Linda’s iPad alarm went off at 5:45 AM but she did not get up until after 6. I got up at the same time she did but she was dressed and out the door by 6:15 while I was still stumbling around. I put on my warm robe, fed the cats, made coffee, and had a banana nut muffin. After enjoying my coffee by the fireplace I had my orange juice and granola with blueberries.
It started raining overnight and was still raining this morning as the remnants of hurricane Patricia pulled up from the lower Mississippi River and moved north between the river and the western side of the Appalachian Mountains towards the Great Lakes. The forecast was for the rain to continue through the day and then off and on into tomorrow. It was a good day to work in the house so that is mostly what I did. But first I gathered up the trash from the house and rolled the large container to the street for pickup.
The first thing on my self-imposed to-do list was finalizing an order with DX Engineering. I had already placed multi-packs of two different sized snap-on ferrite beads in my cart but needed to spend slightly more money to get free shipping. I am not, however, one of those people who is drawn into buying something I do not need just because it is a BOGO item.
I have been planning for quite some time to install a multi-outlet fused DC distribution panel in the front of the bus to provide Anderson PowerPole connections for the various 12V DC accessories such as the GPS. I had just never made it a priority, which is to say, never taken the time to figure out exactly which product to buy. I had to go out to the bus to assess the size and feasibility of available areas for mounting. After looking at all of the options I selected an 8-port unit from West Mountain Radio. I really wanted a unit with USB charging ports but the only such model they make only has four PowerPole connections, which is not enough.
My next task was to order a couple of items from the Rockler Woodworking and Hardware website. I have been considering their black, powder-coated shelf brackets for a while. I made another trip to the bus to determine how much space I had on the wall where the table will go. It looked like I will have 14 inches of wall space for mounting brackets so I selected the middle of three sizes, which is 12″ high by 18″ deep. The brackets will support 1,000 pounds each so a pair of them will certainly support the weight of the Corian-topped dining table. The table is 38″ long and fully supported by 3/4″ plywood underneath, but it remains to be seen if the wall is strong enough to support the table in a cantilevered installation. If not, we will have to add a leg or an angled support.
The other thing I needed was hardwood veneer to build the three panels that will replace the strip mirrors that were on the lower portion of the outside hallway wall. I decided to go with the Allwood 2-ply maple and put a 24″ wide by 96″ long roll in the cart. The three panels will have a finished size of about 22-1/2″ by 28″ so the 8′ long piece should work out just right. I placed the order and moved on the next thing which was entering account information into our password program.
Our password app is wonderful but frustrating at times as it tries to synchronize via the cloud every time you open it, edit an entry, or create a new one. By design it keeps our passwords up-to-date on multiple devices, which is why we have it, but it is slow to sync and sometimes appears to hang up. When it is trying to sync it won’t let me do anything else, so I sit and wait (or make another cup of tea).
Phil called around 12:15 PM, returning my phone message from yesterday, and we chatted for 20 minutes or so. With any luck he will have stone delivered here on Friday or Saturday and get the driveway put in before Joe gets here next week with his trailer. Phil, however, is at the mercy of Wayne County inspectors on another job and was not able to work anywhere today due to the rain. Most of his work is weather and bureaucrat dependent.
I had the leftover squash and quinoa/lentil pilaf for lunch at 12:45 PM. While I was eating a lone buck wandered through the back yard with what appeared to be a 6-point rack. It is the first buck (with antlers) that I have seen this year.
I worked on this post for a while and then went to my office. As much as I needed to work on getting posts uploaded to my blog there were other unfinished tasks weighing more heavily on my mind. At the top of the list was an article for Bus Conversion Magazine on a 1985 Model 15 Eagle bus conversion that I saw and photographed at the Eagles International converted coach rally in Quartzsite, Arizona back in January of this year. I met the owners at that time and subsequently interacted with them a bit but then got really busy with my own projects and had to set the article on the back burner.
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the article was farther along than I remembered. I also had a short narrative and eight photos from the owners that I had not yet incorporated into the article so that gave me additional material to work with. With only a few short breaks to interrupt my work I pulled together a first complete draft by 6 PM and e-mailed it to the owners and the publisher of the magazine. Gary (at BCM) wants to run this article as the feature/cover story in the January 2016 issue so the editor needs it before the end of November. Personally, I need to be done with it at least a week before Thanksgiving.
While working on the article I had quite a few e-mails back and forth with Gary, one of which inquired about my article on The Desert Bar / Nellie E. Saloon outside of Parker, Arizona. A draft of that article also exists but it is not even a full page of text and I have not yet selected and processed any photos. I wrote a little bit on The Desert Bar in a March 2016 overview article about our time in Quartzsite. For a standalone article I will need to say something more/different than I said there. If the weather continues to be crummy tomorrow I may use that as an excuse to sequester myself in my office, hunker down at my computer, and crank this article out.
One of my afternoon breaks was in response to the doorbell. It was UPS delivering my order from B&H Photo. I did not open it right away as I wanted to stay on my BCM article task. Linda texted me at 3:30 PM to let me know she was leaving the bakery and arrived home about an hour later. Even though she left the house at 6:15 AM this morning it took her 90 minutes to get to the bakery in Hamtramck. Wet roads with poor lane markings in marginal early morning light will do that. Michigan does not do a good job of maintaining its roads.
For dinner Linda made a simple salad of power greens with Ken’s Sweet Vidalia Onion dressing, roasted the white asparagus we bought the other day, and reheated the leftover risotto. The risotto held up well to being served as leftovers but the white asparagus, which was fresh, was disappointing. It was tough and we ended up microwaving it. Linda thought it was bitter, and did not like it, but I think that is a characteristic of asparagus. We both agreed, however, that it did not taste like much of anything.
While we were relaxing in the living room after dinner I did a search on white asparagus. Asparagus is a spring vegetable so the stuff we bought probably came from a long way south of the border. It is grown “underground” by keeping dirt around the stalks; a process known as etiolation, or light deprivation. It is supposed to be milder than regular (green) asparagus but with a tough, bitter outer skin than needs to be removed before cooking. The classic German method of preparation is immersion in simmering water with salt and butter until tender. Now we know. Eating things out of season may be one of the “benefits” of being globally interconnected but there is a lot to be said for eating local in-season whenever possible.
The power flickered once during dinner and several more times during the evening. Winds were forecast at 15 – 25 MPH out of the SW gusting to 40 and strengthening into the morning hours as the wind shifted out of the W in advance of a second cold front. I shut off the color laser printer, the two NAS units, and the Linux box as a precaution but left my laptop on since it runs on its own internal battery.