Our Tree

We have a small house filled with too much stuff! And two curious cats. So we have a tree that hangs on the wall.

It rolls up and goes in a cylinder for storage, decorations and all!

The presents make it festive enough for us!

Tomorrow is Yule and a cold white one, at that. What more could two retired Pagans want for the season?

Have a good holiday of your choice!

“Our” Fiberoptic Cable

OK. We have to share it with a few hundred other people! Lol.

A few years ago, our telephone company, CenturyLink, brought fiber optic cable to the end of Road Gulch Road along CO69. Now they wanna connect us to that fiber optic cable. Presently we are connected by a copper, multiple conductor cable. We have no idea what this augers for us but we do hope it improves our phone service. And maybe encourages cell service providers to install towers.

I had talked to one of the team doing this for CenturyLink, a contractor from Salida. He was very aggravated they are demanding that this company get ‘er done by Christmas when they had months (or years) to do this. In much better weather.

First they tried to dig a hole with a backhoe and got about a foot down before it wouldn’t go any deeper into the frozen ground. Then the company sent them back with a horizontal borer to cross under the roads, CO28 and CO69. Mission accomplished at each end. But those pulled the familiar orange fiberoptic duct under them.

But the team is now putting the plastic fiberoptic cable directly into the ground! Usually we see these projects with the burial of orange duct with the fiber optic cable itself pulled through the duct later. This method also allows several cables be pulled through the same duct.

Anyway, this project is installing one cable by direct burial.

First they had to break through the frost line the backhoe failed to penetrate. This is the machine they are using. This method of breaking the furrow makes the burial machine work smoother, also.

This thing goes ahead and breaks up the ground ahead cutting a furrow. It left big chunks of frozen soil behind. Note how close it is to the rock wall; the road is even closer to the wall further down the road; there the operator actually plowed the road

Then the rest of the team followed doing their things.

The front thing with the roll of dark “wire” is the cable burier. Behind it is a backhoe doing something, I think using the back of the bucket to tamp the furrow. Then the grader was reshaping the ditch so it looked like they had never been there. Lol.

The fun thing to me was the cable burying machine. Here is a movie of it in action. I suggest you click the fullscreen button to see the action better.

This was cool! The guy walking along beside the plow is the guy I talked to and turns out to be the project supervisor! He is making sure the insertion is going well since there are many things that can damage the cable.

The orange ribbon is a warning tape that is buried a foot or so below the surface to warn backhoe operators they are about to eat a fiber optic cable! Details here (pdf).

They are moving right along and should make their deadline. But they started from the cattle guard on public (BLM) land; once they get to the highway, they will have to deal with the private property east of the part they are doing. That part of the project is along the paved part of the road with narrow rights of way.

I wish them luck.

Status: Donna

Note: we have so much going on, I decided to post individual updates on each family member.

Donna is doing good without a gall bladder. She is increasing the amount of fats into her diet and is approaching normal food with no ill effects! Although she did eat some cookie dough (a favorite treat of hers) yesterday and got nauseous from it! But it was short lived.

And her A1c test the other day was lower! And she lost a little weight. But mainly she feels better. And can have tacos again!

New Low Gasoline Prices

I know it is a crazy world with all the players having crises: the EU economy; the USA economy; Iraqi, Nigerian, and Venezuelan oil production; the Saudis’ oil production which seems to be past “peak oil”; and China buying up every strategic resource they can. And nuts in Iran stirring up shit while US liquid inventories are dropping rapidly as we export distillates.

And the price of gasoline just dropped in Canon City to $3.20.9/Gal. Is this a great country or what?

My Blog Hits

Like many bloggers, I like to see how many visits my blog gets and on what subjects. I have 5 subscribers and usually get hits from my posting on FB.

But the most interesting thing is the search engine terms that lead people here. Since I posted the one about the giant land snails, I get almost daily hits even yet (79 total hits!)! Some are mystifying like “mushroom clouds posters” yesterday: nuclear war posters? Clouds that look like mushrooms? Mushrooms that make clouds? I don’t know and it doesn’t say where they landed.

And “there is low hanging wire in my backyard phone co” made me wonder what attracted that result! I know I have never mentioned “gaylene garbizo denver“! Lol. And “where is donnas gall bladder” reminds me of “Where is Waldo?”. At least I have a good idea what page they looked at! And lots of different combinations of “tree” and “snow” but “sex in the snow” is a chilling idea! I HAD to Google that one and never found my blog in the first 20 pages! I learned some interesting definitions and found a drink: Sex On The Snow cocktail: Blend 5 parts Absolut Vanilia, 1 part Frozen Milk Ice Cubes. Garnish: Maraschino Berry.

Kilt” and “fat sex” also showed up a lot. The oddest search term to me is “+”undermine+national+security+proprietaries,+creating+a+costly+precedent+for+granting+such+benefits+to+other+proprietary+employees+and+would+not+stand+legal+or+public+scrutiny” “.
I was surprised to see I was #6 in the search results, my “Air America Veterans” post!

The things I end up doing on a snowy afternoon!

My First Cancer Pain

Today I woke up to pain on the back of my right shoulder. This is where my largest cancer “colony” lives, on the back of my clavicle. Usually I feel this pain when my bursitis is acting up. But it wasn’t today.

The only logical explanation was the shot I got Monday. This was my first one month shot. It may work differently in regard to the initial “flare” of testosterone. And it was fertilizing my cancer. I am sure my PSA has jumped another notch.

I was feeling it grow. I took some aspirin but that seemed to have little effect. I went about my activities with the pain on my back. This evening it began to ease, thankfully.

I assume this is a sample of what is to come.

My new drug will not have this effect since it does not create an increase in testosterone.

Tonight will be an MMJ night.

Library Babies

When I went into the library Tuesday morning, I was a bit unnerved by babies everywhere! These are in the adjacent classroom.

Even in the librarian’s office!

Ms. Merrill had borrowed these from the Florence school district for a parenting class for girls. A few were still out because the girls “hadn’t finished”. Later one of the sisters of a girl in the class told me her sister hadn’t finished because she couldn’t make the baby quit crying and had hit it lightly. Then it began screaming!

They were really quiet while I was there! Lol.

Donna’s Test and My New Phone

We went up the river to Salida really early for old people like us! We left about 7. She was scheduled for a HIDA test to see how her gall bladder was functioning.

On the way down, we expected to meet the school buses anytime. Today was the first day of school! When we got to Cotopaxi. Still no buses! School started (I thought.) at 8. The buses should be picking the kids students up by 7:30 in our neighborhood. There were parents at the bus stops waiting with their children.

So I took time to drive the half mile from US50 to the school. The buses were neatly parked by the garage. I was thinking this wasn’t right. I called the office but she didn’t know. We met a bus coming back from Howard. So now I am asking the School Superintendent. That is NOT as ominous as it sounds! We are friends! He has said they were on time so I am confused. Imagine that! Lol.

We got to the hospital long before her appointment. I started activating my new phone. So that was when the nuclear medicine tech showed up to take her away! I was doing what my phone told me and they waved off! Shortly after I got the new one in service, Donna and the tech showed up again! There was some question about her paperwork from the registrar. They showed her having an appointment in outpatient but this turned out to be an error. So my wife, with an IV on her arm, and the tech went back into the inner sanctum. And I went to the snack bar for some FOOD! (I skipped breakfast.)

I had nice breakfast for under $2!! Free coffee, a scoop of eggs (!), with a biscuit and sausage gravy. Mmm! I hung around, texting and reading (I took the Kindle, its first outing!). Finally Donna came out, none the worse for wear and said, not to my surprise, “I am hungry. Let’s go eat.”! Lol.

Since this was her trip, I let her choose where we went. She picked number 2 on my secret short list: the Patio Pancake House!

[This is my first picture with my new phone and it didn’t crop like I expected but has good definition.]

She ordered Eggs Benedict, one of her favorites. Then we did some shopping; one special place in Salida was Murdoch’s, a farm and ranch store. They have the best boxes of suet in the Valley! Then a trip to Walmart. That was when she started getting sick. She finally sat down and waited for me to check out.

We went directly home from there. With Donna mentioning every few miles she may have to throw up! That made a tense trip!

We finally started up Road Gulch Road when we reached a construction zone along the dirt portion of the road. There was a berm the grader had made in the middle of the road. I started up on my side of the road when I met a dump truck coming down the same side of the road! And he was not slowing down! Donna woke up and started yelling, “Honk your horn! Honk your horn!” while I was shifting into reverse! I honked and began backing down the road! The truck had not stopped! I got down to the end of the berm zone when the truck turned into a driveway.

I continued back up the road which was very slippery from the water truck wetting the road. Maybe the truck was afraid he’d lose control but I am unsure. Donna was pretty shaken up from waking to see the front grill of a truck in the windshield! I have no idea if he needed to change his undies after this but mine got close!

But we got home OK, to Lily’s delight. Donna went to bed and crashed!

She is better but not 100%. Both times we went for a test, she has had this problem, either from the food she ate or some reaction to the tests: psychological or physical. But one was an ultrasound. What can that do?

I dread what happens after the colonoscopy! 😉 But my new phone works great except I lost all the wonderful vocabulary I spent two years creating!

Donna’s Breakfast

After we dropped Kimi off to her fate, we went to Village Inn for breakfast. Donna was hungry and ordered a vegetarian omelet. Then we went to Hastings on the other side of the parking lot for her to shop and me to drink coffee and make cell calls and texts.

But after she found a book she liked, she kinda crashed. I found her outside with her head on the table. She was feeling nauseous but couldn’t tell me what she wanted to do. She did seriously consider our getting a motel room for a while. So she could nap, in case anyone gets other ideas! 😉

Finally we agreed on finding a shady park to wait for The Call. I found a private parking lot to hang out in. The lawn sprinklers helped keep us cool. She actually dozed off as I read. But suddenly opened the door and tossed her breakfast on the pavement! sigh. While this was going on, The Call came in! After her heaving, she felt better and we went on to get Kimi.

But that drive and the heat made her nauseous again. She didn’t throw up in their parking lot but didn’t have fun waiting for me and Kimi.

We had one more stop to get some scripts before making our way up the mountain. Neither of the ladies were happy about that. But Donna didn’t throw up and Kimi didn’t complain too much. Once the AC was on, they both felt better.

When we got home, Kimi and Donna let me take some pictures of Kimi’s tail then they both disappeared for hours!

This is why Donna has a full schedule of tests this month. Both are feeling better tonight.

Tree Fences

At the rest stop where I took the river pictures, I noticed all the trees near the river had chicken wire “skirts”.

There are no beavers in the Arkansas River so I never did figure out for sure what this was about; maybe they come from nearby tributaries. The best I could come up with were muskrats but don’t think they chew trees! But whatever the problem is, the ARHA went to a lot of trouble to resolve it!

Convict Racing

This SUV was parked out behind Subway when I parked nearby.

It is hard to read but the words are “Convict Racing”. (This was taken with my phone camera.)

The same words are on the back of a certain lowrider dually. I still have no idea what this is about. Or did this replace the dually or is it another part of the team. Since Cañon City is surrounded by dozens of prisons, this is plausible in a literal sense.


FaceBook is down this morning and LJ is barely loading! Many sites are barely functioning or give DNS Lookup errors. But others work great. Like part of the WWW is crippled. But WordPress is functioning normal!