TV setup on which I can watch it. โ˜น๏ธ

May your day be filled with good health and luck. Perhaps there will be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow after all.

Posted in My Daily Life | 9 Comments

2021-03-16

I’ll start out by saying that yesterday wasn’t great. Although I did my best to be a good employee, I wasn’t loving it and once I clocked out I was feeling down and just wanted to mope.

I went outside and used my newest toy, a Fisher-Price My First Chipper-Shredder, actually it’s a Sun Joe Tree/Limb Chipper-Shredder which can consume branches up to 1.5″ in diameter. Calling it a “chipper/shredder” is a bit generous, it’s more of a “wood cuber”. I decided that rather than continue to pile branches for the City to take, I should burn those larger than 1.5″ in diameter and chip/shred the rest for spreading in Wee’s Little Farm (especially since my efforts to have wood chips delivered failed and I have not tried again.). For about an hour I chipped/cubed a very small portion of the branches that litter my back yard, before feeling as if its impotence was adding to my sadness. I’ll estimate that I’ll be cubing/shredding branches for months; good thing I have no rush to get this done.

In an attempt to feel productive I transplanted three tomato seedlings into the small pots in which three previous transplants had succumbed.

Wee’s Little Farm is moving forward even with some of the beginner’s mistakes that I have made thus far. My containers of radishes are small but looking good; I have turnips, onion, and shallots coming up; my carrots are struggling due to my errors. The rest of my crops are too small to predict their success; time will tell of course.

Still feeling meh I decided to skip the hash and stay at home doing more pre-rain yard work. For another couple of hours I took off the small limbs from branches that will eventually be fed into my cuber/shredder and then yanked privet roots from the ground. Around 6:30pm I decided that I was done, returned inside for a good shower, reheated some leftover pizza, and retired to my bedroom for the evening.

Last night was the end of the “Early Bird” enrollment pricing for German classes. Perhaps against my better judgement I have decided to try one more class…

My knee has been doing better, but feels a bit stiff and sore after yesterday’s yard work.

Oh, Woot.com has a soldering iron on sale today for $60? Hmmmm, should I buy it and attempt to repair my broken TV???

With the rain arriving in droves today I will stay at home again, this time doing exclusively indoor chores like cleaning/organizing my gardening supplies, and/or my basement.

Hope your week has started off healthfully and happily.

Tuesday Tale of the Tape: 183.6 (+0.4 from last week’s weigh-in); whoops, I guess there was too much pizza and beer, and not enough manual labor.

Posted in My Daily Life | 14 Comments