half-moon Neville agitation
Sunday, February 2 2020
I'd completely run out of chain oil for my chainsaws. so before doing much more cutting, I wanted to get more. But I also wanted to gather some firewood today. So I set off down the Stick Trail with just my salvaging backpack. I went all the way to that recent salvaging location about a half mile from home, where there was only one suitably-sized piece for me to add to my pack. From there, I headed back home, gradually cobbling together a complete load. But the pieces were not of good quality and contained a fair amount of rot, moisture, and immature insects. I split them and cleaned them of as much rot and insects as I could. I even tried to put the grubs I found in the pine cone mound atop Sally the Dog's grave in the hope that some of them might be able to keep themselves alive, though that was unlikely. To help with drying these pieces, I made several local salvaging forays near the house to gather small dry evergreen limbs, which reliably burn hot and fast. A year or so ago, a largish pine had fallen into the swampy meadow just below where the Farm Road meets Dug Hill Road, and I managed to find some good pieces from that. A pine branch measuring an inch or two in diameter is a great source of immediate heat, and it's always good to keep a stash of them around for starting fires.
This evening, I assembled one of the ceiling hatches I will need to make to close the holes in the ceiling of the basement hallway (most of which I made when running the power to the three southernmost air conditioning splits). I used the rough white pine planks I'd bought several weeks ago, which I had to widen using a three-inch-wide slice of the same material. My plan is to attach these hatches to the ceiling using rare earth magnets, but before making all seven of them, I wanted to make just one and test it against the ceiling to better visualize how to finish both it and the hole.
As usual for a Sunday, this evening I did a load of laundry. The most important item that I laundered was a blanket from the bed that had been disturbing me for weeks with a stinky spot that kept ending up near my face. That spot smelled like mouse urine, which was a difficult thing to account for.
Tonight after getting into bed, I watched several YouTube videos, including one entitled "Hacking The Nature of Reality" on PBS Space Time and one about " Iron Stars" and the timeframe of a possible Big Rip by Isaac Arthur). Then I tried to fall asleep, but I could tell that the room was too hot for me to sleep comfortably.
Eventually I went downstairs and tried to sleep on the couch, where there is only a single thin blanket. Meanwhile, the dogs had been agitated by something outside. They eventually ran out through the pet door and barked monotonously off into the distance, perhaps in response to coyotes. After Ramona had done a fair amount of this with her deep, scary-sounding woof, she came back in and snuggled with me on the couch. Neville, though, kept getting worked up, running out into the night, and barking for a time. He tips his head way back when he barks, and the sound is surprisingly thin and doesn't carry far.
Their behavior all made sense when I saw the moon setting through the trees. It was about half full and extremely bright in the clear night air. It's been my experience that coyotes are particularly active when moonlight illuminates the land.
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