Mon. Sept. 14, 2020 – another week, another list of things to do

Hot and humid, but definitely less so.  Couple storms headed vaguely our way should make things interesting.   I do think that we are on the downhill slide toward fall though.

And since fall is coming, it’s time to get the fall garden in.

Yesterday I got the beds ready.  The one with the cabbage had no surviving crops, so that just got turned and fertilized.   The one under the grape vines still has a couple of broccoli plants which I left in place but I turned and fertilized the rest.  The attached herb garden got turned and broadcast seeded with a handful of mixed herbs.  I don’t think we’ll see anything from it, but it was worth a shot.  Of the two remaining beds, one has a single volunteer melon growing, so I left that but turned the rest.  The other has brusselsprouts and a pepper plant.  I can sneak some carrots and maybe some peas in around them.

The rain started up while I was working on the beds, so I packed it in.

I’ve still got to get the window boxes turned and planted.  Some of them are a solid mass of roots holding the soil in blocks the same shape as the boxes.  I guess that’s why nothing grew last time.  The first year I got some good beets.  I’d like to get some turnips and radishes.  I’ve still got one or two of the onions surviving in one of the boxes.

I’ve also got some tubs that I’d like to use on  the driveway as container gardens.  We’ll see if I get that far.

I still have to decide which beds get what seed too.


I did get the Honda gennie running well enough for now.   It will run on idle or full throttle with only minor hiccups.  Fueled it up and put it aside. That’s two running generators.  I’ve got to get the whole house running next.


The insurrection is heating up.  Cops targeted in LA and a crowd emboldened to the point that they are mocking the cops outside the hospital.   That is pretty damn bold.  Those people do not fear any consequences.  I wonder how long it will be before the death squads are visiting in the middle of the night, and which side will start first…


Prepare yourself for hard times, in mind, body, and spirit.  They are coming.  How hard remains to be seen, but they will come.  If you see a path where they don’t, please share, ‘cuz I don’t see us going back to ‘normal’ without passing through the fire.


Whatever you think you’ll need, I’m suggesting you get it now, rather than later.  And stack it high.

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

Mid 50s, stay at home dad, with two elementary school age girls. Love my family and my life.

57 thoughts on “Mon. Sept. 14, 2020 – another week, another list of things to do”

  1. “They don’t want a civil war. They want a pretty white coed to get a bullet between the eyes, and then the Republicans will fold.”

    The Republicans in the House and Senate might fold. The conservative base will not. That is where the civil war will come from.

    Except for a narrow age range of X-ers like me who recognized the schtick for exactly what it was, the conservative base hesitated when the Blasey-Ford woman delivered her story on Capitol Hill, especially parents of … pretty white coeds. That was the Prog takeaway from the Kavanaugh hearings.

    They’ll go for real innocence in the “victim” next time, not a 50-something battle scarred veteran of tenure track faculty politics at Stanford who rode into to DC on a Senator’s jet.

  2. Leaving SA this morning. Taco Cabana for breakfast, just because. Hoping to meet Mr. Nick for lunch somewhere in the Houston area. I will relay on his gourmet expertise to chose a location. Hint: I need a GPS address.

    Will make a stop at Bucee’s in Katy, probably get a T-Shirt, just because. Conroe stay tonight, then way south of Houston on Tuesday for another night stay. Far east Texas, Orange, for Wednesday night, then on the way home Thursday morning. Will take two days to make the journey home getting back on Friday. A day earlier than planned.

    MIL is 86 and will be having heart surgery, again, in December to replace a valve that was installed at the last surgery where such valve has developed a problem from wear and tear. Another person we know had the surgery and never woke up. MIL is OK with that scenario. If the surgery works, great, if not, she said she is ready for the final transition. Can’t say I blame her. Wife will return here for the surgery and will stay three weeks.

  3. We saw the first MJ Hegar for Senate commercials of the campaign season on local TV last night. We wonder if the CA money has lost faith since the ad was fairly primitive.

    That spot isn’t going viral on YouTube. Heck, it isn’t even *on* YouTube right now.

    By this time in 2018, when Hegar ran for the local Congressional seat, “Doors” was everywhere.

    Our walking corpse Congresscritter has a much weaker Dem opponent this year. a Subcontinent female running on an “Engineer for Congress” slogan. No CA money. Still, I don’t make assumptions since Subcontinent has whole housing developments around us devoted to their tastes, complete with their own half-empty public schools. Sooner or later, they’ll win some seats in Congress, and chances are very good that Round Rock will get one of the new districts headed to Texas next year.

  4. Looking forward to meeting Mr Ray ‘irl’ as the kids say… picked a place near me, with easy freeway access, and shaded outdoor seating. My wife recommended it so we’ll both have someone to blame 😉

    n

  5. Will make a stop at Bucee’s in Katy, probably get a T-Shirt, just because. Conroe stay tonight, then way south of Houston on Tuesday for another night stay. Far east Texas, Orange, for Wednesday night, then on the way home Thursday morning. Will take two days to make the journey home getting back on Friday. A day earlier than planned.

    Try the “world’s longest” car wash at the Katy Buc-ee’s. That store also had ethanol-free gas the last time we went to Houston.

    I’m guessing that ethanol-free gas goes away on Jan. 20 if Plugs wins in November. That was made possible by Executive Order and could just as easily be undone. My 2001 Solara loves that type of gas, and my wife’s 2016 Exploder is happier with a tank even though it can run on E85.

  6. Petrol (gas to you) is E5 here in UK at the moment, and my Seat Ibiza 1.4 is happy with that. Regular (95 octane) becomes E10 by Government fiat next year. Premium (98 octane) remains E5 for several more years. But I’ve been unable to find out if Ulysses can use E10 – he’s right on the cusp of Yay/Nay. At least I have the option.

    G.

  7. Petrol (gas to you) is E5 here in UK at the moment, and my Seat Ibiza 1.4 is happy with that. Regular (95 octane) becomes E10 by Government fiat next year. Premium (98 octane) remains E5 for several more years. But I’ve been unable to find out if Ulysses can use E10 – he’s right on the cusp of Yay/Nay. At least I have the option.

    Cars sold in the US made before 2000 are hit or miss with regard to tolerating E10. The government wants to mandate E15, but that would definitely cause a problem with cars more than 20 years old.

    Do research into your model/year of vehicle. Google is your friend. Engines and transmissions are shipped around the world with the possible exception of diesels to the US in the last decade.

  8. @greg:

    Yes, I know. That’s why I said Ulysses (a 2001/2 model year car) is on the cusp. Later models are E10-tolerant, earlier are not. I’ve struck out on Google. I tried a local Seat Dealer, and their service department didn’t answer the phone, let alone allow me to pose the question. I’m now escalating to Seat UK, but their offices are closed until tomorrow.

    I have to get him serviced and roadworthiness-tested – that’s tomorrow, as well – so I’ll ask there, too. He’s an independent, so he may not know.

    G.

    edit: Grr. Multiple typos.

  9. Yes, I know. That’s why I said Ulysses (a 2001/2 model year car) is on the cusp. Later models are E10-tolerant, earlier are not. I’ve struck out on Google. I tried a local Seat Dealer, and their service department didn’t answer the phone, let alone allow me to pose the question. I’m now escalating to Seat UK, but their offices are closed until tomorrow.

    SEAT is VW. We don’t see those here in the US, where the corn growers’ lobby pushed hard for adding ethanol to gasoline after 2001.

    Drive up from Kansas City to Omaha along the most direct route, and you can’t miss the massive ethanol plant constructed along the river at the midway point of the trip, just inside the Iowa border if I recall correctly.

    The corn growers have a lot of political power in the US, and politicians of both sides cater to them, especially during Presidential election years.

  10. Cars sold in the US made before 2000 are hit or miss with regard to tolerating E10. The government wants to mandate E15, but that would definitely cause a problem with cars more than 20 years old.

    I had heard as long as it’s manufactured after 1986 and doesn’t have a carburetor then you’re good to go for E10. 2000 and later is the E15 cutoff (E15 just started showing up in gas stations around here a few years ago). I have heard most states don’t even require the pump to be labeled if it’s less than 10% ethanol. So, you probably won’t even know you’re filling up with E5 in the USA.

    I’ve never had a problem with E10. It certainly has its haters. Ethanol hate also varies a little by region. Live in an agricultural state? Go Ethanol! Live in a petroleum producing state? Ethanol is the devil! You do get better HP and MPG with 100% petroleum as it has a higher BTU, but government subsidies on E10 ethanol blends usually more than offset that BTU difference. However, this doesn’t hold true for E85. Whatever you save on the price per gallon is spent (and then some) on the greatly reduced MPG. I believe E85 is roughly a 25% reduction in MPG over 100% petroleum. E85 does vary on how much ethanol it contains. I believe to carry the E85 stamp it’s at least 70% ethanol, but not more than 85%.

  11. WRT “corn growers”: the ones that lobbied for ethanol were BIG CORN, not your everyday hard-working Family Farmer.
    There is a huge Asian Market for our premium quality corn and alfalfa and, at least in my area, tremendous quantities are barged to the West Coast to be loaded on boats bound for mainly Japan.
    We also have a large number of Family Farm Dairies here that use the premium corn and alfalfa to produce the highest quality dairy in the State.
    There is a great divide, and much animosity, between Big Farm and Family Farm. Basically Family Farm is pro-responsible-common sense-environment (both land and animal) whereas Big Farm is out to make as much money as possible and the environment, people, and animals be damned.

  12. SEAT is VW

    I know. The SEAT Ibiza is a rebadged VW Polo. Ulysses is a 6K chassis, probably built in late 2001.but first registered in about April/May 2002, this bridges the time when, according to internet sources, VW (and hence SEAT) in Europe were upgrading their designs to handle E10.

    The engine is a fuel-injected 1.4 litre, the 1.4MPi. The engine itself is fine, according to reports. It’s the ancillary seals that may not like E10. And I’m not sure I trust internet sources. Getting it wrong could result in scrappage-level damage, or at least a bill that’s larger than the market value.

    Which will mean I’ll scrap him, since I’m 72 now, and getting to the point that I may be physically unable to drive. Not to mention that London congestion charging will extend almost to where I live next year. And the Ultra-Low Emission Zone as well. Ulysses is considered liable to that – so a total of £25 per day to drive into Central London (for expansive values of Central) Not to mention parking charges – which is why I don’t drive – I get free public transport, courtesy my Local Government.

    G.

  13. I watched a couple of clips of Plugs today. Apparently he thinks he is running for re-election with Obola. LOL! An X-ray of his head would probably show a rutabaga inside.

    In other news, I got my Subie registered in TX today. Drivers license at the end of the month. I have to travel to the south side of SA, or wait until January because it is by appointment only.

  14. Not to mention that London congestion charging will extend almost to where I live next year.

    I work for one of the big players in the tolling system space. Congestion pricing is coming to the US soon.


  15. Try the “world’s longest” car wash at the Katy Buc-ee’s

    Took a nap while going through. Lots of colored foam, or maybe I should say foam of many colors to keep from sounding racist. Blow dryers at the end would rip the doors off a Yugo.

    Picked up some other goodies at the place to the tune of $35.00. Dr. Pepper Icee was mandatory.

    Good meeting with Mr. Nick. Pleased we both able to make it work. Now I have a face with the name. His wife made a good recommendation for an eatery.

  16. Had a very nice lunch with Mr and Mrs Ray. He kindly picked up the bill. Thanks again Ray. Lovely to meet you and the Missus…

    I may have spoken too soon about the arrival of Fall. It’s 100 in my driveway, and feels every degree of the 124F “Feels Like” score. It’s oppressive today.

    I did an auction pickup, purely my non-prepping hobby. Good deals, though purely fluff.

    My inbox has a flyer from Palmetto State Armory, their Daily Deals are pretty good today. If you are still lacking, and can’t find anything suitable locally, you could do a lot worse than PSA right now. If you think you might EVER want a gun in the next year or two, depending on how you see the election going, this is probably the time to buy. They still have Shields, and Baretta 92S trade ins for only $339. That’s a solid full frame semi…

    I think I’ll find some stuff to do indoors for the next couple of hours.

    n

  17. In other news, I got my Subie registered in TX today. Drivers license at the end of the month. I have to travel to the south side of SA, or wait until January because it is by appointment only.

    Yeah, giant PITA to deal with Texas DPS right now. I couldn’t even reach them to talk about the potential impact to my record from the ticket I received in Alabama at the beginning of July.

    Annual inspection in Texas is very minimal. The Subaru should pass easily. The Toyota dealers won’t pass my Solara over stains from a power steering leak I keep under control with Stop Leak, but I don’t have a problem at non-dealer inspection places.

    Disclaimer: 20 year old Solara, but previous generation, mid 90s pipeline Toyota Camry platform. Stop Leak is not appropriate for all vehicles, especially newer cars.

  18. Not to mention that London congestion charging will extend almost to where I live next year.

    I work for one of the big players in the tolling system space. Congestion pricing is coming to the US soon.

    If you live or work where there is congestion pricing, you should leave now before the savages of the congested urban areas kill you.

  19. Disclaimer: 20 year old Solara, but previous generation, mid 90s pipeline Toyota Camry platform. Stop Leak is not appropriate for all vehicles, especially newer cars.

    Many, if not most, newer cars and trucks use electric power steering instead of old fashioned hydraulic systems. Much simpler and gets better mileage by 0.5 mpg.

  20. Had a very nice lunch with Mr and Mrs Ray. He kindly picked up the bill. Thanks again Ray. Lovely to meet you and the Missus…

    Hey Ray ! You and I met at my office twice and you never bought me lunch !

    Mutter, mutter, mutter, Nick gets all the cool stuff.

    1
  21. If you live or work where there is congestion pricing, you should leave now before the savages of the congested urban areas kill you.

    Congestion pricing isn’t about reducing congestion as much as it is part of a carefully orchestrated transition to Mobility As A Service — MaaS — for most of the population.


  22. Hey Ray ! You and I met at my office twice and you never bought me lunch !

    You’re the one with the alligator(s) in the pond. He probably expected you to offer him some alligator stew or at least some scrambled allegory.

  23. Not to mention that London congestion charging will extend almost to where I live next year.

    I work for one of the big players in the tolling system space. Congestion pricing is coming to the US soon.

    BTW, congrats on still having a job after your meeting last week.

    I am assuming that when you told upper management that your BA (bad attitude) was due to money, they just laughed. And BA’s are always about money.


  24. Hey Ray ! You and I met at my office twice and you never bought me lunch !

    Mutter, mutter, mutter, Nick gets all the cool stuff.

    Mr. Ray is a cheap bastard. I wonder what Mr. Nick did to get a freebie?

  25. The insurrection is heating up. Cops targeted in LA and a crowd emboldened to the point that they are mocking the cops outside the hospital. That is pretty damn bold. Those people do not fear any consequences. I wonder how long it will be before the death squads are visiting in the middle of the night, and which side will start first…

    The cops will have death squads first. They have the tools. There was one last year in Houston but it was a miserable failure since they got caught.
    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/ex-houston-police-officer-charged-murder-after-deadly-drug-raid-n1006196

  26. “Judge Rules Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s Coronavirus Restrictions Unconstitutional”
    https://dailycaller.com/2020/09/14/federal-judge-rules-pennsylvania-governor-tom-wolf-rachel-levine-shutdown-non-essential-businesses-gathering-unconstitutional/

    “A federal judge ruled that Democratic Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s gathering restrictions and shutdowns of non-essential businesses during the coronavirus pandemic were unconstitutional, numerous sources reported.”

    “U.S. District Judge William Stickman IV ruled in favor of multiple plaintiffs who alleged that the governor and Secretary of Health Rachel Levine’s restrictions were arbitrary and violated constitutional rights, WTAE reported.”

    Finally ! Violations of the 1st and 14th amendments according to the federal judge.

    And that “Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health Rachel Levine” is the ugliest woman that I have ever seen. Except it ain’t no woman. Letting a mentally disturbed person set your state policy is a very bad idea. It should pull that wig hair around front also so it can look just like cousin It.

    Hat tip to:
    https://thelibertydaily.com/


  27. And that “Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health Rachel Levine” is the ugliest woman that I have ever seen. Except it ain’t no woman. Letting a mentally disturbed person set your state policy is a very bad idea. It should pull that wig hair around front also so it can look just like cousin It.

    Sexist! Fifty lashes with a wet noodle for you.

  28. Normalizing mental illness does not cure it.
    Normalizing mental illness spreads it.

  29. Last I knew, all courts had refused to hear challenges to Andrew “Almost as ugly as he is stupid” Cuomo’s executive orders regarding lockdowns, shutdowns, arrest authority, and so on. I haven’t been putting any effort into keeping up on this so maybe I’m out of date, but at the time I thought it was notable that the non-political state courts and the non-political federal courts in the state almost always walk in lockstep with what the governor wants.

  30. My in-laws in Mass. were going on about how Trump abandoned NYC blah blah, and were dead silent when I said I’d never forget how Cuomo killed all those old people by forcing nursing homes to take Covid patients, AFTER giving his buddies legal immunity.

    Funny how peoples’ memories work. They’re saying Trump HATES NYC and New Yorkers. Given his lifelong live work arrangement, I find that hard to believe.

    n

  31. BTW, congrats on still having a job after your meeting last week.

    I am assuming that when you told upper management that your BA (bad attitude) was due to money, they just laughed. And BA’s are always about money.

    Nothing has been resolved. Everyone is busy.

    Check back Thursday.

    1
  32. Jeep battery has died. I pulled it today and went to the local NAPA. NO masks, no “scared to death” bull by-products.

    Yeah, they have the plexi screens up, but whatever, there’s gaps you can talk through.

    No battery today, should be in tomorrow about 7AM.

    And then the Jeep goes to the shop for an oil change and overall checkup. Jeebus, the sticker on the window says Nov 18 and Jeep is a bit over a quart low.

    Fun times.

  33. “Nvidia’s $40 billion Arm acquisition is about bringing AI down from the cloud”
    https://www.theverge.com/2020/9/14/21435890/nvidia-arm-acquisition-40-billion-ai-cloud-edge-why

    “Nvidia’s $40 billion acquisition of Arm is a hugely significant deal for the tech world, with implications that will take years to unravel spanning many areas of the sector. But if you listened to the press babble coming from the two companies over the last 24 hours, you’d think there was only one factor driving the purchase: artificial intelligence.”

    I don’t see a reason why for this yet. I guess Nvidea has a lot of cash and wanted to invest it.

  34. Hey Ray ! You and I met at my office twice and you never bought me lunch !

    Yeh, my bad. Maybe next time if you could be a little less subtle. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Mr. Ray is a cheap bastard.

    At times but this time spousal unit was with me. She has more culture than me.

    Mr. Nick did offer to leave the tip. But all he had was a wad of $100.00 bills, way too much for the tip. So I covered the tip. Mr. Nick is also very clever. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    3
  35. I watched a couple of clips of Plugs today. Apparently he thinks he is running for re-election with Obola. LOL! An X-ray of his head would probably show a rutabaga inside.

    Rush mentioned that Plugs gave a climate emergency speech in a wheat field that if Trump is re-elected that the USA will both burn up from forest fires and be under water from the rising oceans. Wow ! “Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden grimly predicted that “hellish” fires, floods, hurricanes, and superstorms would level and destroy America’s suburbs if “climate arsonist” President Donald Trump is re-elected.”
    https://www.theblaze.com/news/biden-warns-climate-catastophe-if-trump-reelected

    1
  36. You’re the one with the alligator(s) in the pond. He probably expected you to offer him some alligator stew or at least some scrambled allegory.

    Ain’t had no alligators in either pond for over a year. I bet the feral pigs eat them.

    The alligators are only three foot long when they show up. Then they eat all the fish in my ponds and grow 4 to 5 inches a month.

    1

  37. But all he had was a wad of $100.00 bills, ….. Mr. Nick is also very clever.

    –I actually felt bad all afternoon. I’ve used up all my small bills tipping the instacart delivery drivers, and I’m not out in the stores spending cash anymore… and don’t want to go into a bank to get $5 and $10s…

    |:-P>
    n

    1
  38. Nick, does your bank have an outdoor ATM? Mine does and that’s where I’ve gotten the (utter bucket of) cash I’ve used in the past six months. No human interaction required. I can get any mix of 5s, 10s, 20s, and 50s.

    1
  39. Ain’t had no alligators in either pond for over a year. I bet the feral pigs eat them.

    The alligators are only three foot long when they show up. Then they eat all the fish in my ponds and grow 4 to 5 inches a month.

    Florida has a long tradition of Hog & Dog Rodeos: pit bull vs. wild hog — place your bets. The dog loses more than you think.

    A gator that size is good for keeping ducks under control, but you have tenants. People love to feed alligators, and once the critters develop a taste for pastrami and turkey hot dogs, they lose their natural fear of people.

  40. There are no Trader Joe’s in the hood and the barrio because they burn their stores down.

    During our sentence -er- tenure in Vantucky, one mixed African American/Hispanic neighborhood in Portland fought a Trander Joes because — and I’m not kidding — the residents felt that the store would attract the “wrong” kind of people to the area.

    1
  41. I wonder how long it will be before the death squads are visiting in the middle of the night, and which side will start first…

    The LA Sheriff’s Dept. is not known for kindness or restraint. I expect it will get ugly.

    1
  42. Ok, fell down a rabbit hole. Youtube vid, 10 Rules for getting along in prison… and in the comments, which you shouldn’t really waste time reading, and I know that, but I’m so tired my brain isn’t working right and I can’t sleep until the kids are in bed I find this– and ain’t that some otherworldly crazy??

    Wellness Path For Me
    3 months ago
    @The big dog In this bitch -Narcissists don’t get along with other narcs. The denutrification and toxification program is targeted for women because Moneygarchy Empire knows that women provide 100% of the epigenetic downloads of ALL their children. Caveat emptor, and teach those you care about why it is important to eat right. Search Morley Robbins for a good introduction into how to do that. Read Eat Right for Your Type (blood type) and alkalize your diet. If you eat meat, eat the highest quality and include liver, as well as lemon in water, but protect your teeth afterwords using techniques shared at DrEllie.com.

    Seriously, wt everlovin f?

    @stevef, you got one of those FANCY atm machines…. I noticed a lot more of that the closer you get to the East Coast. My bank gives out 20s. You can get 20s or 20s, or nothing. I’m pretty sure there are regional and cultural differences about whether people prefer to get change or pay with exact or close to exact amounts. It may be related to the average balance too, you can withdraw closer to your limit if you can get $5 more…? Interesting in any case.

    n

    (and an effect of the covid, I would have just gone to the cashier and broken a $20 pre-lockdown. now I’m reluctant to have that extra interaction, and to take the money from their hand. )


  43. I actually felt bad all afternoon

    Not necessary. It was an excellent gesture that I had not expected. So no worries. However, don’t be surprised if you find a lump of coal in your Christmas stocking.

    1
  44. A gator that size is good for keeping ducks under control, but you have tenants. People love to feed alligators, and once the critters develop a taste for pastrami and turkey hot dogs, they lose their natural fear of people.

    My tenants like to shoot things.

  45. Congestion pricing is coming to the US soon.

    Hmm, with our low traffic, maybe I will be paid to go into town. 😉

    And later:
    Congestion pricing isn’t about reducing congestion as much as it is part of a carefully orchestrated transition to Mobility As A Service — MaaS — for most of the population.

    Aw, shucks.

  46. Inside every gator, there’s a nice pair of boots or a belt waiting to get out.

    n

  47. The Toyota dealers won’t pass my Solara over stains from a power steering leak I keep under control with Stop Leak, but I don’t have a problem at non-dealer inspection places.

    Be aware that there are at least a couple different types of stop leak additives. All hydraulic fluids contain mild seal swelling agents. The ones that claim to “condition seals” or stop leaks just have a little more. Of course, you and I can’t tell one from another at retail, because all are proprietary. As your car leaks more, you may find that a different brand works better. I think you said it was the rack, which is expensive to replace, so you are doing the right thing. Over the years, I have mostly avoided leak stopping fluids, so it is hard to advise. A brand that I do trust is Lucas. They make three power steering fluids: one for systems without leaks, one with more swelling agents, and one with something special. DON’T USE THAT LAST ONE!! It can aggravate some leaks, but also works wonders on others. Definitely a last resort.

    If you plan to keep your car for several more years, try to find out if the leak is fixable without removing the rack. I think there are some that can have the end seals replaced on the car. Just bear in mind that there may be worn parts that caused the seal to leak, so this might be a temporary fix.

    As for inspection places, avoid dealers. I grew up around the auto industry, and was taught to hate dealers, probably too much. Are there any inspection-only places in TX? They won’t usually have a conflict of interest. Usually. Here in CA, we only have emissions inspections, and that is bad enough, but there are inspection-only places. I remember living in Florida with two new cars, and the now-discontinued state-run inspections were filled with fraud. They were also a joke, easily fooled. Just another bureaucracy. Good riddance.

    I have heard stories, especially about foreign-brand dealers and their fix everything policies. Probably no worse than domestics, however. Find a good independent shop, usually by word of mouth from car enthusiasts. You can use independents for all maintenance, even if your warranty is still valid. If you have a “free” service policy, that is different. Still, I would find a good independent shop, even if it costs more. In our town all the savvy Toyota owners go to the one independent shop that specializes in Japanese brands. Sadly, the owner is retiring, and probably has already sold the shop. It will take a while to prove the new management.

  48. Trying to get the last outdoor chores buttoned up before the rain begins in earnest, shortly followed by snow. Got the raspberries chopped back to a reasonable level.

    Checked to see if it was a burn day only to discover burning no longer permitted in Anchorage. Unless you are a homeless dude at a busy intersection building a fire for warmth, or at your illegal camp in the green zones. And totally ok if you’re a homeless dude to burn out multiple acres with your illegal-if-you-have-a-home fire.

    Man you just can’t have any fun anymore. I loved having a fall burn pile. Now I’ve got to figure out how to fit a cubic yard of aggressively spiky raspberry bramble into one of our vehicles (Honda Pilot or Mini Countryman), beg a truck, or hire some poor bugger to make it disappear.

    Also hacked back the lilac bush – doesn’t look great but there is less of it (over 8′ to a more manageable 6′). Got winter lights up on the chain link fence to provide a little illumination and cheer to the front yard. Got white lights over the rabbits to provide illumination for chores and so they aren’t in the dark for 16+ hours a day come December. The last two roosters commenced crowing this week so they’ve got a date with the freezer next weekend. Ditto the rabbits from our first litter I was letting grow out to over 4 lbs. The second two litters will be ready to process in a few more weeks, depending on how big I want to let them get. Plus a farmer friend wound up with an extra pig, and in October we will process that. Half a hog for our freezer – yay!

  49. “Half a hog for our freezer – yay! ”

    –awesome luck! I was just saying to my wife that I wish a half cow would fall in our laps… I’d find a way to fit it into cold storage. Half a hog would be great too. Heck, even the neighbor’s couple of pounds of bambi and pig sausage wouldn’t go amiss………

    n

  50. Jenny, wrap up your cubic yard of bramble with metal chain, preferably iron. Hook it to the back of your car and drive to wherever you were going to dispose of it. With any luck the sparks from the chain dragging on the pavement will be enough to catch the brush on fire, taking care of your problem. As a bonus you’ll be able to drive as fast as you want on the city streets because, hey, you have a fire right behind you. #FollowMeForMoreGoodAdvice

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