Saturday, December 27 2014
After feeding the creatures, I removed ash from the woodstove in preparation for our house sitter's possible use of it. It had only been 14 days since I last removed ashes, so it only came to 5.8 pounds. But it's data, so here's the chart again:
|Number of days
|Est. firewood burnt
|Nov 14-Dec 19 2013
|Dec 20 2013-Jan 22 2014
|Jan 23 2014-Feb 19 2014
|Feb 20 2014-Mar 20 2014
|Apr 21 2014-Aug 16 2014
|Aug 17-Dec 12 2014
|Dec 13-Dec 26 2014
Today was the day before Gretchen and I would be flying to Belize for a week, so as always, we had to wage a number of minor jihads to prepare. While Gretchen prepared a tart to present to her father for his 70th birthday (which had happened yesterday), I stocked the living room with kindling and firewood for our house sitter (should he decide to use it). In the course of doing that, I happened to notice all the dogshit that had accumulated in the yard since the last occasion when I had bothered to clean it up, so I went around gathering it with a shovel and dumping it in the two tomato patches (where it will be long decomposed by the time I am harvesting tomatoes). I had my headphones on and was listening to podcasts during an altercation in which Ramona hassled an unexpected cyclist taking advantage of the unseasonable warmth to climb the Hurley Mountain escarpment via Dug Hill Road. When I heard the barking, I pulled my headphones aside, registered that the barking belonged to Ramona, and immediately called for her. She responded without delay (apparently aware that her being along the edge of the road near the driveay was a violation of the rules). Once the cyclist determined that the hassling dog had a human to report to, he shouted some advice for her proper maintenance, "You need to keep that dog on a leash!" He said it in a way that suggested that he thought he was the first to ever proffer such advice. My response was "Yeah, yeah, yeah!" I won't tell him how to ride his bike and he shouldn't tell me the rules to enforce on my dog.
Soon after the conclusion of a cleaning jihad, a bunch of our usual friends came over to celebrate our friend Carrie's birthday with the eating of a vegan cheese cake. The cake was, in the opinion of most, "deeply weird," and I must not have had a very good dinner because I seemed to be the only one who really liked it.
Eventually our housesitter Rob (a millennial who works at the farm animal sanctuary in Willow) arrived to spend a night of overlap with us so as to better acclimate our creatures to our absence. Rob was the shy sort and didn't join in with us Generation Xers by the fire, what with our and our potty mouths and drinking; he stuck mostly with individuals like Gretchen (who showed him around) and Carrie (who wandered out into the dining room) or various critters such as Celeste the Kitten.
At some point David (of Susan & David) wanted to see my new Hackintosh, so I took him up to the laboratory. I ended up taking him on a nostaglic walk through the history of the personal computer, starting with the old Mac IIsi I'd obtained Johnny-Cash-style from a UVA computer lab in the early 1990s (and that served as my main computer until I transitioned to Windows 95 with my move to Charlottesville in 1996). I also showed him the 250 Megabyte internal SCSI hard drive I'd made into a rugged portable external unit, complete with a linear power supply I'd made from scratch. I never rooted around in deep storage for my old Mac SEs (one of which still boots I think), but David was just as delighted to see a working 68040LC-based Mac from the mid 1990s.
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