Took a short road trip to capture a bit of color. The trees are still hanging on to their flowers (although the weeping cherry in my front yard dropped most of its white petals in small-scale snowstorm), but they won’t for much longer. I took advantage of the evening light to highlight the colors. In fact, I had to tone down the color saturation because it looked kinda fake. Could be Operator Error. Anyway, I give you:
Tulips in my front yard. A colorful distraction from a garage overrun by kittens.
This weekend provided a new experience to me: I’m the de facto “dad” of a young litter of kittens. Yes, I had kittens. I left the garage door open one too many times and mama cat picked a spot amid the clutter in the back to make a nest. (Nest?)
I’m not a cat person. For one, I’m allergic to cats. Two, I don’t trust them. They’re sneaky. Deviant! I don’t especially dislike cats, although I once had a cat stir-fry recipe posted on the side of my computer monitor at work. But I wasn’t about to let them starve or freeze to death.
So not being a cat person, and certainly having no experience with new kittens, I turned to the Facebook community for advice. They came through big time. I posted a photo (Oooh! Cute! Kittens!) and a question to my FB friends about what to do about the litter and got lots of advice and several offers to donate food for the kittens, including one from someone I haven’t seen since high school. And good advice about what to feed mama and to deal with the kittens. I’m still going to call the Humane Society to see if they can help find homes for the kittens.
So, yeah, it all started with a picture of kittens. But it turned into something more. If you think social media have no redeeming uses, I have news for you. I’ve re-established connections with people I haven’t seen in 15 or 30 years, even making road trips to visit some of them. News travels at the speed of light thanks to Twitter and Facebook (OK, not always a good thing – lots of bad info gets out). Think about the Boston Marathon bombings or the Arab Spring.
True, the social media can be a time-suck and includes dumb stuff (I loathe-hate-despise Farmville), but in the end I think social media offer more than they take away from our daily experience. Plus, kittens. Here’s the original photo and thread.
Spring is in the air and a reptile’s thoughts turn to, ahem, turtle love. Consider this a PG-13 posting. With the sun mostly shining and temps creeping up near 70, it seemed like a good idea to head down to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, seeing as it’s virtually in my backyard. Spring got a little later start than last year, but last year was a bit of a fluke. Things are just starting to green up in the Valley.
And now on to some tamer material:
Today was a fabulous day to hit the Towpath Trail in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. With semi sunny skies and temps creeping into the 60s, no excuse for not getting out of the house. I trucked my bike up to bucolic Peninsula — no, I am not biking up that hill from the valley. Way too much work for this lazy old fart. The requisite visit to the heron rookery was the second stop of the day’s tour.
Is that a tree branch sprouting out of the moon?
I missed the initial moonrise because I was on the road, but snapped this as soon as I got home. This is from my driveway through my neighbors’ porch with that sprig of tree branch encroaching. No tree on the moon, so no need to write home about it. Wish I had a bigger lens so I could really fill the frame with that sucker, but they are way too expensive to justify the cost. Unless I get a lot better and go pro. To prevent overexposure (in auto-light meter mode), click down your f-stop by about 2 f-stops. Otherwise the moon will wash out into a round white blob. This was shot at f 6.3 and shutter speed was 1/1,250th second. No special filter or color correction.
Apparently winter just got the memo, a month or so late. That’s OK. I hope it leaves before it overstays its welcome.
But given my distaste for winter, it’s already overstaying its welcome. In the meantime, there’s a wind chill advisory in effect until Wednesday, with more snow on its way.
Again, a week late. But I’ve been busy.
This Christmas was a fairly low-key affair, but really nice and relaxing. Grammy and brother John jetted up from Columbus and made a couple of stops in NE Ohio. Then we hopped over to visit niece and nephew Logan and Scott (and ex sister-in-law).
Yes, I kinda snoozed for about a week on this, but you know how goofy the holidays are. So here ya go, if anyone cares!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 12,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 20 years to get that many views.
This ferocious dusting of snow is new evidence that the world will come to an end today. Repent!
Cousins on Thanksgiving day. Which, coincidentally, was also my 50th birthday. I know, shocking!
And now a series of Mother-Daughter photos.
A certain maple in my backyard refuses to shed its leaves. It only started to turn colors a week ago. The bright yellow stands in stark relief to the forest of gray bark. Chances are we’ll have snow before these leaves drop. And they’ll sit till spring because as a matter of policy I don’t rake in the snow.
Firestone edged Cuyahoga Falls in a Division I sectional soccer match in double overtime Wednesday, one of the best games I’ve seen, and I’m not just saying that because my kid’s team won. The game featured some physical play that the officials generally let play on, an ejection of a Firestone player and some spectacular saves by the Cuyahoga Falls goalie, save the last game-winning shot by Firestone’s Evan Johnson.
Alas, my boy didn’t see any playing time, having spent the season splitting time between JV and varsity. The playoff win-or-go-home setting and the return of some injured varsity players meant Matt was not likely to see much if any playing time. That and the fact that the game was a 0-0 tie through the first overtime meant the A-team had to stay on the field. Still, he came home after the game seriously amped and it was great to see. The energy was palpable during the game and afterward.
Took advantage of the brief period of sunshine today and snagged some pix of fall foliage. Under the midday sun, the colors weren’t great, so I tweaked the color saturation of some of these. Truth in advertising, right?
The lines wound around the block to see the Romney/Ryan campaign in Cuyahoga Falls. I got in line for a while, but gave up after the line didn’t move for 20 minutes. When I checked back, the rally was already over. So here are some crowd scenes. No Romney. Oh, well.
The Romney juggernaut is blowing into town today. Big Bird awaits.
Got an old house? Lots of plumbing issues? Bathub/shower drain clog a lot? Hate to snake out the drain? Hate to pay a plumber big bucks to snake out a drain? Don’t want to use caustic chemicals (Liquid Plumr, etc.)?
I have a secret.
And I’m going to tell you what it is.
If you’re struggling to get the bath water to go down the drain, bring it up instead.
I know, crazy, right?
Here’s how you do it:
1. Procure an old wet-dry vacuum that won’t make you suicidal if you ruin it. Mine is an old Sears beauty (pictured here) that has already paid for itself many times over in helping undo water damage.
2. Allow clogged drain to mostly drain out (bail water if necessary — chances are the commode is nearby).
3. Ventilate room well. You’ll learn why shortly.
4. Plug in wet-dry vac, turn it on and apply vacuum hose to drain opening, making as complete a seal on the drain as possible.
5. You should notice an increased strain on the vac’s motor and perhaps some “chunking” in the hose as it sucks up water and other unsavory matter. It will probably stink.
6. Watch carefully for overflow in the vacuum. Shut off immediately.
7. Drain vac into toilet. Eeewwww! Nasty!
8. Test tub with fresh water. If it flows freely, you’re done! If not, repeat steps 2 through 8.
This unconventional technique is one I came upon in desperation after wrestling with our annoying, cramped bathroom tub/shower for years. See previous experience with the dread tub. We have a love-hate relationship, which truthfully is mostly hate.
The reason it worked, and I’m totally guessing here, is all that hair and gunk was building up against downward pressure. So the reverse pressure had much less resistance from the gunk and up it came. Just a theory.
So there you have it, an unconventional way to unclog a stubborn bath drain with (if you’re lucky) less mess than the old snake or chemicals. Professional plumbers will probably tut-tut this, say it’s a terrible idea and all that, but tell that to your haranguing wife.
Disclaimer: I am not a professional plumber, nor do I have aspirations of becoming one. I mean, have you seen the gook that comes out of those waste lines? Or ever had to install a kitchen or bathroom sink? No thanks! My point is this may or may not work for you. And if you’re not careful, there is a risk of electrocution. Make sure you use a vacuum designed to handle water by the gallon.
Twas a lovely, sun-splashed early October day. How can anyone resist getting out for a little fresh air and fall foliage? They aren’t quite at peak color yet, but there was color enough to earn a few shots on my Nikon D7000.
And now to steal a lyric or two from R.E.M.
Buy the sky and sell the sky and lift your arms up to the sky
And ask the sky and ask the sky …
Fall on me
Mrs. AkronDave and I took a stroll along the banks of the mighty Cuyahoga River the other day. Nice to have such pretty scenery in our backyard.
Credit The Simpsons.
Would Ansel approve?
There was a Chalk Festival and the Youth and Beauty exhibit going on the same day today. One display was from decades ago. The other will wash away with the next rain. Both were impressive. But I have to say that advertising the Youth and Beauty exhibit as having Ansel Adams photography was really stretching things. I was expecting an array of Adams’ Nine Zones technique with some of his best examples. No. One decaying, fading print . That’s it. Not terribly impressive. And there were several other photos that, had I submitted them for a class for grading, would have been dinged for the sloppy mounting alone.
But there was plenty of other good stuff, it was a beautiful day and a nice visit to a lovely part of town. (What town? You have to ask?)
Hanging with the in-laws and outlaws, deer and turkey.