Free Form Friday, No. 5

Living room sofa; cloudy, 52 F 0625

It is “Black Friday.” I do not plan to go shopping. I believe that the rampant consumerism is driving the current environmental problems and also reduces our lives to a treadmill. I think it is nice to buy interesting things, however, I do not need the newest iPhone or other slick thing.

I took a bit of a break from writing this. It does not seem to matter as no one is reading. Last week was pretty hectic with work and all of the other things going on. I will get back into daily writing this week.

I have about ten posts in the draft stage. This includes one about installing the Photovoltaic system. I realize now that I took no pictures during the installation work. I suppose I will have to come up with a three line drawing showing how the system is connected to the grid.

Thanksgiving was nice. I had the kids here and no one else. It was supposed to be the entire family (13 people), however, we all decided that it would be safer to just have a small gathering. I make an apple stuffed pork roast, which was delicious. I am looking forward to the leftovers tonight. After dinner, we had a nice conversation around the table.

The weather has been warmer than usual. I do not necessarily mind this. The less snow, the better in my mind because it means less winter driving.

I am in the planning stages for what course I might want to take next year. NY State is offering “Coursica” for unemployed or under employed people within the state. I signed up and was accepted. I am looking at several sales courses, since that is my weakest area.

Free Form Friday, No. 4

Living room sofa; Cloudy, 38.1 F 0647

I have missed a few days posting, mostly because I have been busy with work and other things. As of this writing, there still have been zero visitors according to statcounter. Google says one visitor back on the 16th, but that may have been me. It has been one month since I started this and I plan on continuing to post things here for a period of one year.

Since there are no visitors here, I am make this somewhat more personal than I have been. It may just turn into my journal instead of something for other people to read.

Hockey practice last night was good. William says he is having fun practicing but wishes we could play a game. It looks like that might not happen this year at all. In any case, it seems like people are generally being flexible in their approach and that is all we can do. It is good for him to go out and get exercise and see other people.

I am planning to have Thanksgiving here for everyone. It is starting to get scaled back as people are concerned about COVID-19. There is an increase of cases in the area. Of course, we must be careful; Mom is 88 years old and not in the best of health. Thus, it may end up just being William, Eliza and myself here. I am good with that, we will have a nice dinner.

Prior to people coming here, I need to clean the house. It is not terribly dirty, I just need to call away sweepers and give the place a good once over.

Sweepers, Sweepers, Man your brooms. Give the ship a clean sweep down fore and aft! Sweep out all lower decks, ladder wells and passageways. Dump all trash clean of the fantail. Now sweepers.

As heard on the 1MC

All of the leaves are off of the trees and the view from the front window has improved. I like the living room arranged this way. Instead of placing my back to the outside, I and now look out and see everything.

I am also working on setting up a remote TV receiver in Albany. The plan is to call it a “monitoring system” for Intrigue TV’s channel 5 (RF channel 30). However, I will be able to change channels and watch all of the over the air signals from Albany. I look forward to it. I receive no over the air TV signals here.

Free Form Friday No. 3

On the sofa; cloudy, 37.1 F, 0548

This week is my son’s birthday. It is hard to believe that fourteen years ago, I was holding a crying, slimy, purple thing just seconds after he was born. Yet, here we are. He has really taken an interesting in fishing and all things related to the pond. I am happy to see him out of doors.

Taking an interest in fish

It took a while, but it seems we have a new president. I am happy that the process is over. Most people on either side of the issue feel the same. Regarding the man himself; meet the new boss, same as the old boss. It does not seem to matter who occupies that office, the same stupid shit continues to happen. I think people put way too much stock in the presidency and do not pay attention to congress. It seems to me, the real center of power is with those who set the agenda; the DNC and RNC.

We had a very nice stretch of warm weather. I managed to get a good deal of yard cleanup done. It has turned colder (seasonal) again.

This weekend, I have to spend time cleaning the house. I am having Thanksgiving here and I would like the place to be at least clean, if not neat. There is also the list of normal chores to complete.

Last weekend, I discovered that there is a bad bearing in the mower deck of the lawn tractor. I thought I could wait until spring to fix it, however, I think I will tackle that on Saturday.

There are a few other projects I would work on; investigate rebuilding the water filters or at least replacing the filter medium, finishing the electrical outlets in the basement, the house monitoring system and so on.

Free Form Friday, No. 2

Living room sofa; Mostly clear, 52.5 F 0542

I enjoy sitting on the sofa in the living room and typing these posts. It is a comfortable spot and is away from the distractions in the home office. Often, when I am in there, I start looking at my work related to-do list.

It has been an interesting week. The US Election was held on Tuesday, yet we still do not know who the President will be. It is looking like Joe Biden will win. My only question on that is, will he last four years? I have the feeling we may end up with Kamala Harris as president at some point. That will be fine, she seems like a competent government bureaucrat.

My son will be fourteen soon. That is difficult to believe. He wants some fishing gear for his birthday. His Xbox stopped working last week, which prompted some grumbling. I believe the hard drive has failed, so I purchased a new 1TB SSD to replace the original drive. I may do a post on fixing that.

The schools are still in COVID mode. My son goes to school for two days a week every other week. My daughter is doing full time distance learning. It has been a big adjustment for both of them. I believe that this situation will continue through the end of the school year.

I have been living in this house for 16 years, 5 months and 5 days. That is the second longest period of time that I have ever lived in one place. The first is where I grew up. That was for 18 years, 5 months and 5 days. Thus, two more years here and I will overtake that.

With the leaves now off of the trees, annual yard clean up begins. I usually try to vacuum most of the leaves up with the lawn mower. Cutting the grass short one last time, the rest of the leaves will blow back into the woods and by spring and everything will be in good shape. The one area in the front near the neighbor’s weeping willow tree always needs extra attention in the spring.

The other late fall, early winter task is pruning the grape vines. This year, there were very few grapes, so the vines were not properly pruned last year. I believe I need to cut them way back and almost start over. This may wait until late winter or early spring.

I am working on various ideas for this blog, I would like to include some of the more interesting features of living in this area. Of course there are many and I tend to concentrate on the things that I like. Thus, I will be trying to get out of that zone and explore some new things. Unfortunately, some things are still closed because of COVID-19.

Free Form Friday

Living room sofa; rain/sleet, 38.3 F, 0506

I woke up early for some reason, then began thinking about the sump pumps. Last I knew, I had unplugged sump #1 so I could run an extension cord outside to use some power tools. Naturally, once I started thinking about that I couldn’t go back to sleep. So, I went down in the basement, sure enough, the sump pump was unplugged. However, it didn’t matter because the water level in the sump was still low. We have had 2.42 inches of rain in the last week.

I am still working on exactly what this blog thing is going to be about. I thought today I would just write extemporaneously and see what happens. I am also thinking about how much personal information I should include. Right now, it does not seem to matter, as I have had zero visitors. Perhaps that is the way it is going to be and I will simply be writing to myself. I am good with that.

This week has been low key work wise. That is okay, last week was a bit hectic.

This weekend it is supposed to be clear but cold. I need to do some work around yard, so hopefully it will dry out enough. I am also wanting to finish up the generator connection and emergency power panel. I have been picking away at it because I don’t want to spend too much money all at once, but I think I should wrap things up because winter is coming. I will make a post about that.

I am hosting Thanksgiving at my house this year. Anticipated guests are 13 or 14. It should be fun, but I have to clean everything and move some stuff out into the barn. Since COVID-19 the trade and donate bin at the transfer station has been closed. I’d like to get rid of some things, but I don’t want to throw them in the garbage.

Large Mouth Bass

William’s birthday is coming up soon. He wants another medium sized fishing pole, gift cards to Dick’s and Walmart so he can buy fishing tackle, some new cloths (he is growing fast) and a blue tooth headset. Walmart actually has some good fishing lures and such.

Ran out of pages

For about a year an a half, I have been keeping a written journal. Every morning, while I am drinking my cup of two of coffee, I sit down and write in this notebook:

Generic notebook

Yesterday, I used the last page. I knew that this day was coming so I had made a trip to Barnes and Noble to pick up a new one. Then, whilst in the shower I thought, why not revive the old Catskill House blog.

Many, many years ago, I kept a thing called the “Homeowner’s Blog,” which was more or less about fixing up this falling down house. It was relatively well received and I enjoyed writing it. Unfortunately, the home life declined, especially after the “Great Recession” of 2009-10, loss of employment in early 2010 and the subsequent struggles that ensued.

Some ten years later, many things have changed. I still live in this house and there are still many things to write about. My plan is to recap all of the major house projects; interior renovation before we moved in, drilling a new well, installing a French drain in the basement, installing solar collectors and solar panels, building the barn, renovating the old bathroom, installing new siding, and the new screened in front porch, the emergency generator, etc.

But there will also be things about life in general, personal observations, slow cooker recipes, weather reports, etc. This will basically be an one line version of my written journal, less some of the really personal and business things.

You are welcome to join me!