Sunday, December 02, 2007

December 2007


Saturday 01 Welcome to the month of December- did my stretches and that was all the exercises I was able to do because of the cold high winds that came in after the rains. That dang head cold is still hanging around and I stayed inside most of the day. The rains were great but the winds suck!
        The Weather: Temps never got out of the 40s. Humidity was around 45 percent. High winds out of the West at 20 to 30 MPH with gusts up to 50 MPH.
        I messed around all day with the ASUS EEE laptop trying different things. I was able to hook up my iPod onto it and listen to my lectures, and also sync my Sony Cleo PDA to the EEE’s KDE PIM. There was an update for the touch pad that I downloaded and I seem to get a better response from it. I started doing my Christmas cards by putting my return address on twenty envelopes.
        Called my Mom and Dad and yakked with them till my calling card ran out of minutes. Dad called me back and I was able to finish my conversation with them.
        Here is my weekly column I sent to the newspaper:


Copper Mountain Mesa News
By Bob DeLoyd


12/01/07

Our little community had a wonderful Thanksgiving:
Picked up Ron Dehart and drove on over to the center in the “Gross Polluter” (my truck) and arrived at 2pm.. Steve and Maryhelen Tuttle were in the kitchen preparing the turkeys and other fare with some help from Brenda Zimmer, Judy Driver, and Ruth Tuttle. Steve was wearing a mask and gloves and he looked kind of strange and I jokingly wondered to Ron if the turkey was toxic, until we found out he had a bad cold. Maryhelen was in charge batting out orders, so we made ourselves scarce and I started taking pictures and killing time for the next hour until they got everything ready. Folks started arriving: Hoss and Sandy Kuhn; Brenda’s family: her Mom, sisters Debbie and Carol with her Son Scott’s family and a new baby; Ray and Ila Foyil; Bob Seeley with his family; and Ruth’s Brother from Apple Valley. It was time to eat and Ruth led everyone in saying grace and then we all dug in! Dang the food was mighty good; folks liked my sweet potatoes too! Maryhelen made some great killer biscuits that she was mighty proud of, but I couldn’t eat too much because I had to be at Bob Stonebraker’s for dinner at 4pm. We made small talk and touched base with folks who we haven’t seen in a while, but it was approaching 3:30 our predetermined time to depart and we were looking for a way to leave gracefully when Earl Wilbert and his family arrived. I took some pictures of them, and while everyone else was greeting Earl, Ron and I slipped out the back way. I had a great time and wished I could have stayed longer with these fine folks.

Thought for the week: Being humble is having the notion that everybody has the ability to do what you’re exceptional at.


        Took a rest from my studies and played around with this and that and surfed the web. Wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.

Sunday 02- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights. I am feeling much better today and feel that I’m over that head cold, but until I’m sure it is gone, I decided to skip the “nightly bike ride” for now and do the bike ride in the daytime when it’s warm.
        The Weather: Temps of 41 to 55 degrees. Humidity was around 34 percent. Calm winds and no clouds.
        Got cracking on them Christmas cards that have been sitting on my desk waiting for me. Yesterday I got my return address on the envelopes, so today I wrote the addresses of the folks that I am sending them to. Now all I have to do is think of something witty and personal to write on each of them.
        Dale from Landers called to say hi. He just had gotten back from Apple Valley where his Mom lives. I told him of all the rain that he missed while he was gone.
        Went for my evening walk and listened to UC Berkeley’s Josh Bloom lecture on astronomy. Wow this guy has really got it down pat! His lectures are over an hour and are crammed with more facts than I could muster up with what I currently know that would probably fill only half an hour. He is very clear, to the point, and a pleasure to listen to.
        My brother Kevin called and we yapped for a spell. He is still trying to sell his home and so far, after two months, has had only two folks come look at it: the market must be bad in Arizona too!
        Spent the rest of the night reading my studies. I’m reading the chapters on sound in the physics book about waves, pitch, and musical scale. Tomorrow is temperature and heat.
        I read this blog about this guy who wrote “Things I want to do before I die” and he had some 115 items on his list, some attainable and some maybe not. But the great thing is he sat down and wrote it all out. I had created a list of things I wanted to do back in the 70s: learn to scuba dive, sky dive, and travel around in Europe. I did all these but I sure wouldn’t do the skydiving again! I’ve heard of doing this “before I die” lists before some years ago and had started a list of my own a few years back but never followed through on writing much down, I think I had ten items or so. I think I will try to find that list and see what it was that I had written and try and complete it and maybe post it here. At least a list like this can give you some direction and motivation in your life.
        Wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Monday 03- did my stretches, ran two miles, rode my bike and lifted weights.
        The Weather: Temps of 43 to 61 degrees. Humidity was around 21 percent. Same as yesterday: Calm winds with no clouds.
        Cleaned off the terminals and checked the water levels on my batteries that power the house. Collected wood for my wood stove to burn tonight. Took the mattress that had gotten wet from the rains out of the back of the “Gross Polluter” and hung it out to dry.
        Joel came by with my mail. He just arrived back from his trip to Kansas City to see his Dad. Said he was mighty glad to be back where the weather is warmer than from where he left.
        Called Stoney to jaw for a while. He told me that he had a visit from his son-in-law and his four kids who came in from Riverside. I asked him how old the kids are and he said that the youngest was 40 years and the oldest was in his sixties! I wasn’t expecting that, I was thinking 16-20 years.
        Went on my evening walk and listened to a physic lecture. Got back home and was just settling down to read when Kath called to ask if I’d come to her home in Yucca Valley to fix her computer problem if she picked me up. I told her ok. She was here in little under an hour. I spent the next two hours sorting through the tangle of wires under her bed that hook up to her laptop. Found that the phone wall jack was dead and that was why the dialup wasn’t working. So we ran a line to another wall jack and got her dialup working just fine, then she asked me to hook up her DSL! Ok, I wasted all this time connecting her dialup! I setup and connected her DSL to her laptop without any problems and had it up and running, but the disarray she has with all these wires running every which way it is only a matter of time till something gets pulled out of socket and the dang think fails again, hell maybe even a fire, and I told her that. On our way back to my home we stopped at Stater Brothers so I could get supplies and some fried chicken for me and Fat Cat to dine on tonight.
        Got all the groceries put away, ate dinner (Fat Cat was mighty happy), and was just about to start reading again when Roger T. calls and we talked about all the work he has done today and stuff like that. When we were through I tried to start reading when Kath called having problems with her DSL! I walked her through the connections on her laptop and everything seemed ok on that end, so I told her that she must have pulled something loose on the DSL wiring and that it needs to be rewired. I knew this was going to happen. She said she would check it out tomorrow.
        Finally got to my reading but it was getting late and I was tired; I didn’t get as much read as I wanted. I wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night!


Tuesday 04- I did a long run yesterday, well right now two miles is long, so I just did my stretches. Ron Dehart came by with his dog Sila and I put the Fat Cat in the house. We went for a short hike on the trails around my home. Ron also brought a salmon casserole that I’ll have for dinner tonight.
        The Weather: Temps of 43 to 66 degrees. Humidity was around 22 percent. Winds out of the NW at 4-7 MPH. No clouds.
        Wrote my column and sent it to the newspaper. I went with a different “Thought of the Week” than the one I was hoping to put together, but I’ll do that one in next week’s column. It takes me about two hours to write the column, tweaking this and changing that till I think I got it right. Then I did some chores around the house: clean the cat’s box, wash dishes: that sort of stuff.
        Did my studies the rest of the night. Physics: Chapter on Temperature: the difference between Fahrenheit, Celsius, and Kelvin. Kelvin is the lowest possible temperature, which is absolute zero, or –273.15 degrees Celsius and –459.67 Fahrenheit. And that means it is mighty cold! Celsius starts at the freezing point of water 0 degrees and the boiling point of water 100 degrees. Fahrenheit zero starts at the coldest you can get a thermometer in a bucket of water, ice, and salt. Measuring body temp accomplish the 100 degrees of Fahrenheit; I think Celsius sounds like a better system but I’ll still use my Fahrenheit. Read some in astronomy “365 Starry Nights” and “Cosmos”.
        Wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Wednesday 05- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
        Ordered a refurbished Toshiba M200 Tablet for $468, it was such a deal I couldn’t pass up.
        The Weather: Temps of 46 to 70 degrees. Humidity was around 27 percent. Winds out of the NW to SW at 3-9 MPH. No clouds.
        Lee dropped by my gate to ask me if I was going to Sandy’s birthday party that her husband Hoss is putting on for her. Sure I said, when is it? At 1:30pm Lee says. Well that’s only an in an hour and I told Stoney that I’d be at his house to check his roof for a leak he had from the last rain and have dinner at 3:30 but I figured that I could fit it in. I got there a little late because Joyce my neighbor called and we yapped for thirty minutes about a large tortoise in her backyard and wondered if I knew anyone who may be missing one. I told her it might be wild and owned by no one. Got to the party that was over at Lee’s at around 2pm and started taking pics of everyone; Bob S, Andrew, Patrick, Hoss and Sandy, Pat, Rudy, Marcie, and Sandy. Ate some mighty good enchiladas that Marcie cooked and cake. As Sandy opened presents we all sang Happy Birthday. I sat around and jawed for a bit and then it was time for me to git.
        Got to Stoney’s and went up on the roof and found some spots that there maybe water leaking in but Stoney didn’t have any patch to put on them so we’ll have to wait till tomorrow after he goes to buy some in town. Ate some chef salad that he made, went for my evening walk, then we sat and watched the “Science Channel” till 7pm.
        Got back home and got cracking on those Christmas cards that I need to send out soon, and finished them all by 10pm. My dear friend of many years, Lenore, called to catch up on my doings. She is a late nighter like me and we jawed about old times back when I was working as a security guard at an apartment complex in Redondo Beach where she lived, while I was going to college back in the late 80s. I lived on a sailboat in the harbor that was adjacent to the apartments and had to row back and forth to get to shore. That was a great life living on a boat and I did it for over twenty years!
        Did some more stretches and weights, played my guitar in the dark again, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Thursday 06- did my stretches and ran a mile. Ron Dehart came by a little later and we took his dog Sila for a walk. Sila found a jackrabbit and took off after it without a chance in the world to catch it, but he seemed mighty proud when he came back. Ron brought some chicken pasta that he cooked up and I’ll have it later tonight.
        The Weather: Temps of 47 to 66 degrees. Humidity was around 38 percent. Winds out of the S to SW at 6-19 MPH. With scattered altostratus clouds.
        Jumped into the Gross Polluter and drove down to Joshua Tree so I could mail those Christmas cards that I spent many hours on, and stopped at the Health Food Store to pick up some powdered vitamin C and a pound of yeast. There was a guy in the store sweet-talking the young gal who works at the counter. I could tell he wasn’t from around these parts because, well just because he looked so clean and well groomed. His hair must had been sprayed cause not a one was out of place. He looked to be well fed and a little over weight but fit. Even his nails were manicured! Yuck! But hey the gal was smiling and looked to be quite charmed. I went about my business and finally got to the counter to make my purchases and the guy asked me about the yeast. I said that I put it in my oatmeal every morning, and the gal told him it was for B vitamins. He said something to the effect that he should take it to relieve stress and I told him that if he lived where I live he wouldn’t have that much stress. He left and I paid my bill and went out to my truck where I saw the sweet-talker talking to another gal, while his buddy was waiting for him in a new, not a speck of dust on it, truck (must be from Hollywood). He looked about the same as the sweet-talker but with blond hair. I got in my truck thinking “Hell I’m lucky just to say a few words to a lady”. I guess I was a little jealous of him having the gift of gab, where I never pursued that reality. Maybe I should try a little in being more communicative.
        Went over to Stoney’s where I went up on his roof with the roofing patch and spread it over what holes and cracks I could fine. Then we went inside where I raided his cache of junk food (I don’t keep any at my house) and filled up on a donut, peach pie, mixed nuts, and Cheez-its while Stoney (87 years old) told me of an “Iron Engine” that NASA has developed for a spacecraft that he had seen on TV. He said that they run a high electrical charge somehow through a block of iron and flames come out the backend. And that they had a problem with it where it got clogged up with a speck of dust millions of miles from earth and they had fixed it. All of a sudden it hit me! He was talking about the Deep Space 1 probe and it wasn’t his “Iron Engine” but an “Ion Engine”! We had a good laugh at that one. Again, as yesterday, we sat down and watched the “Science Channel” and I stayed there for a few more hours.
        Got back home and called a few folks to “touch base” and then did some reading of the physics book. Did some stretches and weights, practiced my guitar, wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Friday 07- did my stretches, it was really windy but it wasn’t raining so I went and ran a mile and almost gotten blown over a couple of times, lifted weights, and rode my bike.
        The Weather: Temps of 45 to 57 degrees. Humidity was around 38 percent. Winds out of the S to SW at 13-21 MPH. With scattered altocumulus clouds.
        Updated the website and its calendar to December finally, sent out the newsletter.
        Andrew came by to yap about the bike powered generator he is thinking of creating. I think it is a neat project but you’d have to be pretty fit (about 150 watt hours if you peddle hard) to get it to power anything other than small appliances. We discussed using a flywheel with it, which would store the energy from peddling to turn a generator and help keep it at a constant output. Be fun to experiment with but two 65watt solar panels would do the job without all the work: they just sit in the sun with no moving parts.
        Went for my evening walk and it was still windy and cold.
        Stoney call to say that “Quigley Down Under” (1990) staring Tom Selleck, Laura San Giacomo, Alan Rickman was on at 5pm and invited me over for dinner and a movie. I think that it is one of the best westerns ever made, but I have never seen the whole movie only catching the last half hour or so of it. This time I got to watch the whole movie from start to finish! And yes it is that good!!! Did my laundry while I was there too.
        Got back home and did my studies; I’m on the chapter on Gases in the physics book. Read for a spell in “Cosmos”. I was doing my stretches and lifting weights when Mike called from Hermosa Beach and we jawed while I exercised. I still don’t want to ride the bike at night yet because of the cold wind. I wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Saturday 08- did my stretches because today is a rest day, besides I ran in the cold and wind yesterday!
        The Weather: Temps of 43 to 51 degrees. Humidity was around 33 percent. Winds out of the NW to SW at 9-12 MPH. With a scattered altocumulus clouds again.
        I have been promising Ron that I’d setup an old IBM laptop with a IDE Flash hard drive for him to mess around with. So I had to get all my personal stuff off it and also create a new user for him. Got it already, jumped in the Gross Polluter and took it over to him. Then after we sat around jawing for a while, he showed me a little pinhole in his kitchen where Fire Ants had drill through eight inches of concrete from underneath his house. Amazing! Drove over to check on a friend’s dog while he is away and fed them hotdogs: they was mighty happy about that! Then I stopped over to Stoney’s to chat for a bit; he was watching an old Western movie and I didn’t want to get caught up in that so I said my goodbyes,
        Went for my evening walk listening to an astronomy lecture on the iPod. Called Mom and Dad. Then I spent the rest of the evening reading the physics book and did a little surfing online. Did some stretches and weights, played guitar practicing some songs I written, wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.
Here’s my column for this week’s newspaper:


Copper Mountain Mesa News
By Bob DeLoyd

12/08/07

Our little community late one night, or should I say early one morning on the last day of November, at 3:58am I heard start a noise on my roof. It grew louder and louder until it all combined into a heavy pounding. It was rain! We haven’t had a good rain out here for many months, hell maybe a year or more. It seems that rain always bypasses our little area, but gives surrounding locations a good soaking. When I awoke in the morning it was still raining and didn’t stop till around 6:30pm. Then it started up again around 9pm and continued till 2am Saturday morning. There were a few spots throughout the day where it just sprinkled, but it was mostly a moderate continuous shower with some heavy periods thrown in. Then the next day we had high winds out of the West at 20 to 30 MPH with gusts up to 50. The rain was great but we could do without the high winds! This is really fantastic for our area because all the plant life has been drying up and it had saddened me to see only brown on my evening walks. Last September we had a little sprinkle that lasted for twenty minutes and I hoped it would be enough for the plants to last till a good downpour. It has been so dry here that we didn’t have any of the usual bugs in the spring and summer months, which I didn’t miss too much, and there hasn’t been any critters, they must be hiding in their holes, because of the lack of bugs. Anyways this is a much-welcomed downpour for our little community (bugs and critters included)!

Thought for the week: Being arrogant is having the notion that nobody could ever have the ability to do what you’re exceptional at.


Sunday 09- there was many excuses that I could come up with so as not to go for my run today: it was 39 degrees, windy, and there was a drizzle. But I did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights. It sure does make you feel alive running in the cold!
        The Weather: Temps of 33 to 52 degrees. Humidity was around 50 percent, Winds out of the N to NW at 7-10 MPH, with a light rain and drizzle on and off during the early morning, nimbostratus early, then stratocumulus clouds later on in the day.
        Did some chores around the house and replied to some emails. My brother Kevin called and we yapped for a while. He is downsizing all his belongings like I am: donating, selling, giving away, or just throwing it in the trash. My belief is that too much stuff bogs you down and you become a custodian and caretaker of junk.
        Went over to feed my friend’s dogs. Fed them hotdogs again. They sure like hotdogs! On my way back home I stopped over to Stoney’s to say hi.
        Went for my evening walk but forgot to take my lecture tapes. Dang!
        I had gotten an email yesterday from an old boating and surfing friend, Hotsie, who now lives in Laguna Beach. So I called him up. We talked about the old times, of folks we know who had passed on, or just moved on, and some old surfing spots we had known: Haggerty’s, Burnout, and Rat. Haggerty’s is well known just south of Torrance beach about a mile. When I surfed there in the 60s you could still make out where the pilings for an old pier from the 20s used to be. Hotsie said that you could tell when a big set was coming in because the pilings would become exposed as the water receded. I don’t think the pilings are there anymore. I was never much of a surfer but I did have fun and met a lot of interesting people. Hotsie lived on D dock at Port Royal in Redondo Beach. The locals knew D dock was where the nonconformist docked their boats. It was just a few steps to the bars and restaurants that surround the marina. We’d all gather in the Lobster House café for breakfast and dinner. I remember one old feisty white haired waitress who used to serve us called Blanch. One day I caught a cockroach crawling across the counter and showed it to Blanch and she jokingly but with a straight face accused me of bringing it in. She told me that she had worked at the Proud Bird Restaurant in Los Angeles and served Bobby Kennedy his last lunch before he was assassinated that night in 1968. At that time I was working at a job on Imperial HWY across the street from LA Airport and saw the coffin being hoisted up onto the jet to transport Bobby back to Washington DC, such a sad day for our country. Hotsie ran the Old Peoples Surf Club but doesn’t do it anymore. Maybe I can talk him into starting it back up.
        Did my studies, did my stretches and lifted weights, played guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Monday 10- did my stretches, had to be close to the house for a FEDEX delivery so I ran up and down the hill in front of my home for about a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
        The Weather: Temps of 31 to 50 degrees. Humidity was around 35 percent, Winds out of the N to NW at 5-9 MPH, with few clouds.
        FEDEX arrives with my refurbished Toshiba M200 Tablet around 3pm. I immediately took it out and started playing with it. Quickly found that the “G” on the keyboard doesn’t work, but it is a Tablet and I won’t be using the keyboard that much until I fix it or replace it with a new one (I’ve already checked the price and they aren’t that expensive: less than $30). Spent the rest of the day and most of the night updating Windows XP installing Service Pack 2, and other security updates.
        Went for my evening walk listening to a lecture on the history of Egypt around 1200 BCE, while my Tablet continued to do its updates. When I got back from my walk I stoked up the wood stove to heat up this cold home of mine.
        Andrew came buy to drop me off a couple of donuts (which I consumed after he left) and I got to show off the Tablet to him. I couldn’t show him it in tablet mode because the updates were still downloading.
        Finally I had it all updated and then installed a firewall, anti-virus, Firefox, and a few other add-ons and programs. I put it in tablet mode and began checking out what all programs it has. The pen input works really nice and you can move the pointer arrow around without touching the screen (must have a magnet in it). Started up Microsoft OneNote that comes with it but it asked for a product key. I looked all over on the bottom of the machine and couldn’t find it. I do have the key for OneNote on another computer and will see if it will take it tomorrow. I still have to checkout the Bluetooth and the SD card slot to see if they work, but that will have to wait till tomorrow too because it is getting late.
        Did my stretches, lifted weights, played my guitar, wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Tuesday 11- did my stretches and ran a mile.
        The Weather: Temps of 33 to 51 degrees. Humidity was around 36 percent, Winds out of the NW to SW at 8-10 MPH, with a few altostratus clouds hanging about.
        Dragged my body into the Gross Polluter for the dreaded ride into town to get some supplies. As I thought, everyone was there at WalMart doing their Christmas shopping and I was one among them. I got what I came for, luckily got in a short checkout line that had just opened up, and made my escape out the front where outside I gave my usual dollar to the guitar player. We exchanged a few words and I told him he has lots of competition from the bell ringer who stands by the entrance. He nodded then continued to play after he thanked me of course. I had to stop by Staters to pick up a few boxes of raisins, then got gas in Joshua Tree and was on my way home.
        I went over to Stoney’s for dinner: we had a chef’s salad. “How it’s Made” was on the Science Channel so I stayed there for a while watching how they made toilet paper, electric blenders, and pool tables. I would have stayed longer but I had to get home to do some work.
        I didn’t go for my evening walk because I figured I did enough walking at WalMart. Started writing my column; trying to come up with something new every week about the area I live in can be a chore. When I was done with it I sent off column number 420 to the newspaper.
        Then I got to play with my new “toy”, the Toshiba Tablet. There are all kinds of new stuff I get to mess around with! I got the Bluetooth working and connected it to a Bluetooth dialup modem and it worked dang well. The SD card slot kept asking me if I wanted to format the SD card, and I don’t. The SD card is in FAT 32 format and I believe the Tablet was looking for NTSF, but I’ll have to check that out later. I put the SD card in a USB card reader and plugged it in and the Tablet had no problem reading it that way. The OneNote product key from my other laptop worked and I was able to install OneNote on the Tablet. Ran the Tablet for two hours on its batteries and when I was done it was only down to sixty percent, and that ain’t bad! So everything is working well (except that dead “G” on the keyboard) on this $460 Tablet that had cost around $2000 when it was new three or four years ago.
        It was getting late so I had to put my new toy away. Then I did my stretches, lifted weights, practiced on my guitar, wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night



Wednesday 12- did my stretches, ran two miles, rode my bike, and lifted weights. When I went outside to do my run I noticed that the small cement pond in front of my house was frozen!
        The Weather: Temps of 28 to 51 degrees. Humidity was around 33 percent, Winds out of the N to NE at 2-4 MPH, no clouds.
        I thought I better get Judith’s computer done and create more space in my cramped computer room, so I finished it up and called her to come get it. She arrived and I carried it out to her truck. She told me that her mother Juanita had died last Monday after many months in a convalescent hospital. I told her I was sad to hear this and that I would write something about Juanita in my column. Juanita was a big bingo player and I used to see her a lot at the potlucks, always smiling and having a good time. Judith said that her Mom was a bright star that had left God’s Earth. I gave her a big hug.
        Called a few folks up to touch base; Seimi, who is recovering from a dog bite; Lee, to see when I can come over to install his printer, but he said that Andrew had already hooked it up; Stoney, just to jaw; and Joel, to see if he was still alive.
        Went for my evening walk and listened to a physics lecture. Got back home and played around with the Tablet for a while. Then did my studies and read till 11pm. Did some more stretches and weights, practiced my guitar, wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Thursday 13- since I ran a long run yesterday I’m taking a rest and only did my stretches. Besides it’s cold out there!
        The Weather: Another cement pond freezing Temps of 28 to 51 degrees. Humidity was around 33 percent, Winds out of the N to NW at 3-6 MPH, with early morning and late afternoon stratocumulus clouds.
        Had to do some chores around the house. While I was doing these I defragged the hard drive and performed a spyware scan on the Tablet PC. I was low on firewood for my stove and cut up all kinds that should last for a few weeks. After that I basically just messed around doing odds and ends. Had a spear 128RAM I put in the Tablet.
        Went for my evening walk and listened to the last of the set of three lectures I had on the iPod and will refill it tonight with another three: Physics, Early Mediterranean History, and Astronomy. I have an iPod Shuffle and find it hard to use because it is so small (that’s why I bought it in the first place) the buttons are so close that sometimes I’ll hit one by accident and skip to the next lecture loosing my place so that I have to hunt for it again. Done this many times too! The Shuffle maybe good for listening to songs, but not for lectures, I’ll have to find something else with a display.
        When I got back from my walk my feet were really cold so I started a fire and heated some water. While the water was heating I updated the CopperMountainMesa.com website and sent out the newsletter. When I got done with that I soaked my feet in a bucket of hot water and it felt mighty good! My feet stayed warm all through the night.
        Did my studies for the next three hours reading about Thermodynamics. That was the last chapter in book1; next in book2 are Light, Magnetism, and Electricity. Did my stretches and practiced on my guitar.
        I’ve been wanting to take out the telescope but the wind, clouds, and cold weather have been keeping me inside since my head-cold, but tonight is the peak Geminids Meteor Shower and I just had to go outside for a bit to check them out. I saw four meteors streak across the sky in the first minute I was out there. It should get better as the night wears on but I scurried inside where it was warm. Maybe before I go to bed around 3am I’ll sneak out to have another look see.
        Wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Friday 14- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights. It was 38 degrees when I went for my run! Us desert folks ain’t use to that!
        The Weather: Temps of 30 to 52 degrees. Humidity was around 33 percent, Winds out of the NW to SE at 4-7 MPH, few clouds.
        Worked on the website updating a few things and put a “Special Notice” about Juanita’s passing on the top of the page with a picture of her and Judith. Also updated the Tablet’s OneNote to Service Pack 3, which was a 32Meg download. Then I spent most of the afternoon trying to learn OneNote. Of course they (Microsoft) say it is simple to learn, and I made a little headway, but it has so many bells and whistles that it gets really confusing sometimes. I may have to try their online tutorials. Ordered a MDC 1.5V modem car for the ASUS EEE from Ebay for five bucks plus shipping. Now all I need to do is figure how to install it when it arrives next week.
        Stoney called to invite me over for dinner. Joel called to talk about the new Indian Casino that is going to be built over in 29 Palms on Adobe Road south of 62 Hwy, just pass Bar Lumber. It will take up 180 acres and have 145 slot machines to start. In phase two they may build a hotel. It should create some 200 jobs. I don’t know yet what kind of impact it may have on our little area because we are some 20 miles away. There are concerns of it being so close to the Joshua Tree National Park, and mine is light pollution.
        Went for my evening walk and listened to a lecture on ancient Mediterranean Civilization. Then I drove on over to Stoney’s for dinner. Roger Smith was there helping us devour this concoction that Stoney came up with. It was macaroni with corn, hamburger, with some other stuff mixed in.
        Did my studies, started book two for “Understanding Physics” by Isaac Asimov. Kath dropped by with some supplies I had asked her to get me from the Smart and Final store. She came inside for a bit to visit Fat Cat and he enjoyed his tummy being scratched. After she left I continued reading.
        Did my stretches and lifted weights, practiced guitar, then watched “Numbers” on CBS about a hostage situation in an elevator. Afterwards I wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.
        Last night I said that I might go outside before I went to bed to watch the Geminids Meteor Shower. Well I did and I braved the cold for a half hour and saw some mighty nice meteors come shooting across the sky, there were many! I saw one that was so wide and so long that it left a streak in the sky that took a minute to fade away. Very cool!


Saturday 15- did my stretches and ran a mile.
        The Weather: Temps of 30 to 53 degrees. Humidity was around 31 percent, calm winds and no clouds.
        Worked on both trucks replacing the battery terminals. Took the battery I had been solar charging and put it back in the “Faithful” truck (the one with the bad transmission) and got it started after several months of just sitting around looking lonely.
        Dale from Landers called and we yapped for a spell about his disability claim that finally went through. He’s mighty happy about that.
        Frank and Mary dropped by to give me a Christmas card after going to 29 Palms were they braved the cold to protest against someone who was going to lecture there. I told them I don’t get involved in those kinds of things, but the Lecturer had a right to speak and that they had the right to protest. I showed them my new telescope and invited them over some night for a little stargazing.
        Went on my evening walk and listened to the rest of the lecture on ancient Mediterranean Civilization. Then I called my Mom and Dad and had a nice chat.
        Watched “American Beauty” (1999) Staring Kevin Spacey, and Annette Bening. Andrew gave it to me to watch over a year ago. I had never heard of the movie, it won 5 Oscars; I guess I was doing other things in 1999. Great movie!
        The sky was very clear and the “Seeing” was excellent. The Moon had just set so I went outside with the large telescope (it was very cold out there) for about an hour or so. I still couldn’t get good resolution on Mars, but the Orion Nebula stood out even in my highest power eyepiece, it was just fantastic! Besides the Trapezium Cluster, I could see a large dark cloud formation with a few young stars nestled inside that resolved mighty fine in my eyepiece. I would have stayed out longer but my feet were starting to hurt from the cold. The telescope optics performed magnificently but the mount still needs to be tweaked to where it doesn’t jerk when you move it and rests easily on the object you are viewing.
        Did my stretches and lifted weights, practiced my guitar, wrote in my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Sunday 16- did my stretches, ran two miles, rode my bike, and lifted weights. It was 38degrees when I went for my run but I just think of those poor folks back east and cold doesn’t seem all that bad anymore.
        The Weather: Temps of 31 to 54 degrees. Humidity was around 30 percent, calm winds and a few altostratus clouds.
        Called some of my Family and friends to touch base; that took up the better part of the day. Talked to my Sister Shiela about some safe investing ideas I had for her. Jawed with my friend Kula who had just gotten back from a week in Hawaii. Chewed the fat with Billie in Redondo Beach. Called my brother Kevin and we yakked for a spell about the Little Ice Age and when it started: (From Wikipedia: Little Ice Age) ” There is no agreed beginning year to the Little Ice Age, although there is a frequently referenced series of events preceding the known climatic minima. Starting in the 13th century, pack ice began advancing southwards in the North Atlantic, as did glaciers in Greenland. The three years of torrential rains beginning in 1315 ushered in an era of unpredictable weather in Northern Europe which did not lift until the 19th century. There is anecdotal evidence of expanding glaciers almost worldwide. In contrast, a climate reconstruction based on glacial length shows no great variation from 1600 to 1850, though it shows strong retreat thereafter.
For this reason, any of several dates ranging over 400 years may indicate the beginning of the Little Ice Age:
* 1250 for when Atlantic pack ice began to grow
* 1300 for when warm summers stopped being dependable in Northern Europe
* 1315 for the rains and Great Famine of 1315-1317
* 1550 for theorized beginning of worldwide glacial expansion
* 1650 for the first climatic minimum
In contrast to its uncertain beginning, there is a consensus that the Little Ice Age ended in the mid-19th century.”
Went for my evening walk and listened to that history lecture. Here’s the column I wrote for the newspaper:


Copper Mountain Mesa News

By Bob DeLoyd


12/15/07


Our little community's Copperettes Annual Christmas Basket is a wonderful project that benefits our less fortunate Mesa neighbors who may need a little joy this coming holiday. If you live in our area and would like a Christmas Basket please call Mary Helen Tuttle. All calls handled discreetly.

Hoss Kuhn held a birthday party for his wife Sandy over at Lee and Marcie Hines home. We all ate some mighty good enchiladas that Marcie cooked, and a cake too! As Sandy opened presents we all sang Happy Birthday.

Every year Mike and Stevie Villarreal invite friends and neighbors to their home for turkey that has been broiled in a big pot of peanut oil. I've always heard that it is the best way to cook a turkey but have never had tasted it myself. Mike explained that it cooks for about an hour and a half, and the secret for a good tasting turkey is to cook it at 350 degrees so the oil doesn't get into the turkey. Well the turkey was ready and we all went and got our food buffet style and sat down to eat in the big new but uncompleted room that Mike is working on. I was invited back next year and you can be sure I'll be there.

Thought for the week: I was hoping to come up with something to do with the future and how it is a vast and empty unknown that we have the power to shape for the better if we tried, but I still don't know how to phrase it correctly. There is so much good that goes on in this world of ours that never gets reported, and the Network News makes it all seem like the world may end tomorrow, but hey we're all still here!


        Messed around surfing the web for a while. Then did my stretches, lifted weights, went for my nightly run (I think I’ll start this up again), practiced on my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.

Monday 17- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights. I’m taking tomorrow off!
        The Weather: Temps of 32 to 56 degrees. Humidity was around 37 percent, winds out of the NW to SW at 4-8 MPH, with mostly clear skies and lenticular clouds far off towards the west.
        Stoney came by to drop off a bag of groceries for me from the USDA food distribution. They had some eighty folks show up and ran out of food, so they shut everything up and left earlier than usual. Stoney looked mighty tired.
        Was such a nice day that I stayed outside to water all my plants, cleaned up the yard some, and did a little maintenance on the Gross Polluter.
        Went for my evening walk and listened to a physics lecture on friction.
        Jimmy called me up to tell me that he and his Family are going over to Stoney’s for Christmas, and told me all about his new truck that has all these modern innovations built into it. The truck has OnStar, Satellite Radio, sonar backup, seats that adjust automatically to each driver, and all kinds of other things that you can think of. I think I will be embarrassed to take my old truck over when I go for a visit; maybe I’ll ride my bike. Jimmy is also bringing me four 6-volt lead acid batteries for my solar system, so maybe I’ll have to take the truck after all if I want to get them to my house.
        Did my studies and completed the book “Cosmos” by Carl Sagan. Then I did my stretches, lifted weights, went for my nightly run up the hill and back, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Tuesday 18- My day off from exercising, so I just did my stretches. Ron called and invited me over for dinner at 5pm.
        The Weather: Temps of 36 to 58 degrees. Humidity was around 43 percent, winds out of the W to S at 3-10 MPH, with altostratus becoming altocumulus clouds by evening.
        Wrote my column for the newspaper and sent it in. Joel came by with my mail and a box of Danish pastries: yum! The MDC modem card was in the mail that Joel brought and I get to install it in the ASUS EEE laptop, but first I need to find out how to disassemble the EEE; I will do this later on tonight.
        Patty called to say that her computer monitor isn’t working. I asked her if she checked all the cables to see if one got unplugged and she said she did. I told her that I have an extra monitor I could lend her and that I’d bring it over at 4pm.
        Called Stoney to jaw with him for a while. Then I hunted down the monitor, stuck it in the truck, and drove on over to Patty’s. I lugged the monitor into her house and got ready to replace her old one, but when I pulled it away from the wall I could see that it was unplugged from the system. Plugged it back in and told her it was fixed.
        Got over to Ron’s early and had a tasty meal of curried chicken in a spinach sauce with rice. We talked about the new casino that is going in at Twentynine Palms and how the area is getting more crowded than when we first moved up here. We decided to take in a movie tomorrow in Yucca Valley.
        Got home just in time to watch “NOVA: Missing in Mig Alley” on PBS. About the Korean War where American F-86 Sabre and Soviet MiG-15 fought in the air over North Korea, and what ever happened to thirty missing American pilots who were shot down during the conflict. Very interesting.
        Got to work disassembling the ASUS EEE laptop to put the modem card in. Spent several hours going to websites to gather information, then taking it apart, finding that the cable was way to short on the card, splicing wires to make it longer, finding that one of the wires came loose on the connector and having to solder it directly to the motherboard, putting it halfway back together, and taking it back apart again because some wires were blocking a hole and the keyboard wouldn’t fit, putting it all back together again, hooking it up to dialup, finding it still needed a driver and that somehow the sound card is not functioning now. I will have to take it all back apart to see what I forgotten to connect so that the sound card doesn’t work. But that can all wait till tomorrow. Hey it gives me something to do, I don’t mind too much of taking the risk of ruining it, because I’ll learn something and it is the price of tuition you pay for the experience!
        Did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Wednesday 19- did my stretches, ran a mile, lifted weights, and rode my bike. Nice sunny day outside!
        The Weather: Temps of 40 to 60 degrees. Humidity was around 49 percent, winds out of the E to S at 4-7 MPH, with cumulus clouds off on the horizon.
        I had to be over at Ron’s at 1:30pm to go to the movies, so I was in a rush to get a few things done. Last night I checked out some pics of the ASUS EEE laptop motherboard and found that the sound chip was on the backside exactly placed where the modem is and determined that maybe the problem why the system doesn’t recognize the sound chip and no sound. So I took it all apart, removed the modem, assembled it all back together, and booted it back up in less than half an hour (better than the two hours or so last night). Now the sound works! I will have to do some research on what drivers the modem takes and why it would affect the sound chip.
        Went online to find that UPS is delivering a package today, so I had to write up a message and a Christmas card for Sam our UPS driver telling him to leave it over the fence. Got a whole lot of other stuff done and then I was off to Ron’s.
        We saw the movie “I Am Legend” starring Wil Smith. The last man on earth (he thinks) the rest of the 6 billion of us came down with a virus that had mutated from a measles vaccine that was genetically engineered to cure cancer. Great special effects, especially Times Square being over run with weeds, except for the infected dogs that didn’t seem too real (both me and Ron thought the same) it was all very believable. Reminded me of a movie in 1971 called “The Omega Man” starring Chariton Heston that was based on the same book. Wil Smith did a fine job and I liked the flick!
        Got home just as Sam the UPS guy drove up! Did my studies until “Wired Science” came on at 8pm. About: Blind folks seeing with their tongues, interview with Craig Venter (the first guy to have his genes sequenced), reverse-engineering of rockets that launched man to the moon for use with the new moon program (seems like they forgot to write this all down in the 60s), and digitizing books using games.
        Redid all the updates on the ASUS EEE laptop. Did my stretches, went for my nightly run, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Thursday 20- did my stretches and ran two miles.
        The Weather: Temps of 43 to 58 degrees. Humidity was around 37 percent, winds out of the E to S at 6-15 and gusts up to 35 MPH, with altostratus clouds.
        Dana and Karen brought me over a Christmas basket full of cookies. (They didn’t last long!)
        worked around the house some moving and storing this and that; kind of like shuffling junk around. Andrew came by to jaw and do some computer work. He went with me on my evening walk. Then I went on over to Stoney’s for dinner and watched “How Things are Made” on the Science Channel. They showed how nails and staples are made.
        Did my studies, did my stretches, didn’t go for my nightly run because the wind was blowing very hard, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Friday 21- did my stretches but it was way to windy to do my running, weights, and bike. Must be gusting up to 30 MPH!
        The Weather: Temps of 41 to 50 degrees. Humidity was around 37 percent, winds out of the NW at 18-20 MPH, with no clouds (they all got blown away).
        Went to my mailbox that is six miles down the road to see if a donation to the Community Center from Sandra had arrived; it did. She had set it out last Saturday and we both have been a little worried about it being late. Stopped over to Roger T’s home to yap with him for a while and collect for my dialup service; he is now all paid up till May. Then I went on down to Lee and Marcie’s to load a file containing pictures of Sandy’s birthday party that I had taken two weeks ago. I asked if they were going to potluck and they said to me that they were advised that there would be no potluck because of the kitchen was being renovated. I told them that it was news to me and asked them who informed them that there would be no potluck and they said that they couldn’t remember who told them that. I said we’re going to have potluck anyways because I ran it in my column. We don’t need no kitchen for potluck because all the food is cooked and brought in from elsewhere. Marcie gave me a cup and saucer for Christmas.
        Got home, did some work on the computer, got restless and called Stoney to see what he was up to. He is outside barbecuing pork chops. “How can you barbecue in all this wind I asked.” “Well I just am,” he says. So he invited me over and I went and got there just as he had finished cooking the chops. I don’t know how they’re going to taste,” he says, “Because they’d been in the freezer for a very long time.” They surely had because there was no taste to them at all, like eating cardboard! So we tossed the chops and cooked up some chili beans out of a can and sat to watch the Science Channel for a while.
        Got back home around 7pm and the wind had died down so I went for my mile run. It was still blowing a little out of the NW and the cold cut right on through to my long johns, but it was a good run and I felt the better for it. When I got back I stoked up a fire in the wood stove, sat at my computer and updated the CopperMountainMesa.com website and sent out the newsletter. Did my stretches and lifted weights, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Saturday 22- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights. It was very cold this morning and the cement pond had frozen over.
        The Weather: Temps of 30 to 49 degrees, with winds out of the NW at 3-6 MPH, humidity around 29 percent, no clouds.
        Called a few folks to say hi and to let them know I’m still alive. Cleaned the house some. Mostly just stayed inside doing the little boring things that keeps everything functional.
        Here’s this weeks news column for the paper:


Copper Mountain Mesa News
By Bob DeLoyd
12/22/07

Our little community is sad to inform you that longtime resident, and neighbor, Juanita Marx (born 1924) had passed away on Monday, the 10th of December after many months in a convalescent hospital. Juanita was a big bingo enthusiast; when she won she'd stick her finger high in the air for all to see. We also used to see Juanita with her daughter Judith at the potlucks (they were an inseparable pair) always smiling and having a good time. Judith said that her Mom was a bright star that had left God's Earth. Juanita will be dearly missed by all of us.

I’ve been wanting to take out the telescope but the wind, clouds, and cold weather have been keeping me inside since my head-cold, but Thursday and early Friday morning on the 14th was the peak Geminids Meteor Shower and I just had to go outside for a bit to check them out. I saw four meteors streak across the sky in the first minute I was out there. It got better as the night wore on but I scurried inside where it was warm. I braved the cold again at 3am and saw some mighty nice meteors come shooting across the sky, there were many! I saw one that was so wide and so long that it left behind a streak in the sky that took a minute to fade away. Very cool!

Now don’t you all fail to remember that Potluck is next Saturday! Juanita Marx will be remembered there. Bring your leftovers from Christmas; that’ll save you from eating all them ham or turkey sandwiches and casseroles for the next few weeks or so. We’ll be expecting you at 4pm!

Thought for the week: Reflect on this a little: If you drink and drive you are not only putting your own life at risk but other’s as well; life is precious! Have a happy and safe holiday!


        Went for my evening walk and listened to a lecture on Astronomy. Called Stoney to see what he was up to; he’s baking peanut butter cookies! I think I’ll stop by his place tomorrow and grab me some. Called my Mom and Dad and yakked at them for a while. They are going over to my sister Audrey’s for dinner on Christmas day.
        It was very cold outside and I decided not to go for a nightly run but instead stoked up the wood stove, heated some water to put in a bucket so I could soak my cold feet. Kind of like a poor man’s hot tub! Anyways while I was soaking my feet Mike from Hermosa Beach called to say hi and we jawed for a spell.
        I wrote next weeks column early and sent it to the newspaper. They are usually very busy this time of year and they appreciate when they get it early on. Then I wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.



Journey to Tucson for Christmas: Sunday 23- Got up and decided to take the “Gross Polluter” to Tucson for a Family visit for three days. This will be the first time ever that I've been with my Family for Christmas and I'm really excited! I've been thinking of going for the last two weeks but I didn't want to dwell on a commitment, so I made my decision when I woke up and called my brother Kevin to ask if I could stay with him and he gracefully said yes. Then I called Ron Dehart to ask him to watch Fat Cat while I'm away; Fat Cat will stay inside the house where it is warm and will have plenty of food and I left the radio on to some talk show (I hope he doesn't get to opinionated). I quickly gathered up everything I needed and stuffed it in my backpack. Dropped over to Stoney’s to tell him I was going, and to get some peanut butter cookies. Got to Twentynine Palms to gas up and headed east on HWY 62 when I remembered that I had left the power on to some wires that I didn’t want Fat Cat to play with and burn down my home (and him), so I drove back and took care of that and then took HWY 62 west through Palm Springs instead. I won’t go that way again because of a large hill you have to climb just out of Indio.
        It was getting dark and I didn’t want to take the Phoenix bypass, which is sometimes only one lane on both sides with cars and trucks going 80 MPH, I didn’t want to attempt this at night. So I drove on to Phoenix and since it was Sunday night I weaved and swerved my way through that city going 75 MPH. Phoenix is a very large city and even speeding at 75 it took a while to transverse. There is a very long tunnel with lights on the ceiling about halfway through Phoenix that if you don’t let your mind wander can be very hypnotizing.
        Arrived at my destination seven hours later and parked at my sister Audrey’s home. John her husband said she was at Mom and Dad’s, who live just across the street, so I went and visited them for a while till my brother Kevin showed up and I followed him to his house. Then we went to Carl’s Jr. for a Super Star with extra mayonnaise. Kevin and I have done this on my last trip to Tucson: it’s kind of a tradition now. It was way to cold to sleep in the truck so I got my sleeping bag all set up in a spare room and then my Brother and I jawed late into the night.

Journey to Tucson for Christmas: Monday 24- did my stretches. Kevin and I went out to this café for breakfast and I had two eggs over easy with biscuits and gravy that didn’t sit to well in my gut. Did a few errands and then we went over to his daughter Crystal, who is three months pregnant, to collect her for the trip over to Mom and Dad’s to participate in the Family tradition of drinking eggnog on Christmas Eve (nobody else but Dad can pour the drinks and if you go to make your own he growls at you). I had my eggnog straight, as did Crystal. My sisters Audrey and her husband John, Paula and husband Mark and his Mom, and Shiela all arrived. My nieces Suzie and her daughter Alyssa, Cara and her husband John, Laura and her daughter Isabella we had a great time playing this game where you take turns pulling pieces of wood bars from a tower made of them until it falls. Crystal got really hungry (being 3 Months PG), Kevin tried to microwave and over cooked some pizza pieces for her and she started to cry saying she needed real food. So we rushed her to Carl’s Jr. where she got a Supper Star (and so did I). Then we dropped her off and headed to Kev’s and watched “Law and Order” and jawed some more.

Journey to Tucson for Christmas: Tuesday 25- did my stretches. It is my “very long” awaited first Christmas Day with my Family. We went on over to Mom and Dad’s and stayed there for sometime visiting with my nephew Aaron and his wife Jennifer and their two kids Ciara Lynn and baby son Ryvre before they had to leave for other commitments. And then we all moseyed on over across the street to Audrey’s house for Christmas dinner. Well we got there late and I got to meet a bunch of John’s relatives only briefly as they were in the process of saying goodbye. Shiela couldn’t come because she was down with a cold. Crystal’s Mark was there; we never get to see him much because he is always away working as a chef at some high-class restaurant. He made some candied yams that were to die for!
It was a real pleasure to sit with my two wonderful Sisters; there were lots of hugs. And it was real sad for me to say goodbye to them; seems like we are always saying goodbye. But Kevin and me were invited over to Aaron’s for a little get together and had to leave. When we finally got back to Kevin’s we were all tuckered out but managed to stay up late talking about what brothers talk about, well into the night.

Journey to Tucson for Christmas: Wednesday 26-The Trip Home- did my stretches, stuffed everything back into my backpack, threw all of it in the back of the Gross Polluter, and was checking the oil and water when Kevin noticed that my right rear tire was very low So we drove to a gas station and filled it up. I thought it just had leaked a bit from sitting for three days and no big deal. So off I went saying goodbye to my Brother for a good start on my journey. After 150 miles I stopped to get gas and the tire was low again. While I was putting more air into it I noticed a nail! I know by experience not to pull it out and decided I would need to stop every fifty miles or so to check it and fill it up with air. I did this all the way home until I reached Palm Springs when the tire blew up and started shredding completely as I made my way to the side of the freeway where there was a little bit of space where I could put on the spare tire (that was flat but I had a can of fix-a-flat for that purpose). While I was doing all this cars and trucks were zooming on by at 70 to 90 MPH only a few feet away: Yikes! Well I got it all together and limped my way back home checking the tire every five miles or so till I felt confident that it would hold. Relieved, I finally got home, was greeted happily by my Fat Cat, and called Mom and Dad to tell them I was safe and sound in my own little place that I call my home. Here are a few more pictures and a movie!
I had such a wonderful time with these fine folks that I think I'll come back again for Christmas next year!!!


video


Friday 27- did my stretches and ran a mile. Very cold and windy; it was 38 degrees when I started my run!
        The Weather: Temps of 26 to 45 degrees, with winds out of the N to NW at 15-18 MPH, humidity around 28 percent, no clouds until later in the evening.
        Jimmy and his Family came by with four 6volt batteries for my solar system! We spent a spell jawing and I showed them my new telescope. I only hope that the wind dies down so they can come over one night to look through it before they leave. Jimmy showed me his new truck that he let his fifteen-year-old daughter Angela drive over to my house from Stoney’s. They invited me over to Stoney’s for dinner; it will be either Sloppy Joes or pork steaks; Stoney hadn’t decided yet.
        Spent the time before going over for dinner putting stuff away from my trip. Mike from Hermosa called, and so did Ron Dehart, to ask how my trip to Tucson was. I told them it doesn’t get much better than that (except for the flat tire).
        Went on over to Stoney’s to eat pork steaks, mash potatoes with gravy with his son Jimmy and Clarice, their daughter Angela, nephew Ryan, and Grandmaw. Angela and Ryan were wrestling in the front room and Angela pulled one of his socks off his foot and threw it outside; Angela is bigger than Ryan! I had a mighty good meal and it filled me right up, and a goodtime too.
        Spent the rest of the night working on my blog and my Families blog updating them with pictures and a movie, but I did find time to do my stretches and lift some weights before I went to bed and called it a night.


Friday 28- I am going to town today and wanted to get an early start so I just did my stretches.
        The Weather: Temps of 26 to 48 degrees, with winds out of the NE to SE at 4-11 MPH, humidity around 34 percent, no clouds until later in the afternoon.
        I needed to get the tire that blew up on the freeway replaced really bad (I don’t like riding around without a spare tire) so I jumped into the Gross Polluter and drove on into town. I stopped at the Post office to pick up two packages from my Sisters, and then continued on to WalMart. When I arrived I took out the shredded tire from the back of the truck and a service mechanic approached me and asked if I wanted it repaired. Seeing how the tire was beyond any kind of redemption I jokingly told him that I wanted it patched up. He laughed and said we better get a new tire for it and that it would take an hour and a half to get it done. So I went over to Stater Bros. to get some supplies and browsed around WalMart till it was done. I stopped to talk to the guitar player that sits outside WalMart. He says he had just gotten back from visiting his family in Chino and he said that the folks there weren’t none too friendly; they ignored him whenever he would say howdy to them in passing and that they were too busy with their own lives to reply. I agreed and said it was a sad situation when folks can’t find the time to be pleasant. I dropped my usual dollar into his guitar case and went on my way as he strummed away on his guitar singing a song.
        My tire was finally ready and I mounted it under the truck as a spare and was on my way. Stopped to get gas in JT, picked up what mail there was at my mailbox and decided to just bypass my home, figuring that it was so cold outside that my groceries would keep, and drive on over to Stoney’s to see what he and his Family were doing. Stoney and Jimmy were watching Westerns on the TV and Clarice, Angela, Ryan, and Grandmaw were in the kitchen building a gingerbread house and decorating it with gumdrops and icing. I took a picture of it as they got it all completed, and it was a good thing I did because five minutes later it was taken apart and eaten. I watched the Westerns for a while till it got too much for me and asked Jimmy to show me his new truck. We sat in the truck for some time playing with all the fancy gadgets. Jimmy even made a call on his OnStar to Ryan’s dad who is taking care of his house while Jimmy is away. Stoney shined a flashlight from the front door of the house, to cold to come outside, telling us that the Sloppy Joes were ready and it was time to eat. Clarice cooked up four pounds of hamburger in the Sloppy Joes and we consumed it all.
        Got home around eight, called a few folks who left messages on the answering machine, and then I updated the CopperMountainMesa.com website and sent out the newsletter. Watched “Numbers” on CBS (a rerun) about a drug cartel that were sabotaging electrical power substations and causing blackouts in certain parts of the city, in a plan to assassinate one of their members in a prison who had decided to collaborate with the Feds. Then I did my stretches and lifted weights, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, and called it a night.


Saturday 29- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
        The Weather: Temps of 29 to 52 degrees, with winds out of the N to SE at 4-8 MPH, humidity around 39 percent, a cold haze in the morning and a few altostratus clouds throughout the day.
        Worked around in the yard watering plants. Used an electric air pump, which I purchased at WalMart for nine bucks, on a flat tire on the “Faithful Truck” (the one with the blown transmission) it pumped very slow and took half an hour to fill it up. I hooked up two of the 6-volt batteries that Jimmy gave me to one of my old 40Watt solar panels and I will use that as backup to my main batteries. Called my Mom and Dad and yakked about this property I found in Bisbee Arizona.
        I got to get things ready to go to potluck, washed my hair and shaved. Made my “Famous” sweet potatoes with raisins, maple syrup, butter, and brown sugar, which everyone liked last Thanksgiving (at least they said they did). Stoney drove by with Ryan to drop off some of his chili beans on his way to potluck. I got everything together and headed on down to the community center in the gross polluter. Let me see; there was Rick and Bob S., Stoney and his Family, Judy, Rose, Lee and Marcie, two couples that I’ve never met before: one couple live on Daisy Lane over by Bob S. and the other lives down on Winters Road by the well. Gosh, I am sorry that I don’t remember their names (must be the cold weather). The couple that lives on Winters had grown up in Torrance where I did some of my growing up too! Marcie had some sad news for all of us; Hoss our friend had died last night in the hospital. We knew he was going to go soon but not this soon! Marcie brought some macaroni with hamburger, and Clarice brought her extra crispy lasagna, she blamed it on a John Wayne movie she was watching at the time, the cheese was a little burnt but it was still great. There was coffee, two kinds of pies, and when everyone had their fill we all sat around and jawed for a spell.
        When I got home I copied all the pictures that I had taken of Stoney and his Family to a CD and drove on over to give it to Jimmy, they are leaving tomorrow and I wanted them to have it. I stayed there for a while watching a John Wayne movie with them (there must be a John Wayne marathon going on) and then said my goodbyes; they are a mighty nice bunch!
        Went for my nightly run up the hill early, I haven’t done a nightly run in a few days and I wanted to get it done before it got too cold. Did my stretches, lifted weights, practiced guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Sunday 30- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
        The Weather: Temps of 31 to 55 degrees, calm winds, humidity around 35 percent, no clouds.
        Jimmy and his Family stopped by for a brief visit before going home while I was doing some yard work. Hopefully they’ll come again soon. I took two of the 6-volt batteries and used them to replace a 12-volt marine battery that I was using for my 12-volt DC system. I will use the marine battery in the trailer out back along with a small 10Watt solar panel. Ron M. dropped by on his way back home after driving from LA where he has a home he is refurbishing to rent. He lives a little over a quarter of a mile away and I told him I liked his Christmas lights he has hung around his home.
Here’s My column for last Saturday I wrote for the newspaper:


Copper Mountain Mesa News
By Bob DeLoyd
12/29/07

Our little community would like to thank all them folks who make our community a wonderful and interesting area to live: To Copper Mountain Mesa Board members for keeping the gears grinding and to contributors like Sandra Foyil and her brothers for greasing them with their generous donations every year in memory of their Grandpaw Tex; To the folks who help out with the USDA food distribution and to those who get their food there; To the hard workers who put on the “Fabulously Fine First Saturday Breakfast” and the individuals who dare to eat it (actually the food is quite good I heard); To those who manage bingo and to all them bingo players, win or lose, who keep coming back; To all them hermits that we rarely see; To our industrious arts and crafts community who create amazing things; And to the compassionate folks who care for all the injured critters out here in our locale. To each and every one of you who live in our little community we wish you well and a happy new year!

Thought for the week: A World without hope there is merely pity. A World without love there is simply sorrow. And a World without compassion there is only greed. I would not think that we would want to live in such a World. A new year, a new beginning!


        Went for my evening walk. When I got back Joel called to say he is bringing me a meat burrito from Santana’s in JT. Cool! I sat outside watching the sunset and the ice melting in the cement pond. I called Joan and said hi to her and we talked about her bird “Rusty” that had passed on last week: he was eight and a half years old and a constant companion to Joan. Joel arrived with the burrito and I was just sitting down to eat it when a long lost friend called me up. His name is Larry Carlock and lives in Vista. We grew up together attending grade school and high school, surfed (I was never very good at it), and spent the early part of our adult life together. We haven’t seen each other since 1980. He said he was out in my area a week ago and picked up the Hi Desert Star newspaper and read my column and was surprised to find out it was me. We jawed for quite a while catching up on each other’s lives. I told him that I had done a search on him a few weeks ago and was going to call him after the holidays. Larry says that I might find him knocking at my front door someday soon. This is really cool! My Family found me, my old childhood friend calls, Richard (Hotsie) an old boating buddy emails me, now all I need is my old girlfriend from long ago to get in touch and my life will be complete. Actually it’s pretty dang complete already!
        Thought I’d better get my next column written and into the newspaper early because of the holiday, so I spent the next few hours composing it and sent it in. Watched “NOVA” on PBS about plants and their seeds and how plants manipulate animals to disperse the seeds to every part of our planet. Then I did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my evening run up the hill and back. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Monday 31- did my stretches and ran three miles.
        The Weather: Temps of around 32 to 56, winds are calm, humidity was around 27 percent, not a cloud in the sky.
        Worked in the yard watering plants that I missed yesterday. Cleaned out all the books and computers from the big trailer and stored them in the small trailer. I am going to fix up the big trailer for any of my friends or Family who happen by and need a place to stay.
        Went for my evening walk and then drove over to visit Stoney (he had some of that pecan pie leftover from when Jimmy and his Family came to visit). Tomorrow he invited me over for dinner. We are having black-eyed peas; Stoney says that they will make you prosperous if you eat them on the first day of the year. I said that having good friends and family that care about you should be prosperous enough.
        Decided to start writing my journal early and do a yearend wrap-up and then do my stretches, lift weights, practice my guitar, and at midnight do a run to bring in the new year. And that is just what I did! Right at midnight I was halfway up the hill on my run when I heard gunshots, saw fireworks in the southern sky down by HWY 62, and heard some folks in the distance hoot and holler. So I left the old year and entered the New Year running! Goodbye 2007! You’ve been a wonderful and exciting year!

This year I have accomplished a few goals that I had put forth last New Years and continued those from previous years: I’m still not doing tobacco or drinking coffee, but I’m still chewing the nicotine gum.
I do my stretches everyday, and lift weights, run, ride my bike almost everyday. I practice my guitar every night: sometimes in the dark so that I will get used to the fingerboard without looking at it. I’ve run eight and ten miles recently. I go for a walk most every evening, and started doing nightly runs up the hill in front of my house. I have been eating better; stopped eating candy bars, and tried to stay away from donuts, cookies, (at least I don’t buy them) and no soft drinks.
I’ve also taken and completed courses online: Understanding Windows Vista Business edition, Build your business identity, Create your own marketing, Introduction to programming, Linux 201: administering Linux for users
Getting organized, Jump-start your creativity: exploring Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks.
I started a dialup service as a hobby and have a few local folks as users. I haven’t decided to expand this into a business yet.
I spent my Christmas with my family for the first time ever! That was a very important event in my life and one I really had to do to feel whole!

Goals I set for 2007 were: hiking, learn Photography, a Programming Language, and some Math.
I wanted to do more hiking this year but I haven’t done as much as I would have liked; it’s a bummer hiking alone, but hopefully I will find someone, preferably a woman companion, to hike with this new year; if you know of one who likes to hike let me know!
Photography; I did some reading on the subject through an online newsletter, but I still need to stay a little more “focused” on it.
Programming: I took an online class, wrote a couple of programs in Basic, but never decided which language to study. To be honest, I found that I don’t really like programming. I took programming in college many years ago: Fortran, Cobol, and Assembly Language, and I didn’t like it then. At least I gave it a go and learned a little. I may continue playing around with the Assembly Language because it gets right down to the “nuts and bolts” of the processor.
Math: I’ve decided to learn Geometry.

Things that held my interest were: Astronomy; I purchased a new 12” Dobsonian telescope and plan on setting up an outside observatory (it’s too huge to lug around). I’ve been doing a lot of reading and listening to lectures on astronomy, physics, biology, history meteorology, and Geology. Writing in my journal seems to be helping me write better and I enjoy doing it. Playing my guitar, exercising, and fixing computers. I think these areas of interest will remain my main focus for 2008.
Things that didn’t hold my interest were: Television (I hardly ever watch it) I get all my news online and not fed to me with commercials, Politics, and troubled Celebrities.

One thing I want not to do in 2008 is buy any more computers! This will be my resolution for 2008! The rest are goals I want to achieve or to continue. (If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!)