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David T. Cole

Small Talk: The Welcome Mat

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According to the forecast track, it will slip neatly between us and T&T, which places it on a direct path to Grenada. We are still under a Storm Warning and a Hurricane Watch. A Small Craft and High Surf warning is also in effect for the next 36 hours. Next advisory at 2:00PM

Windspeed is down a bit, but it is expected to increase to near-hurricane levels as it progresses. Apparently, a hurricane hunter is en route. Sustained storm force winds are likely here from the morning of Saturday 25th. A rainfall/flooding hazard exists and a formal advisory may become necessary. An hour ago we had a brief but very intense shower.

I got months of food stockpiled. If anything develops, all Buddy and I can do is shut up the house and hope for the best.

@Browncoat, thanks!  2020: what next?

 

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TS Gonzalo continues to weaken. Latest Advisory (#15) terminates the Hurricane Watch but the Storm Warning continues. Small Craft and High Surf warnings also continue in effect. This is contingent on the storm following the predicted track. But the storm track has been erratic, and it wouldn't take a lot for it to swerve in our direction, in which case.....

Just watched the PM on YouTube, telling everyone to take precautions but not to panic.

Next intermediate advisory at 8:00 PM. 

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The Storm Warning for Gonzalo has been discontinued, as has the High Surf Advisory, as the storm weakens and seems to be sticking to a southerly route. The Small Craft Warning has been downgraded to a Small Craft Advisory, with 2½ to 3 meter swells still expected. Small craft operators and sea bathers best if they stay out of the water.

Seems like we dodged a bullet. Again. This happens a lot, to the point where I feel I should just ignore it when it happens -- a move almost guaranteed to bring the storm straight to my door. So... no.

And besides: 2020.

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7 hours ago, Netfoot said:

The Storm Warning for Gonzalo has been discontinued, as has the High Surf Advisory, as the storm weakens and seems to be sticking to a southerly route. The Small Craft Warning has been downgraded to a Small Craft Advisory, with 2½ to 3 meter swells still expected. Small craft operators and sea bathers best if they stay out of the water.

Seems like we dodged a bullet. Again. This happens a lot, to the point where I feel I should just ignore it when it happens -- a move almost guaranteed to bring the storm straight to my door. So... no.

And besides: 2020.

Never ignore it. My area has a lot of tornadoes (in fact, one hit the week before I was born) and I had become a bit blasé about them....until last October when one missed my immediate neighborhood by just a few streets. The wind was so loud that I couldn’t hear the alert sirens. Honey and I took shelter in a bathroom. She was bored!  I know that since you are in a hurricane-prone area that you see a lot of action. Never ignore it. 

Edited by Spunkygal
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Argh!

Twelve new cases of "athlete's foot" yesterday. Apparently, an aircraft arrived from Ghana carrying 100+ healthcare workers, and twelve of them tested positive on arrival. The entire planeload went straight into quarantine, so hopefully no widespread exposure to the general public. What I want to know is why, with our numbers low, and plenty of spare capacity in out our local healthcare system, are we importing foreign healthcare workers by the planeload?

134 days since isolation began, but I don't know how much sense it makes to talk about isolation when you are going out at least once a week for groceries and meds. I'm still avoiding unnecessary excursions though, and will continue to do so until Dr. Kristi says I don't need to.

In other news, I heard yesterday that Carl, a friend of mine (and Buddys') had passed away. He was a member of a different modelling club, but there have always been good relationships between the clubs. I was always pleased when Carl visited us, and he always made me feel welcome when I went up there. He was a chef, and his food was sweet. He always wore a stetson. A small group of us will go to visit his club this afternoon, where a minute of silence will be held as a mark of respect. There will also be flying and drinking in his memory. I can only find a single photo of Carl, sitting with Buddy watching a plane come in for a landing. (It is in Buddy's album.) Unfortunately it is shot from behind, so you can't see anything of Carl other than his hat. It makes no sense to post it, so I won't.

Edited by Netfoot
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3 hours ago, Netfoot said:

Argh!

Twelve new cases of "athlete's foot" yesterday. Apparently, an aircraft arrived from Ghana carrying 100+ healthcare workers, and twelve of them tested positive on arrival. The entire planeload went straight into quarantine, so hopefully no widespread exposure to the general public. What I want to know is why, with our numbers low, and plenty of spare capacity in out our local healthcare system, are we importing foreign healthcare workers by the planeload?

134 days since isolation began, but I don't know how much sense it makes to talk about isolation when you are going out at least once a week for groceries and meds. I'm still avoiding unnecessary excursions though, and will continue to do so until Dr. Kristi says I don't need to.

In other news, I heard yesterday that Carl, a friend of mine (and Buddys') had passed away. He was a member of a different modelling club, but there have always been good relationships between the clubs. I was always pleased when Carl visited us, and he always made me feel welcome when I went up there. He was a chef, and his food was sweet. He always wore a stetson. A small group of us will go to visit his club this afternoon, where a minute of silence will be held as a mark of respect. There will also be flying and drinking in his memory. I can only find a single photo of Carl, sitting with Buddy watching a plane come in for a landing. (It is in Buddy's album.) Unfortunately it is shot from behind, so you can't see anything of Carl other than his hat. It makes no sense to post it, so I won't.

Sincere condolences to you and Buddy on the loss of your friend.  I’m glad some of you will visit his club and tip one back in honor of him. Buddy will enjoy the day out. 

LOL @ “athlete’s foot!”

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7 hours ago, Spunkygal said:

I’m glad some of you will visit his club and tip one back in honor of him. Buddy will enjoy the day out.

The shocking part is the way he went.  Carl (who was always hale and hearty), went to the beach for a swim. Returning home, he told his wife he wasn't feeling well. He said he was going to lie down, and asked her to bring him a glass of water. She went to the kitchen, filled a glass and took it to him. But by then, he was already dead. 

There was a minute of silence, and then many people described their memories and told tales. There was more laughter than tears. It went surprisingly well. Then drinks and flying.

One pilot pulled the wings off a model at about 2,000 ft. (Five times over the legal limit! In our club we don't fly so far, or so high!) This was considered apt, because Carl had a habit of pulling the wings of models..... Anyway, today the wing fluttered down slowly, as they are apt to do, and the fuselage came down like a javelin, as they are apt to do. It plunged vertically between two two-story buildings about eight feet apart, and embedded itself in the ground. Everything forward of the rear of the canopy was matchsticks and sawdust.

 

ETA: Twenty more cases today. Not certain of the circumstances.

Edited by Netfoot
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I've lost count of what's going on with the "Ingrowing Toenails" numbers, but it currently stands at 143 total cases, 112 recovered, 7 RIP. This leaves 24 cases in quarantine. These numbers are entirely from people entering the country from abroad, and detected at the aeroport.

Today is Buddy's birthday.  He is 7 or 49, depending on your point of view. I think I will go to the supermarket and buy him some beef stew or perhaps bone-in lamb stew, which he might enjoy more (crunch! crunch!). I'd love to take his picture, but that horrible phone I'm using can't take a decent photograph to save it's life.

Best news: Monday night, I fixed my shower, which has not worked since the lockdown (4½ months?). So, how was I managing? Bucket baths. Effective but not as satisfying. I tell you, that 20-minute scalding hot shower on Monday night was epic!

 

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Happy barkday to Buddy! Sending him socially distanced snout kisses! Be a good boy and let Dad take a pic, you little hellion! 

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He had a huge bowl of macaroni pie for lunch, garnished with BBQ chicken and lamb bones. But for his dinner, I bought him some lamb necks. He's lying on his back with a big tummy that's gonna get some serious rubbing when I'm done here!

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Bought a new phone. Cheap Samsung.  Had to buy something; the broken PoS I was using had an unreadable screen. $350 dollarettes. It is now annoying me by popping up notifications every minute. And I always find it very irritating when the phone that *I* own, paid for with *MY* money, refuses to delete the crap applications that the phone comes with. I mean WTF is the reason I can't delete the "FecesBook" or "Microsoft Word" apps??

Last Sunday, Biddy Buddy and I went to the club, and there were several members there. This was good for Bud, because he loves to socialize and he hasn't have a chance to meet anyone since March. His good mate Rudy who he likes to drink rum with was there, just back from over a year in the UK. We're going again on Saturday, and hopefully there will be even more of his friends there.

Went to the doc for a blood-draw today. Got on the scale as well. I suggested they weigh me twice, once before I emptied my pockets and once again after. I think my pockets contain about 5+ lbs. of hardware, which I have to remove each time I get on their scale. I was arguing for a simple subtraction each time, instead of a pocket-dump. They laughed at me and said no. Anyway, down 6 or 7 lbs since last time (about 2 weeks ago).

ADDED: Oh, I forgot to mention: You may remember Mango Man from a month or two ago, who came asking for money because it was his birthday? Well, I saw him on Tuesday, and guess what?  It was his birthday again!

Edited by Netfoot
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Just had a good afternoon at the club, with a nice little crowd. We threw about 50 pieces of chicken on the grill and Buddy was thrilled, because he got two pieces of his very own, plus everybody's bones!  And it was great for him to go socializing with all his old mates and get stroked and patted by everyone. He's been missing human contact during the lockdown, and this is the first time he's actually had a chance to socialize since March. Anyway, Bud had a ball! And he's just turned down another piece of chicken for his dinner, so I guess he's full up to the brim, as well!

But what I really came to say was that I'm often in here talking about the cliff...

From-Raf-05.thumb.jpg.d0ad1451236319fd837988d523ad3d2a.jpg

...or the club house...

From-Raf-04.thumb.jpg.9ffecd2ecfcc242536f5b1e2ebe138c4.jpg

..and I got ahold of these nice photos from Raf, so I thought I'd post them up so when I yakk on about these places, you'd have a clue what I was talking about.

First photo, at the bottom right, you can see an area off the dirt road where we park, and pull out our folding chairs and coolers of beer gliders and transmitters, and hurl one over the edge of the cliff while hanging on to the other!  (It's fairly critical to remember which one gets hurled and which one gets held!) The breeze, fresh off the Atlantic strikes the cliff and rises. The updraught generates "slope lift" which can keep a glider in the air literally for hours at end.  My longest flight is 2 hours 13 minutes, and I only had to land because my hands were hurting so much I couldn't operate the transmitter any more.

Second Photo is a couple years old, because our pond (which was always seasonal) has now dried up, due to a change in the watercourses that feed it.  Sad really, despite the fact that over years, several aircraft went swimming in it by accident, including one of mine! The difference with mine is that I throttled it up and took off again, to fly back to the strip! The photo clearly shows our clubhouse, and our grass strip (which I was mowing every week right up to last year's surgery, as well as off 'n' on since then. And over on the horizon the (not too distant) sea!

Don't like to post loads of photos, but I thought these two might be useful as context for some of my posts, past and future.

BTW, these photos were not taken by a 'drone'.  They were taken with a homemade camera pod fitted to a powered glider with a 2000mm (78½") wingspan. You should see the photo I have of it flying low over the water at the cliff!  

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That cliff is so gorgeous! Glad to hear that you and Bud had a great day with friends. Watching and flying the gliders would be great fun in such a beautiful setting. Bud will sleep like a log tonight!

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19 hours ago, Spunkygal said:

Bud will sleep like a log tonight!

Bud slept like a log... stretched out in the middle of the bed, with his arms and legs and tail stretched out in every direction so as to maximize real-estate occupied. I on the other hand, was up seven times during the night, thanks to the Lasix I've been taking. So now I'm tired, but the day is going to be a busy one, seeing as my car goes for service tomorrow, and there is a lot I have to get done before it goes. Laundry, supermarket, pharmacy, etc. It's just going for a service and tune, but who knows what they will find, requiring how much extra time (and dollar$).

ETA: Just to show exactly how tired I was: I thought today was Monday until nearly 2:00 PM! Went to the supermarket, pharmacy, etc, and contacted several people telling them "tomorrow" when I meant "Tuesday". Must try to get to bed early and actually get some sleep.

Edited by Netfoot
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The van is back from the mechanic. Was hoping it would be less than it was, but the undershield that was busted to buggery had to be replaced (no surprise) and the price of a new one was $495 (big surprise.) Anyway, the work had to be done and now it has been. The mechanic actually said the van was in far better condition than he expected, given how long it's been since it last went in for a service/tune. And that it would fetch well above the norm if I sold it... which I have no intention of doing. Well, I do try to look after the TownAce of Awesomeness! Anyway, $1,300 paid. 

Which leaves enough in the kitty to maybe get myself a proper pair of spectacles made.  Last pair were $1,100 and that was maybe 3 years ago.  But I'm hoping to pay less this time because I've been advised to go direct to the people who make them, rather than use an optician/middle-man. But my regular optician is just around the corner from me, and right next door to Dr. Kristi's clinic, so if the price saving is not anything significant, I may just stick with the people I know. We'll see. The other folks are Seventh-day Adventist, so I can't go tomorrow. I could go on Sunday, but I was already confused enough last weekend, treating Sunday like it was a Monday, I don't fancy doing it again this week. 

Buddy is well, and is very pleased to see his van back in the garage after several days of looking askance at me. He was pretty annoyed this afternoon when I told him he was "On Guard" and walked away from home. But when I arrived back in the van, he was waiting at the gate, and the moment he saw the van approaching he leapt to his feet, and danced onto the veranda stairs. This is where he goes to avoid being squished when the vehicle is maneuvering in the yard (smart doggie) and he stays there until he hears the handbrake ratchet on. Then he's The Unstoppable Force, worming his way through the door as it opens, like toothpaste squeezing itself into the tube, burrowing between my legs, the pedals, handbrake lever, etc, without the least concern as to what he knocks over, breaks, busts or squishes, until he is finally ensconced in my lap, enjoying cool airflow from the A/C vents. Sometimes it can take a couple of minutes to persuade him to exit the vehicle and let me lock it up!

Tomorrow afternoon, a small group will be doing minor maintenance at the clubhouse, and I'll take him up to socialize and get some fresh air/exercise. The lawnmower up there needs servicing or I'd cut the grass which needs cutting. They were waiting for me to get mobile again before calling the service guys, because I am the idiot that gets to drive up there and unlock the shed for them to get the mower out. I think I heard something about trying to get the old mower working as well (it's a wreck and hasn't moved for years).

 

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Just finished "Have Gun Will Travel", all 225 episodes.  Guess I'll just have to start on "Maverick".  

While visiting the the doctor today, I was forced to stand on the scale.  4 lbs. down in the last 2 weeks.  Since they say 1-2 lbs. per week is ideal, you'd think I had done well.  Instead I got the rocket from Dr. K for eating mashed potatoes.

Ok, so I know I should avoid carbs, but at the start of the lockdown, and not knowing how long I would be locked down, I bought a lot of dry supplies.  Rice, dried beans, macaroni, flower... and a large bag of powdered mash potatoes. And I make it nice, adding red butter and garlic powder, grated Parmesan, or what ever I think might make the mas tasty! But how was I to know that there was enough in that bag to make seven cubic yards of mash? Anyway, so as not to waste it, I've been eating a portion of mash once a week or so. Not overdoing it or anything, but Dr. K still jumped in my arse with both feet. In stiletto heels!

So, what was I to do?  I went and consoled myself with lunch from the deli. Two portions of macaroni pie, two portions of cassava, soused cucumber, tossed salad, coleslaw (made at home), a piece of chicken and a pork chop. I got all the rabbit food and the meat, Buddy got both portions of mackie pie, and what ever skin, bones, fat, etc, from the meat. And I ate all the cassava, just because... cassava!

Went and had an eye test today. Dr. K suggested a place in China that makes spectacles very cheap. The specs may start off at US$6.95 for a basic prescription, but by the time you pick out better frames and add progressive grind, plus photochromic coating, you are looking at maybe US$230 -- which is still less than the $1,200 I'd expect to pay here. So I may give it a try.

I'm tired tonight, so I will go and chase Buddy out of his "bedroom" so I can lock it up. Then it's 10cc's Rock 'n' Roll Lullabye and bed!

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Went up to the club yesterday... and the rain fell. And fell. And fell.

That didn't stop the rum-drinkers from having a good time! We scooted our chairs over where the rain couldn't blow in and get us, and the jawing and storytelling went on without a pause.  The Puppeteer (not-quite-scale Sopwith Pup by Flair with a 60" wingspan) blew right off the table, but fortunately suffered no damage.

Buddy was having a fantastic time. He ran all over the place, sniffing and weeing before eventually settling down for a nap, all before the rain started. There's nothing Bud likes to do more than go out and get thoroughly wet.. then run in and jump into my lap. After wriggling around so as to rub the water off into my shirt and drying his feet on my trousers, what he likes to do next, is... go out and get thoroughly wet, then run in and jump into my lap.  And then, he likes to... go out and get thoroughly wet, then run in and jump into my lap... One thing I'll say about him is that deafening claps of thunder and eye-searing bolts of lightning don't phase him one bit! Extreme courage, or stupidity. One or the other.

One of the guys left quite early, but the rest of us were there after dark. Then old Rudy left, which is unusual because traditionally, when ever someone leaves, Rudy says "When you're gone, we're gonna talk about you, behind your back!" Rudy himself is almost always the last to leave, and yesterday as he was departing, we said to him, "When you're gone..." so he came back in for another 20 minutes! But eventually he left us there chatting and generally saving the world.

A short while later, the remainder of us decided to lock up and go. Now, I drive a van. It's got good tires for loose roads and mud, but it is only a van! The other two vehicles were SUVs. I got rolling last, so the two 'jeeps' were in front of me in the track. I can tell you, it was fun and games keeping that van moving up that muddy, slippery track, with throwing the steering from full-lock left to full-lock right and back again, trying to approximate a straight line. Half the time the vehicle was moving in the opposite direction to the steering. Biggest problem was the guy in front of me was not moving ahead! Worse thing is if you have to stop because the guy in front stops, because it ruins your momentum. (If you ever come to a slushy spot where you just can't grip, forward momentum can help you get past it.) The guy in front was driving a Suzuki Viagra.  I call it a 'Viagra' because it's just the sort of vehicle a guy buys to bolster up his manhood. (Not that the owner of this particular Viagra has any problems that I know about...)

Anyway, before long it was stuck solid, and I was forced to stop dead, behind him. To try going around him would have certainly resulted in sticking up in the ploughed ground on either side. "Put it in 4WD!" I cried, with my head out the window. "Uh... This is a Viagra. It only pretends to be a jeep. No 4WD."

Mean time, I'm not getting out of my vehicle, because I was periodically moving it back a couple yards, then a while later forward a couple yards, just so it doesn't think about sinking into the ooze. And besides, if I open that door even only a crack, Buddy will be out through the crack like toothpaste. Then, when it's time to get moving again, he will be nothing but a big ball of mud with two eyes peering out of it, looking at my upholstery which was valeted only a week ago!  

Well, fortunately, the guy who had departed first, came reversing back in his jeep, and offered to pull out the Viagra. But of course, neither of them had a tow-rope! In fact the only person around with enough brains to carry a tow-rope with them was, apparently, me! So, they borrowed it and eventually the Viagra was dragged to solid ground, and I drove out behind them. And so home to a bowl of cereal for breakfast. (The first meal of the day is breakfast, right?  Even if it's at 8:30PM?)

Thankfully, the guy in question offered to take my rope home and wash it off with the hose, before drying it and returning it. I'm glad the muddy thing didn't have to come home with me! The van will be grubby enough in quick time, if The Owner gets his way! But this afternoon, I doubt I will risk that track, especially since I know it's already chewed up from yesterday. And because the only other person I know that is planning to go also drives a Viagra. And because the rain is falling again...

 

 

Edited by Netfoot
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