Monday, December 01, 2008

December 2008


Welcome to the Month of December - did my stretches, ran two miles, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 51 to 75, calm winds, humidity around 28 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 73. West northwest wind between 5 and 10 mph. Tuesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 48. Northwest wind between 7 and 10 mph.”
        I decided to venture on down to the Dollar Tree in the Gross Polluter and buy some plastic tubs to store stuff in. I had bought two the last time I was down there and they fit on my shelves just fine. Well they were out of them but I found some others I can use and will check back some other time to see if they get some more in. Then I went over to Stater Brothers to get a few supplies.
        Got back home, read a few chapters of the Sci-Fi book, and went for my evening walk. Kula called to ask me about the Moon and the two planets that will be close together tonight. The two planets are Venus (the bright one) and Jupiter. Last night when I saw them and they formed a happy face :) but tonight they looked like a sad face :( and I thought that kind of funny. Bob Vandenberg called me about the same thing too.
        I went over to Stoney’s for dinner. He cooked up some ham and beans, corn bread, with cherry pie for dessert. We watched a show about disasters where bridges fall, homes and cars get lifted off the ground by tornados, helicopters crash, and ammunition factories blow up, yikes!
        Did a little more reading till “Terminator: The Sara Conner Chronicles” came on Fox. It was about a Terminator that accidentally materialized at a Speakeasy in the 1920s.
        Did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Tuesday 02 - did my stretches, ran a mile. I decided to lift weights and ride my bike every other day, run every day, and just take Sundays off from all exercising.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 50 to 70, SSW winds at 3 to 9 MPH, humidity around 20 percent, lenticular clouds. According to the National Weather Service “Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 69. North northwest wind between 5 and 8 mph. Wednesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 44. Light and variable wind.”
        I had to go to the Post Office to collect a package with some computer equipment, so while I was down there I went to Home Depot to get some bricks and pavers for the patio. Saw and talked to Lee and Marcie on my way back. They were in town getting birthday gifts for their granddaughter.
        Got home and unloaded the truck, then received a call from Paul who wanted to pay six months of dialup service. So I got back in the Gross Polluter and headed over and stayed around to jaw for a spell.
        Back home again I got to working on my Christmas cards addressing them all. I still have to write something personal in each of them, but at least I got them started. I’m going to get me a rubber stamp for the return address next time!
        My brother Kevin called and we had a short chat, and then I watched “NCIS” on CBS about a Sailor who was beaten to death and shot. “Fringe” came on next so I thought I’d watch that. It was about a team of robbers who break into bank vaults by using some kind of device that makes it so they can just squeeze through thick metal. I still think the “Mad Scientist” is what makes the series interesting.
        I did my stretches and went for my nightly run. I practiced my guitar. Wrote my column for the newspaper and sent it to them. Here’s my Thought for the week that I’ll share with you:
Christmas of 1941 must have been a rather harsh one filled with the uncertainties of war: Pearl Harbor with 2,403 American deaths, the fall of Hong Kong on Christmas day. It seemed the whole world had erupted into evil chaos. On Christmas Eve President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill spoke to our nation on radio from a White House that was guarded with mostly fake wooden antiaircraft guns because the real ones were in short supply. I mention this now because our nation’s future, the same nation of Christmas 1941, is again threatened by many uncertainties. The folks of Christmas 1941 triumphed over tremendous odds and evil, so shall we because this is America and we are Americans!
        Wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Wednesday 03 - did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 47 to 64, NW/S winds at 3 to 7 MPH, humidity around 27 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Thursday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 67. North northwest wind between 3 and 6 mph. Thursday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 43. West northwest wind between 5 and 9 mph.”
        George came by to pay for his dialup in the middle of my exercises smoking cigarette after cigarette. I gave him an ashtray this time! George worked on old IBM Mainframes, as I did a long time ago, and it is fun to reminisce with him about them. We all smoked and drank lots of coffee in them old Mainframe days.
        Barbra my neighbor called needing my assistance starting her car. I jumped in the Gross Polluter, went on over with my jumper cables, and got her on her way. I lent her the jumper cables just in case she had more trouble and she brought them back later in the day. She only calls when she needs help and I told her that it would be polite if she would just call and chat sometimes when she wasn’t in distress needing help. Am I getting cranky in my old age? Nah!
        Now that I have all my Christmas cards addressed I started writing personal well wishes in each of them. I figure if I do five or more a day I’ll have them all ready when I go to town next time. I did six of them today! It only took me two hours to do them.
        Went for my evening walk and had pancakes and eggs when I got back. My brother Kevin called soon after, and we yakked until the Nightly News came on. I had stopped watching the TV news for some time now, but recently I decided I needed to keep track of what is going on with our economy and other world events so I’ll know when to invest in the market. I started investing in an index fund that follows the S&P 500 when it was down at 8200 or something. If it continues to go down I’ll buy some more! I usually cash out of the market when Dow is over 1100 and wait till it gets knocked down to lower levels.
        Did some webwork the rest of the night. Then I did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Thursday 04 - did my stretches, ran two miles.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 46 to 62, calm winds, humidity around 28 percent, overcast skies. According to the National Weather Service “Friday: Sunny, with a high near 64. North northwest wind between 6 and 10 mph. Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 42. West wind around 8 mph.”
        I worked on my camper’s electrical system and cleaned it up some, getting it ready in case I need to use it someday. This took most of my day.
        Went for my evening walk and took a few pictures of the overcast skies. It looks like winter is approaching with the weather getting cooler. Most of the arts that were active just a few weeks ago have gone underground to hide for a while.
        I have to go to the post office tomorrow and mail out the fraud report to my credit card company. I decided to just sit down and finish writing all my Christmas cards and mail them then. Three hours later I had them all done and also had a sore wrist from all that writing. I told my brother Kevin when he called that typing an email is much easier than handwriting and that there should be a service out there that you email all your Christmas cards to them and they would print and mail them out via snail mail. If there isn’t a business like that someone should start one and I’d be their first customer!
        I spent the rest of the night reading Sci-Fi until late. Then I did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Friday 05 - did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 46 to 66, calm winds, humidity around 26 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Saturday: Partly sunny, with a high near 66. West wind between 5 and 8 mph becoming calm. Saturday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 44. West wind between 6 and 8 mph.”
        I did the weekend update for the Copper Mountain Mesa Website and sent out the Newsletter. I put a bunch of Thanksgiving Holiday pictures up on the site if anyone is interested.
        I drove the Gross Polluter into Twentynine Palms to the post office to mail all those Christmas cards and that credit card fraud report. Then I went to Bar Lumber to get some Snow Coat to paint on my patio to keep it cool during the summer and stop any leaks when it rains. It was $60 for five gallon compared to Henry’s $95 at Home Depot. I stopped off at The Dollar Tree and then Stater Bros to get a few more supplies. Stop to check my Friend’s home who’s on vacation. Collected Stoney’s mail, he wasn’t home and dropped it off and took out his trash, then headed on home.
        I went for my evening walk and jawed for a spell with Ron my neighbor who I met along the way. He lives where there is a good view of the Marine Base, and he says that they put on quite a show sometimes. There is a fake Iraq town where they do their training and it is a very active place with bombs and rifle fire with tracer round going off this way and that. I guess I live in the quiet sector of town and that’s fine with me!
        I watched the evening news and settled down to read my Sci-Fi book until late into the night. Then I did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for a night run. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Saturday 06- did my stretches, ran two miles.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 45 to 63, calm winds, humidity around 25 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Sunday: Scattered showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 56. West southwest wind between 5 and 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. Sunday Night: A 40 percent chance of showers, mainly before 10pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 46. West wind between 3 and 7 mph.”
        I mostly called Family and Friends today, I did update the calendar on the Copper Mountain Mesa Website. I was making my morning drinks using up all the fruits that I had, this should of lasted me for five days, but instead of topping off the bottles with water I grabbed the bleach bottle by mistake and ruined the whole batch, dang! So I took it all outside, dumped it in a five gallon container, filled it up with water, and put it on my plants so as not to waste it. Now I’ll have to go to the market and get some more fruits and vegetables.
        I went for my evening walk and called a few more folks when I got back. I went online to do some webwork until late into the night. Then I did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Pearl Harbor Day- did my stretches.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 42 to 61, W/SSW winds at 4 to 12 MPH, humidity around 45 percent, altostratus clouds with a few sprinkles. According to the National Weather Service “Monday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 63. Northwest wind between 8 and 16 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph. Monday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 42. Northwest wind between 14 and 21 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph.”
        I got to cleaning out the computer room and I think I’m going to relocate it somewhere else, maybe in the battery room. The computer room is where I fix computers and where I have it now is just too small a room. Seeing how I got computers scattered all over the place and I am switching to all laptops to free up space and save on energy, the desktop will have to go elsewhere. I think the battery room will make a good workshop for them.
        Stoney called having problems getting online, so I rode the Trusty Scooter over to have a look see. It connects but it takes forever to load a webpage. I found that there is a lot of static on his phone line and we’ll have to check the main box outside some other time. I told him about the static before; when I talk to him on the phone he’s always cutting out. I think the recent rains have made it worse.
        My dear friend Kula called to say hi and we jawed for a spell. She has had a cold for the past week now and can’t shake it. She and Tom are going out to night to listen to an orchestra and I told her to bundle up in warm clothes.
        Went for my evening walk and took some pictures of the clouds. I love clouds and their grand formations that play across the sky with the Sun peeking through here and there to cast its rays down upon the earth. I’ve got many a picture like those on my hard drive.
        Read some Sci-Fi for a while until “Sixty Minutes” came on CBS about: the biggest oil company in Saudi Arabia, a story about this artist who has a big ego, and Andy Rooney talks about watches. Then I read some more Sci-Fi, watched “Monk” on NBC about a newspaper boy who was murdered delivering Mr. Monk’s newspaper.
        Did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Monday 08- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 45 to 60, NW/SW winds at 8 to 16 with gusts up to 25 MPH, humidity around 37 percent, clear until 1pm then altostratus clouds came in for the rest of the day. According to the National Weather Service “Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 56. North northwest wind between 11 and 14 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Tuesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 39. Northwest wind between 7 and 9 mph.”
        I spent an hour or so jacking up and placing blocks under my “Faithful Truck”, it’s the one with the blown transmission. One of the tires had gone flat after sitting so long and I didn’t want it to rot, so now all the tires are off the ground.
        I went over to Stoney’s and worked on his phone line. We spent over an hour trying to track down what the problem was. Two wires on the outside telephone box were loose and that helped some but there was still static and his computer wasn’t getting up to speed. So I asked if I could disconnect the phone from the garage, and that did the trick. Now his computer is connecting at a decent speed and page loads are faster. Then I conned him out of some cookies!
        I noticed that my truck was making a clanging noise by the driver’s side tire and the truck seemed to float and bounce, so I checked it when I got home. It appears that the shock absorber had broken off from the frame, so I had a look at the right side to compare and found that side didn’t even have a shock absorber, I was shocked! I wonder how long I’ve been driving around like that. Well now I’ll have to work on that and set it right.
        I went for a short evening walk because the winds were really starting to blow hard. Then I settled down to read some Sci-Fi for a while. My brother Kevin called and we yapped for almost an hour till “Terminator: The Sara Conner Chronicles” came on Fox. It was about a family that was targeted by the Terminators for extermination because one of them helps the resistance in the future. Sara and the good Terminator goes to save them.
        Read some more Sci-Fi till late into the night. Then I did my stretches and lifted weights; too dang windy for my nightly run. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Tuesday 09- did my stretches and ran two miles.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 45 to 57, NW winds at 7 to 11MPH, humidity around 35 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 62. North northwest wind around 8 mph. Wednesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 41. West northwest wind around 8 mph.”
        I spent the morning writing my column for the newspaper and sent it to them. Here’s the Thought for the week: You can visit paradise but you can never live there.
        I really didn’t do much of anything today. It was cold and breezy outside and I haven’t gotten use to it being cold yet. This is the desert and we go from extremes here; over 115 degrees in the summer to under 32 degrees in the winter. When it is cold I’ve found that if I can keep my feet and head warm the rest of my body stays warm.
        Stoney invited me over for dinner at 5pm but I declined, I just wanted to mess around here at my own house today
        Went for my evening walk and read some Sci-Fi when I got back.
        Watched “Fringe” on Fox about a man who receives covert transmissions from an evil source he believes, and draws pictures of events that haven’t happened yet.
        Did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.
        Last night I fell asleep while I was surfing the web and awoke at 5am. Had a strange dream that I was at a hotel in Paris and couldn’t find my room that I had just left with all my belonging still there. Even the hotel clerk tried to help but all the rooms on the floor I was on were occupied. One room we cracked the door open to have a look-see and there were dogs in it. It was like the dream that I had last week where I was in a locker room and couldn’t find my way back to where I had left my stuff after I took a shower. Weird!


Wednesday 10- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 41 to 64, calm winds, humidity around 28 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 63. North wind between 3 and 7 mph. Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 46. Calm wind becoming west northwest around 5 mph.”
        It was such a fine day outside that I decided to paint Snow Coat on my shops roof. Snow Coat is a white paint that reflects the Sun’s rays and keeps the temps down, it is a great sealer too! I am hoping that it will keep leaks from the rain out of the shop. After I completed that I had some leftover in the paint tray and painted the front of the patio that was in great need of a fresh coat. By the time I got done and cleaned up the Sun was hanging low in the southwestern sky, so I went for my evening walk before it got too dark. I took some nice pictures too and would have uploaded them to my journal but Windows is doing another dang update on my computer and it would take forever on dialup to do. Maybe I’ll try it tomorrow.
        Read and finally finished “Stars Over Stars” by K. D. Wentworth. I’d give it five out of five stars it was such a good read! I downloaded this Sci-Fi eBook for free at Baen Books and read it on my Palm PDA. They have some mighty fine SCI-Fi there!!!
        My whole body hurts from all the work I did today, and I still have to do my night exercise. This will be a Tylenol night for sure!
        Did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run- which hasn’t been too nightly lately. It was 45 degrees when I went for my run and I heard that it will be getting colder later next week, something like a fifty year freeze. Well that should be interesting!
        Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night. By the way this next full Moon on the 12th will be the biggest and brightest of the year!


From Bob's Stuff

Thursday 11- did my stretches and ran two miles.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 42 to 63, calm winds, humidity around 26 percent, clear skies until 1pm when cirrus clouds moved in. According to the National Weather Service “Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 67. Light wind becoming south southwest between 10 and 13 mph. Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 47. West southwest wind between 11 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph.”
        Stoney needed some Benadryl; I had some here and took them over. He repairs old windup clocks and was looking at a catalog when I arrived and sat and jawed for a spell. The catalog has most all you could need to repair clocks and also sales old clocks too. I saw an old Antique SETH THOMAS School House Wall Clock from the 1930s at a reasonable price I would like to own. I finished off the cherry pie that was a leftover from Thanksgiving and smothered it with Cool Whip. We watched a show on British Snipers and their training on the Military channel, and when that was over I was on my way back home.
        I watered all my vegetation and did a little yard work. Andrew called while I was watering to yak about web design and catch up on what we’ve been doing. We were on the phone for 48min- my phone has a timer. I had to end the call to go on my evening walk before the Sun set.
        The Moon was full and really bright and I saw something I’ve never seen before (from Wikipedia): “A moon dog or moondog (scientific name paraselene, plural paraselenae, i.e. "beside the moon") is a relatively rare bright circular spot on a lunar halo caused by the refraction of moonlight by hexagonal-plate-shaped ice crystals in cirrus or cirrostratus clouds. Moondogs appear to the left and right of the moon approximately 22° away. They are exactly analogous to sun dogs, but are somewhat rarer because in order to be produced the moon must be bright and therefore full or nearly full. While a moondog may be brightly colored, the lunar halos they form in typically appear colorless to the naked eye because their light is not bright enough to activate the color photoreceptors in humans.” Well the one I saw HAD color like a rainbow, and I tried to photograph it but it didn’t come out as bright as I could visually see it, but I got it! Just click on the image that I uploaded to get a better view. Like I mentioned last night this full Moon would be the brightest of the year.
        I messed around on my computers until “CSI” on CBS came on. I wanted to watch this one because Grissom is to announce that he is leaving. They’re not pulling any stops on gore and evil characters on this two-part episode and I felt a little pale when the show was over.
        Did my stretches and went on my nightly run. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Friday 12- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 42 to 60, calm winds, humidity around 26 percent, stratus cloud cover most of the morning with sprinkles then clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 56. Breezy, with a west southwest wind 8 to 11 mph increasing to between 21 and 24 mph. Winds could gust as high as 33 mph. Saturday Night: A 20 percent chance of showers before 10pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 39. Breezy, with a west northwest wind between 16 and 23 mph, with gusts as high as 32 mph.”
        I updated the Copper Mountain Mesa Website and sent out the newsletter. Then I went outside to prepare everything for the coming storms. It actually sprinkled a little! The skies were overcast until a little bit after 1pm when the Sun came out for the rest of the day warming things up a bit.
        Seimi came over to drop off Hope’s internet payment. She has been sick recently and I keep telling her every month it’s no problem if she is a little late, I trust her, but she is persistent. Seimi and I jawed for a spell. I have a small telescope I’ve been trying to fix up for him and when I have the time I’ll do just that.
        Went for my evening walk. It started to get pretty cold as the Sun went down. Then I spent the rest of the night doing online webwork. I signed up for a more advanced HTML class that covers CSS and will begin studying right away.
        The Moon was really bright tonight, brighter than last night when I seen the Moon Dog! I submitted the photo to SpaceWeather.com yesterday but they didn’t put it up yet or may never put it up: it was difficult to see the Moon Dog in my photo. Oh well maybe I need a better camera or learn how to use mine more efficiently.
        Last week I ordered a HP Mini Note 1000 with a 10.2 inch screen, 8Gig flash drive, and 1Gig RAM. I’ve been checking the site everyday to see when it will come out of production and be shipped. I went to check the site tonight and it is being shipped by DSL and it is on its way. My New Year’s resolution on not buying any computers this year has gone down the drain! But I was less than two months shy of accomplishing this goal. I’ll try again next year. One reason I’m going for the small laptops is that they are very power efficient, which will save me in buying more solar panels, and I can take them anywhere they are so light: about 2.5 pounds.
        Did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Saturday 13- did my stretches and ran a mile. There was a strong wind blowing out of the west or I would have run two miles instead of the one.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 40 to 54, strong winds out of the W/SW at 13-30 with gusts to 50 or more, humidity around 36 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Sunday: Partly sunny, with a high near 45. West wind between 7 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph. Sunday Night: A 30 percent chance of rain, mainly after 10pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 37. Southwest wind between 9 and 13 mph.”
        I mostly stayed in the house because of the high winds. Called Family and Friends, and did little chores here and there throughout the day.
        Went for my evening walk but it was brisk and brief. Then I watched “Surviving Christmas” (2004) starring Ben Affleck and Christina Applegate. About a young and successful but lonely millionaire who pays a family to live in their home and pretend they are his family at Christmas. Very funny and it was nice to see Applegate play a nice person for once instead of the shallow parts she has been cast. I believe she is a good girl at heart. I just did a search on Christina Applegate and found that she had breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy last August and then reconstructive surgery. She’s one tough gal! I can’t believe she is thirty-four years old already.
        I did my stretches, practiced guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Sunday 14- did my stretches.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 36 to 50, winds out of the NW/SW at 10-13, humidity around 37 percent, cloudy skies later in the evening. According to the National Weather Service “Monday: Cloudy with rain and snow likely. Snow accumulations 2 to 4 inches. Snow level 3000 feet. Highs around 50. South wind 10 to 15 mph late in the morning becoming light. Chance of precipitation 70 percent. Tonight...Mostly cloudy. A chance of rain showers early in the evening...then a slight chance of rain showers in the late evening and overnight. Lows in the mid 30s. West wind up to 10 mph. Chance of showers 50 percent.”
        Joan called saying she can’t get on the internet. I was online a little earlier and it was working fine. I tried to walk her through a few things to get her back up but she ended bringing her laptop over to my place for me to look at. Lee called about that time telling me the same thing! I was able to get her laptop online right away at my house. I had thought that since they live in the same area that maybe the phone circuit there was bad, but I was wrong! Later when I tried to get online myself I couldn’t. It would connect just fine but there wasn’t any down link. I was able to use it intermittently for a very short period and then it would just stop. This has only happened once before and it turned out to be a main server hub that was down somewhere near San Francisco. I believe that the bad weather up north brought it down again this time. As I am writing this to my journal at 11pm Sunday night the internet is still down. Oh the humanity!!!
        Went for my evening walk; it’s getting colder and I made it a short walk. My sister Audrey called and we had a nice chat. I told her that I probably wouldn’t be coming for Christmas because of my truck having no shocks that would make for an unsafe and bouncy trip.
        I made myself some pancakes and eggs: comfort food! Started a nice fire in the wood stove, heated some water and soaked my cold feet in hot water. That Felt mighty good.
        Watched “The Santa Clause 2” (I’m a sucker for sentimental Christmas stories). It wasn’t as good as the first one but it did have its moments.
        Life without the internet sucks. What did I do before cyber space? Probably did the same stuff I do these days when I’m not on the web.
        Did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, didn’t post it to the web, and called it a night.
        I got up Monday morning was able to get online and post my journal. Seems to be working fine for now!


Monday 15- only did my stretches because it‘s too dang cold and wet outside.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 36 to 49, winds out of the S/SE at 10-21, humidity around 57 percent, stratus clouds the entire day with lots of rain. According to the National Weather Service “Tuesday: A 20 percent chance of showers before 10am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 47. West wind between 6 and 13 mph. Tuesday Night: A 30 percent chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 33. West wind around 5 mph becoming calm.

        Stoney and Roger came by with a bag of groceries for me from the USDA food distribution. They told me that there were a lot more folks showing up this time than last month. I guess hard times are falling on more folks than ever.
        Bill the “FEDEX Man” delivered my HP MiniNote laptop. He honked and I ran out in the rain to pick it up. He said that Yucca Valley is deep in snow and the roads are really slick there.
I got the laptop inside and unboxed it, took some pictures, and set it up. Computers are one of the few passions that I love, and treating myself to a new computer gets me very excited. But if I would have known that my shocks on the Gross Polluter had broken before I bought this I may have waited until next year. Well I still have a few computers I can sell. Anyways it has a 10.2 inch screen, an 8Gig Flash hard drive, 1Gig of Ram, and a larger keyboard that’s just fine for typing. Spent most of the day setting it up the way I like and got it connected online via a Bluetooth modem.
        Too darn rainy and cold to go for my evening walk, so I just hid inside trying to keep warm. I got a fire going in the woodstove again and soaked my cold feet in hot water. I’ll tell ya that feels mighty good after having cold feet all day! It keeps them warm all night.
        Watched “Terminator: The Sara Connor Chronicles” on Fox. It was the season’s last show and left a whole bunch of things hanging in the air for next season.
        Did a little more tweaking on the new laptop and getting to know it better. Then I did my stretches and lifted weights; no nightly run because of the weather. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal (using the new laptop), posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Tuesday 16- only did my stretches and ran two miles; sunny but cold.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 31 to 53, winds out of the W/SW at 4-8, humidity around 46 percent, mostly sunny until around 1pm when altostratus clouds moved in. According to the National Weather Service “Wednesday: Rain. High near 41. North northwest wind between 5 and 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. Wednesday Night: Rain likely before 6pm, then showers likely, mainly before 10pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 33. Northwest wind between 10 and 15 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.”
        I wrote my column for the newspaper and emailed it to them.
        Patty called asking why her telephone batteries were being drained by the computer. I told her as far as I knew that was not possible. She then went on to say that the phone company repair person told her that was the problem. I believe that the repair person just said it was the computer for no better reason than he didn’t know what the problem was and played on Patty’s naivety of computers, and I told Patty that. I then drove six miles to my mail box to send and pick up my mail.
        I stopped off at Roger Toombs, he had the movie “Hell Boy 2” for me, and we sat and jawed for a spell. I got some nice pictures of snow on the mountains from his house.
        On my way back I checked my friend’s house who is away on vacation, and then dropped by Stoney’s. He was in the front room watching a Elvis Presley movie called “Kid Galahad” (1962), where Elvis fights corruption in and out of the ring.
        I went for my evening walk with my camera and took some more pictures of the mountains. Then I watched “CSI” on CBS about a Vietnam Veteran whose been dead for 17 years and his fingerprints were found at a murder scene.
        Did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for my nightly run. It was 39 degrees outside when I went on my run, yikes! Saw my neighbor Mat when he was driving by and he stopped to ask if I was okay; I guess folks aren’t used to seeing people jogging at night around here. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Wednesday 17- only did my stretches.         Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 30 to 32, winds NNW at 4-8, humidity around 73 percent, SNOW and lots of it! According to the National Weather Service “Thursday: A chance of snow before 10am, then a slight chance of rain. Snow level 2100 feet rising to 3300 feet. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 41. West northwest wind around 7 mph becoming south southwest. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible. Thursday Night: A 20 percent chance of rain before 10pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 31. West southwest wind between 5 and 9 mph.

Last night it started raining around 2am and before I went to bed at 3am I checked the temp outside and it was at 41 degrees, which was higher than the 39 degrees when I went for my jog at 9pm. So I went to sleep with the light sounds of rain pattering on my roof and figured that it wasn’t going to snow. I awoke around 9am Wednesday when I heard the patter change and went outside to see what it was. It was starting to snow! And it came down all day long!
I went outside to take a bunch of pictures. There was so much snow that all the plants were sagging and pushed down by the weight of it. My two palm trees looked squished! The solar panels were covered by a foot or more of snow and weren’t producing any electric for the batteries, so I had to run the generator an hour and a half to charge them and cool down the refrigerator.
        Fat Cat didn’t like the snow when I took him out to it, gave me the evil eye, and ran and hid from me under the truck. He finally came into the house where I kept him the rest of the day.
I started a fire in the woodstove and sat down to listen to the news on the local FM station Z1077. They said that HWY247 was shut down from Yucca Valley to Lucerne, all schools and post offices were closed, that the Yucca Valley Historical Society said that it was worst than the 1979 snowstorm, and HWY62 was shut down from Yucca Valley to the lower desert basically cutting us off from the rest of the world for a time.
        Roger Toombs called around 4pm to tell me that the electricity was out on the west side of Copper Mountain Mesa where he lives, our area wasn’t affected because I had just talked to Stoney before Roger called, and there wasn‘t any other reports power being down to me. Their electric was down for about two hours.
        I watched “Hell Boy 2” on the DVD Roger gave me. I liked the first one better, but it was okay. Then I went outside around 10:30pm and it was still snowing! I hope that my shop’s roof doesn’t collapse from all the snow that has been accumulating on it.
        I did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night. The snow is still coming down as I write this!


Thursday 18- only did my stretches.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 30 to 40, mostly calm winds, humidity around 63 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 50. West northwest wind between 6 and 14 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 31. South wind 5 to 8 mph becoming west northwest.”
        The very first thing I did when I woke up was to climb up on the roof to remove all the snow from my solar panels so I could charge my depleted batteries and run the refrigerator. Took some nice pics of the surrounding mountains covered in snow. The road outside my house looks like a small stream, and my house resembles like an igloo (and feels like one too!).
        Joel called me up to tell me that an actress on the Jay Leno show blew her nose into a handkerchief and the bid on eBay is around $2000!
        I spent a lot of time shoveling snow out of the walkways. I don’t see how those folks on the east coast put up with it snowing year after year, we only see it this bad once thirty years or so. The last snowstorm this bad was in 1979. We had a good snowstorm in 2004 but not like this. What made the storm in 2004 bad was the electric power went out for a few days. I was born and razed in sunny southern California and I’m not used to all this snow and cold, but it is exciting when it does happen.
        I couldn’t go on my evening walk or do any running so I mostly stayed inside doing webwork and trying to stay warm. Fat Cat stayed inside too! Did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Friday 19- only did my stretches again. Looks like my exercise routine has gone the way of an outhouse in a hurricane and it will just have to take a backseat until the snow melts and the ground isn’t muddy.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 27 to 49, calm winds, humidity around 59 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 52. North northwest wind between 3 and 5 mph. Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 31. Northwest wind between 3 and 6 mph.”
        Stoney came by asking if I wanted to go to the store with him. He had a doctor’s appointment and we went there first. On the way to town the dirt roads were muddied and there were large puddles you had to drive around or get stuck. As we drove closer to HWY62 and the National Park the mountains rose up into view and were “Majestic” is the only word that I can describe them, standing tall with a white crown and covered in a white powered robe of snow. Stoney wasn’t in the Doc’s office more than fifteen minutes and we were on our way to Stater Brothers in Twentynine Palms where we picked up a few supplies. I bought a bunch of “comfort foods” (little Debbie’s pastries) and also bread, eggs, and such.
        When I got back home I started up the generator, plugged in the circular saw and cut a whole bunch of firewood for these cold nights we’ve been having. Then I updated the Copper Mountain Mesa Website but I just remembered that I forgot to send out the Newsletter, which I’ll do tomorrow. Dang!
        Joel called up to tell me that his pipes had froze and burst and he has to fill up water bottles and bring them in the house. Hey that’s what I’ve been doing since I’ve moved here, I told him.
        I did some webwork for the rest of the evening; I updated Ken’s website with some new items he had sent me, and synchronized some of my data between three laptops.
        Watched “NUMB3RS” on CBS about a vigilante group of young college kids that were hurting a local gang of thieves by busting them as they were committing the crimes.
        Did my stretches and lifted weights. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Saturday 20- did my stretches.
Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 28 to 50, calm winds, humidity around 51 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 52. West northwest wind around 6 mph becoming calm. Sunday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 42. Southwest wind between 3 and 6 mph.”
        Frank and Mary stopped by with a gift box of apples and oranges for me. We chatted for a spell and then Mary started throwing snowballs at Frank. Frank hid behind me and I got hit by a good sized one thrown by Mary as I ducked. Mary got paid back for that as I secretly made up a snowball and got her as she was getting into their truck to leave. Mary and I exchanged a few well thrown snowballs before they left.
Jumped in the Gross Polluter and headed down to my mailbox to collect my mail and to take some pics of our area covered in snow. I got to the mailbox just as Joel was getting in his car with my mail, so I needn’t have taken the trip down but I needed to get out of the house anyways.
        On my way back I stopped off at Lee and Marcie’s to say howdy. Marcie was in the kitchen wrapping gifts and Lee was watching a show about old cars on TV. We would try to guess the make, model, and year of the cars, and we did pretty dang good on our guesses. Marcy gave me a tin of butter cookies and some homemade tamales before I left.
        Then I went over to Stoney’s, but when I arrived I heard water coming from a burst pipe on the side of his house. I hated to tell him the bad news. We filled up a jug of water for him to use and turned off the water at the main. He’ll fix it tomorrow when the Sun is out.
        I called Family and yakked at them for a while. Then I watched “Elf” (2003) on CBS about a human baby adopted by Santa’s Elves who grows up thinking he is an elf. He finally finds out he is different than the other elves and goes to NYC to find his real father. Great movie with a sentimental ending. Ed Asner played Santa and the role fit him to a T! I met Ed Asner in the 90s when I was a guard at Harbor Cove Apartments in Redondo Beach. He was coming over to visit the owner and I was told to wait outside until he showed. Ed drove up in an old car and actually took the time to jaw with me for a spell. He is a very likable guy and it surprised me that he was so down to earth. Not anything like Bruce Willis who had an entourage of three bodyguards when I met him.
        Did my stretches and lifted weights. Practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Welcome to Winter Sunday 21- did my stretches.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 32 to 54, calm winds, humidity around 47 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Monday: A 30 percent chance of rain, mainly after 10am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 52. Southwest wind between 11 and 21 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph. Monday Night: A 20 percent chance of rain before 10pm. Partly cloudy, with a low around 36. West wind between 8 and 10 mph.”
        This is the shortest day and the longest night of the year, welcome to winter! Most of the snow has melted from the ground and rooftops. The ground is a little soggy and you have to stomp the mud off your shoes before going into the house. Tomorrow if it doesn’t rain I’ll go for a run, something I haven’t done since last Tuesday. Most of the day was cleaning up the mess outside that the snow left. My aloe veras have wilted from the freeze and many may die, but the palm trees look to be okay.
        Went over to Stoney’s to put away the welding equipment he had out working on that burst water pipe I had discovered yesterday. We sat and jawed for a spell then I drove back on home.
        Had a nice chat with sister Audrey. We are so much alike, and I told her so; I hope I didn’t hurt her feelings.
        I was just starting to watch “60 Minutes” when Tom called to ask if he and Kula could come up for a visit around the 28th. I thought that would fun. We’d meet at Carls Jr. and then go to the bird sanctuary for a hike. When we tried it last time we got rained out and spent our time under the visitors center just in front of the trail waiting for the rain to stop.
        Watched “Monk” on NBC about a sniper in bare feet who shot a tow truck driver.
        I did my stretches and practiced my guitar. Then I wrote my column for the newspaper to get it in early because of the holidays. With that done and sent in I wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Monday 22- I was awoken early by someone banging on my front door who wanted to buy a septic tank I have laying outside. I told him I wasn’t interested; I should have told him not to come on my property if the gate is closed. I guess I’ll have to start locking the gate at night. Since I was up I did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights. It was cold and windy morning!
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 36 to 52, SSW winds at 10 to 15 MPH, humidity around 58 percent, altostratus and a few lenticular clouds. According to the National Weather Service “Tuesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 49. West northwest wind between 10 and 16 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Tuesday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 35. Southwest wind between 6 and 9 mph.”
        I spent most of the day doing the mundane: house cleaning. My place still looks a mess but I did manage to make a small dent in it.
        A lady, Helen, called and left me a message that the USDA food distribution would be on Tuesday the 20th of January and not on Monday. I called Stoney to let him know, but he had already found out earlier. Stoney is in charge of the USDA distribution for our area.
        I went for my evening walk all bundled up for the cold and wind. Then I started reading a new Sci-Fi book called “Med Ship” by Murray Leinster between 1957 and 1966, about a doctor of Interstellar Medical Service called Calhoun who travels from planet to planet dispensing medical advice with his pet Murgatroyd. I’m not to sure what kind of pet Murgatroyd is, but he is kind of like a dog, I think. It’s old Sci-Fi from the 50s but it seems to be a good read so far.
        Did my stretches, lifted weights, and went for a cold (38 degrees) windy run. After my run I stood outside for a time looking towards Polaris watching for any meteors (should have been between 8-10 per hour) from the Ursid Meteor Shower that peaks tonight, but I didn’t see any, dang! I got too cold and went inside.
        Practiced my guitar after I fixed a string I broke last night. Wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Tuesday 23- did my stretches and ran a mile. It was another cold and windy morning!
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 33 to 50, NW/SW winds at 12 to 18 MPH, humidity around 47 percent, mostly clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Wednesday: A 40 percent chance of rain after 10am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 49. South wind between 3 and 8 mph. Wednesday Night: A 50 percent chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 37. South wind between 8 and 13 mph.”
        I needed to go to the post office to pick up a package, so I jumped in the Gross Polluter and headed to town. Got gas at $1.79 a gallon and ten dollars filled up the tank!
        There were no lines at the post office and I was out of there in a flash.
        Went to the Joshua Tree Health Food store to get some yeast for my breakfast but they only had a little bit left, just like the last time I was there, and I took every bit of it. The nice counter person, Nancy Klein, said that she would have it ordered and give me a call. When I gave her my name she recognized it and said that she reads my column in the newspaper and really likes it, cool, it’s nice to know that somebody reads it! She has some friends who are moving to Copper Mountain Mesa who also reads my column. I told her to tell them to get in touch with me when they are settled in.
        I stopped in at the library to browse around looking for something different to read. I settled on “Genetics Demystified”, “Astronomy CafĂ©”, and “Websites for Dummies”. I also bought two used books: “Dark Watch” by Clive Cussler” and “To Ride Pegasus” by Anne McCaffrey. They still had some 1Gig thumb drives left and I bought one of those for $7, and a fancy book marker for $1.
        I got home in time for my evening walk and it was another cold and windy one. Then I did some computer work until “NCIS” came on CBS about a girl that was a friend of Gibb’s daughter before she was murdered along with his wife some fifteen years ago. She needed Gibbs to rid her of a Marine who was stalking her. Then I watched the “Mentalist” but I didn’t really care for the show. Everyday I watch the nightly news to see how the economy is doing; all doom and gloom. Dang, I’ve been watching way too much TV lately and I have better things to do with my time.
        Did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Wednesday 24- did my stretches, ran two miles, rode my bike, and lifted weights. It was a cold but not too windy morning!
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 34 to 47, light breeze, humidity around 56 percent, mostly overcast skies. According to the National Weather Service “Christmas Day: A 40 percent chance of rain. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 49. Windy, with a southwest wind 13 to 16 mph increasing to between 27 and 30 mph. Winds could gust as high as 41 mph. Thursday Night: A 20 percent chance of rain before 10pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 31. West wind between 17 and 21 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph.”
        God it was cold in the house after my exercises. It was one of those cold and overcast winter days where I couldn’t get warm and I didn’t want to fire up the woodstove until later in the night. I did a few things around the house and then called Stoney to see what he was up to. He was just getting done doing his laundry and I asked if I could do a load over at his place. He said yes I could and he would turn on the heater in the bathroom if I wanted to take a shower, and that sounded mighty good to me and told him I’d be there in an hour. I gather up all my dirty clothes and headed on over. Stoney was in the kitchen cooking ham with biscuits and gravy for dinner and asked if I’d like some. Sure after I take a shower, I said. It was nice to have a hot water shower! When the hot water hit my cold body I let out a yahoo cry of pure bliss it felt so good. It felt like I was defrosting! We then had dinner and watched TV while my clothes were in the dryer. I must have stayed there for three or more hours it was so warm inside with his woodstove going, I hated to leave.
        Got back home, fed Fat Cat, and called my Family who were at Mom and Dad’s having eggnog. I really wish I could have made it there this year and told them so. My plan is to get the Gross Polluter functioning with new shocks, a tune up, and get the camper loaded on it for my next visit. That way I won’t be putting anyone out for a place to stay; I’ll just sleep in the camper.
        Watched “Bones” on Fox, a rerun that I haven’t seen yet. It was about a murdered Santa who was found in a drainage pipe.
        I called Mike from Hermosa Beach to wish him a Merry Christmas, and then called Andrew to wish him the same.
        Did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Christmas- did my stretches, too windy for anything else!
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 34 to 49, winds SSE at 11 to 34 with gusts up to 50 MPH, humidity around 57 percent, mostly overcast skies but no rain. According to the National Weather Service “Friday: Sunny, with a high near 45. Breezy, with a northwest wind between 15 and 25 mph, with gusts as high as 34 mph. Friday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 28. Northwest wind between 6 and 9 mph.”
        It was stormy all day with the wind picking things up that weren’t tied down and blowing them around. I spent most of the morning and afternoon calling Family and Friends to wish them all a Merry Christmas until it was time to go to Stoney’s for Christmas dinner.
        I arrived at Stoney’s at 3pm and he was just getting dinner ready. Roger Smith couldn’t make it and we had to do it without him. There was meatloaf baked with bacon on top, mashed potatoes with country gravy, and steamed carrots. For dessert we had pumpkin pie with whip cream. Stoney also baked some ranger cookies which I ate two of. We were both mighty bloated when we finished and sat down to watch a few episodes of “Myth Busters”; we both like the redhead on the show!
        It was such a windy night that I decided to watch a disaster movie called “The Day After Tomorrow”. I usually watch this once a year on a blistery night like this. So with the wind blowing up to 50 MPH rattling my home, I got the woodstove fired up and laid in my bed with Fat Cat to watch the movie.
        Did my stretches, practiced my guitar, rote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night. Merry Christmas to everyone!


Friday 26- did my stretches, again too windy for anything else! I can run in the cold or heat but not in the wind.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 27 to 44, winds NNW at 16 to 20 with gusts up to 49 MPH, humidity around 38 percent, mostly clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 46. Northwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm. Saturday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 28. West northwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm.”
        I didn’t do much of anything today. Fixed a few things around the house, but mostly read. I started reading “Genetics Demystified” and completed the first chapter. It tells about the beginnings of Genetics and Gregor Mendel who worked for eight years studying garden peas. In the 1860s he worked out a theory of how traits are inherited. I’ll expand on this some other time because the night grows old.
        Went for a cold and windy evening walk and called my brother Kevin and yakked at him for a spell. He got a new camera and was telling me all about it. He has wanted one for a very longtime and won’t have to rely on his cell phone’s camera for his artistic outlet anymore.
        I started reading “Dark Watch” by Clive Cussler and got drawn into to it like water on dry desert dirt. It’s fast paced with a lot of action that flows from on chapter to another until you realize you’ve read dang near half the book. Most if not all his books that I’ve read are like that.
        Did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Saturday 27- did my stretches, ran two miles, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 27 to 46, calms winds, humidity around 42 percent, mostly clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Sunday: Sunny, with a high near 51. Calm wind becoming west northwest between 4 and 7 mph. Sunday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 33. West wind around 6 mph becoming calm.”
        Oops, I forgot to update the Copper Mountain Mesa Website, so I got cracking on that and sent out the Newsletter.
        Called a few Family and Friends to touch base and did a few things around the house; just a little cleanup. I cooked up some Stoffers Stuffing to have it ready to take to potluck at 4pm, then I went for my evening walk.
        I arrived at potluck right at 4pm and there were only a few cars in the parking lot and that’s the way it remained. There was Lee and Marcie, Dyane and her mother Dorothy, Rose, Bob Seeley, and me. I told everyone that it doesn’t matter that only a few showed up but that we did show up. There was plenty of grub for all. Marcie brought lasagna, Bob Seeley had his fresh fruit plate, Dyane made a broccoli and cheese casserole, Dorothy cooked up some fantastic sweet potatoes, and I supplied the stuffing and a bunch of cookies that Stoney made. Stoney wasn’t feeling well and stayed at home, and Chris was down with a cold. Lee’s daughter showed up just as everyone was leaving. She got stuck in traffic on her way from where she lives somewhere near LA.
        Dyane and Dorothy were in an accident on HWY247 coming home from a family visit on Dec. 20th at 9pm when their car hit black ice. The car suddenly veered into on coming traffic, did this twice, as Dyane fought to gain control. She cranked the steering wheel hard to one side and managed to maneuver it towards the side of the road but unfortunately the car was still sliding and smacked into a mound of dirt just three feet from hitting a telephone pole. Everyone was okay but Dorothy had some hurt ribs from being thrown around with her seatbelt on. Their car is in the shop and Lee letting them borrow his Jeep.
        On my way back home I stopped by Stoney’s to see how he was doing. We watched a great classic film called “Women of the Year” (1942) starring Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn. It was a film ahead of its time dealing with women’s rights. About a sports reporter and an independent high powered woman journalist working for the same newspaper who fall in love. The scene in the kitchen at the end of the film made me laugh so hard that tears came to my eyes.
        Got home to a hungry Fat Cat and three messages from my Brother. So I fed the cat, and called my Brother. Then Lynn called and I chatted with her for a spell. After that I settled down to the computer to do some webwork.
        Did my stretches and practiced my guitar. Read a chapter in “Dark Watch”, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Sunday 28- did my stretches and ran two miles.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 33 to 54, calms winds, humidity around 32 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Monday: Sunny, with a high near 59. Calm wind becoming north around 5 mph. Monday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 40. West southwest wind around 6 mph becoming calm.”
        After doing some chores around the house I went over to Stoney’s to get a hot shower and jaw with him a while. We watched “How Its Made” on the Discovery Channel. It show how sugar is processed and there are so many elaborate steps in making it that we wondered how they came up with the technique.
        Went for my evening walk and then read “Dark Watch” late into the night; it’s a page turner!
        Did my stretches and practiced guitar. Wrote my column for the newspaper to get it in early for the holiday. Wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Monday 29- I got woken up by a phone call from Kula that I was expecting. They will rendezvous with me at Carls Jr. at 12pm for a hike down at the Big Morongo Bird Sanctuary. I had time to clean up, get dressed and do my stretches.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 38 to 58, calms winds, humidity around 35 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Tuesday: Sunny, with a high near 61. Northwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm. Tuesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 40. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm.”
        I jumped in the Gross Polluter and headed on down to Yucca Valley. I got to Carls Jr. a little early but it wasn’t much of a wait till I seen my friends Kula and Tom drive up. They had stayed at one of the casinos last night so they wouldn’t have such a long drive and have more time to visit. I haven’t seen them since last spring when we tried to go on the hike but got rained out. We ate lunch at Carls and chatted for a spell catching up, and then we were on our way to the Bird Sanctuary. I swear that place is hard to find and if you didn’t know it was there you’d drive right past. We spent about two hours following the trails around the park, taking pictures, and having a great hike. It’s prettier in the spring with all the flowers in full bloom and the critters roaming about, but there is still a lot to see in the winter. While we were high up on a ridge Tom climbed down to where a large round rock was protruding from a cliff. It looked very dangerous and we begged him not to go. Kula yelled to him that she didn’t want to be left with the house payments if he fell. Well he got to the rock okay and then mooned us. I got the picture but I won’t share it here; it would frighten little kids! We completed our hike and drove back to Carls Jr. were we said our goodbyes. It was really great to see my friends again and to share in the experience of a rigorous hike in nature’s garden.
        On the way back home I decided to stop off at Stoney’s. He was in the kitchen cutting down and sewing some trouser legs that were too long. We sat for a spell him telling stories while I listened. Stoney is 89 years old and has lots of stories. When he was a kid he and his younger brother would harvest sorghum and take it down to an old black farmer who had a press powered by a mule that would go around in a circle to squeeze out the juices to make molasses. He and his brother had to keep the mule moving my tapping it with a stick. The farmer would take a portion for his cut and the rest would be taken to Stoney’s Mom to use in cooking and on pancakes.
        Got back home and fed Fat Cat and settled down to a night of reading Clive Cussler‘s “Dark Watch”. Then I did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


Tuesday 30- did my stretches, ran a mile, rode my bike, and lifted weights.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 39 to 62, calms winds, humidity around 37 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “Wednesday: Sunny, with a high near 63. Light north wind. Wednesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 41. Southwest wind at 6 mph becoming northwest.”
        I was working outside trimming the frost damage off the aloe vera when Raymond and his brother Orville drove up for a chat. I Knew Ray was looking for a trailer and told him about the one that my friend Joel has. He was interested. I called Joel and they headed down to check it out. Joel called later to thank me. Then Dale from Landers called and we jawed while I worked.
I was about to go on my evening walk when I noticed that there was a truck parked down the road at the property that was bought by Ginger who is fixing it up. I went for my walk there to say hi. Chris her son and Jose with his baby daughter were digging a trench to put water to the house. They needed a pipe wrench and I walked back to my house and drove back with one. By that time Ginger and the rest of the chew was there and I decided to do the neighborly thing and pitch in. We all dug with shovels and picks trying to finish it before it got dark. But the Sun set and I drove back to get my gloves and a flashlight figuring they didn’t bring one. I started singing “I’ve been working on the railroad” and everyone joined in while Chris was digging and I took a break. When I started digging they began singing it again and I told them jokingly to knock it off. The trench was done and Jose got the pipes glued together and I was on my way back home with a couple of tamales Ginger gave me and a sore body.
From Bob's Stuff
I got home and ate all the tamales because all that work made me really hungry. Then I watched “Nova: Is there Life on Mars”. They talked about all the Mars missions that had landed the rovers and the Phoenix probe at the pole in search of water. But they didn’t answer the question “Is there Life on Mars”. Then I watched “Fringe” on Fox about people turned into walking microwave ovens that fry nearby folks, weird. I still say that the Mad Scientist makes the show!
        Settled down and read the rest of the book “Dark Watch” until I finished it. Took a couple of Tylenols to relieve the pain from digging; I’m getting to dang old for that kind of work. I did my stretches, practiced my guitar, wrote to my journal, posted it to the web, and called it a night.


New Years Eve - did my stretches and ran two miles.
        Today’s Weather was: Temps of around 40 to 61, calms winds, humidity around 39 percent, clear skies. According to the National Weather Service “New Year's Day: Sunny, with a high near 63. North northwest wind between 3 and 7 mph.
Thursday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 39. Calm wind becoming west northwest around 6 mph.”

        I did a little yard work trimming off the frost dead parts of plants, gave them some fertilizer and watered, and moved a few under the porch.
        I switched RAM modules between the HP and Dell Minis, putting the 2Gig from the Dell in the HP and the 1Gig from the HP in the Dell. I seem to use the HP Mini Note more than the Dell Mini 9 because of the keyboard being standard and the screen size is larger on the HP. The Dell I’ll use on the road because its six cell battery will last a few hours longer than the three cell that the HP has.
        Went for my evening walk and just contemplated the year that was 2008.
        My brother Kevin called and we yakked about movies. I was going through my stack of movies looking for one called “Sahara” I was telling him about and found another I haven’t yet seen called “Pitch Black” (2000) starring Vin Diesel who plays Riddick. I saw “The Chronicles of Riddick” (2004) and really liked it, so I watched “Pitch Black” tonight.
        After the movie I called a few friends to wish them a Happy New Year, practiced my guitar and went online to start my journal early. And I finished reading (again) “365 Starry Nights” by Chet Raymo, that took a whole year to read. Then I got ready for my nightly run. I did my stretches, lifted weights, and at 11:50PM I went outside for a run to bring in the New Year, just like I did last year with the star Sirius directly to the south. This time I was nearing the top of the hill and I heard what sounded at first like partiers bringing in the New Year but it turned out to be a pack of coyotes yelping in the distance. The New Year began when I was nearing the bottom of the hill with fireworks way out by Hwy62. Unlike last year where it was loud and noisy, there wasn’t a sound in our area. No gun shots, no horns, no hooting, no nothing, weird! So I said goodbye to 2008, you have been an interesting and somewhat troubling year.
        Finished my journal, and called it a night.

        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. I go for a walk most every evening, and doing my almost 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: Word 2007, Excel 2007, PowerPoint 2007 (beginning and intermediate classes on all), and an HTML class.
        I still have dialup service that I started last year as a hobby and have 14 users. I still haven’t decided to expand this into a business yet.
        Goals that I am setting for 2009 are going to be the ones I am rolling over from previous years: hiking, learn Photography, a Programming Language, and some Math.
        Things that still hold my interest are: Astronomy ( I still have to set up an outside observatory), physics, biology, history, meteorology, and Geology. Writing in my journal is 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 2009 as they’ve been in previous years.
        Things that still didn’t hold my interest are: Television (I hardly ever watch it except for a few shows that I enjoy) I get most my news online and not fed to me with commercials, Politics, and troubled Celebrities.
        The one resolution I had in 2008 was not to buy any more computers, but I fell short by one month! (Dang prices dropped so low on laptops I couldn’t stand it any longer)
        My goal for 2009 is getting one of my songs published!