Saturday, March 15, 2014

a quick visit to Charlotte to escape the cold

I decided to head down to Charlotte on Thursday morning (because of the cold) and that turned out to be a good decision. Charlotte was much warmer (about 50) and I played golf at Regent Park and rode my bike there also. I graded some at the pizzeria, and then went to the wingate to do some work and then head to P.F. Chang’s for dinner. It was my usual steamed shrimp dumpling, hot and sour soup, and a mix of eggplant and broccoli. It was excellent. I walked around a little and then pretty beat went back to my room. In the morning I worked a little, then went for an hour walk around the 4th ward and downtown Charlotte. I drove to the New River Trail but the trail had just gotten new gravel and my bike tires sunk too much. I drove on the roads for a half hour and then finished my ride along the river trail in Radford. I watched some TV and then headed home to see the job that Mike had done. He started a bit too high but it looked pretty good and he is going to put half a load further down and put the rest of the 57 in a pile by the pond. He will also be bringing me a load of crusher run and a load of 357. In the morning, I got up and went for a nice hike after working on my paper a little (it is pretty bad but almost done). I finished clearing the asparagus patch and then went back with the compost and fertilized the fruit trees and the asparagus. I emptied the lawn tractor gas and filled that this evening along with another container for the generator. I let the sun charge the batteries up pretty good and then I used the generator to keep charging them. I started at about 1200 in 1 and I got the charging rate down to 7.8-11 so I hope to finish tomorrow. I watched the Virginia game and then the Duke game (they will meet tomorrow at 1) and then took another walk to my gate. I vacuumed the truck of all the trail mix I spilled, washed the plastic in the front and cleaned the front seat. I also brought in the two containers outside the greenhouse and planted my second 8 broccoli plants. We will see how I do. Now I have three trays of lettuce, two of peas and four of broccoli. I spoke with Gloria today and things are a little better but I hope she can quit soon or I am worried she will get sick.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

middle of the break

It is Wednesday, March 12th and my break is about half over. I have gotten a good bit of grading done but I still have enough to keep me busy. I will be heading to Charlotte tomorrow for an overnighter and I will have to do some grading down there and start reading for next week also. I have basically finished my road and it is in the best shape it has been in for years. I must have spent ten hours on the tractor and my knee feels it. Coltsfoot came out on the 10th so that is a nice treat, certainly foreshadowing the advent of spring. I used my new Stihl battery chainsaw and it worked very well. I cut up the fallen tree in the pasture and did some clearing along the road and up by the house. It is a little slow but it cut a six inch piece of wood with no real trouble. I planted more in my garden, including 8 broccoli plants and some lettuce mix Rob gave me. The early lettuce and peas are up and I should have some to eat in a few weeks. I have ordered some crusher run and 357 and Mike is coming up tomorrow morning to see where I want it. Yesterday I went up to Barbours creek (which was just stocked) and I fished a very pretty stretch of rocky water but didn’t get a hit on dries or nymphs. I then fished a little of the South Prong and it was lovely water and not completely impossible to fish. There were a few decent pools in the rhododendron and I did bring up a small trout. I went for a walk with Rob in the evening after riding my bike at the Tech campus. Earlier in the break I fished Wolf creek and caught two nice trout (over twelve inches). I have played golf a couple of times at Auburn and after starting well on my second visit, I shot a 9 on the tight, short 5th, making a number of mistakes in judgment. I was playing from the golds but I switched to the reds to see if I could still break 50 and I shot a 6 on the difficult par 5, 4 on the par 3, 5 on the easy par 4 and then a 4 on the final hole, ending up with a 48.

Friday, March 7, 2014

First Day of Spring Break

It is Friday, March 7th, and I am enjoying my first day of my spring break. I finished reading Julianna’s thesis and found it quite good. I wrote my recommendation letter for Maddie, and sent my 310-02 class the new schedule. I did grade a couple of 321 tests and a couple of poems. I did the compost and started to clear the asparagus patch (that is work I certainly don’t like) after I did my morning hike. I washed the sheets so the bed is clean again. I had to give up on changing the washers on the kitchen faucet (it is now a cartridge and you need a special tool) and I bought a new faucet and a basin wrench and I hope to install it tomorrow. I aired my down comforter also. I did my yoga and weights and rode the stationary bike for 30 minutes then rode on the river trail for 40 minutes. I also worked on my CEA paper some and I shouldn’t have too much work left on it. The new beanies I purchased from Marmot are fine, nice and tight and they cover my ears. I finished sorting the maps during the week and tomorrow I may wander some tomorrow since it is supposed to be nice. I hope to fish, hike, play golf and perhaps watch a movie, although I will have to go up to the Grandin to watch the new Miyazaki film since it isn’t playing nearby. Overall, a very good beginning to my break. My finances are in good shape and I should be able to do a longer trip in June, hopefully up to Acadia and a visit to Merrill. A couple more weeks and I will see Gabes and Kelly and New York. I am looking forward to that. Gyorgyi seems to be doing fine with her wrist healing pretty well. I probably won’t see her until she returns from New Jersey. I saw Danielle and Claire at Nagoya and treated them to dinner.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

snow is again on the way

My lunch with Claire was fun and we had a good chat. I doubt anything I said will help her but I was as honest as I could be. My weekend went well, purchasing the new Stihl battery chainsaw, which works well if just a tad underpowered. The whole setup cost me 550 but I should get back around 150 for my old gas-powered chainsaw. I cut a bunch of things along the road and up in the orchard and it is lighter and I think less dangerous to use. I am sure it can handle 5 inch pieces but I am not sure about anything bigger. It is so much easier on my hands than the sawzall. Today I built the box for the new saw (made mainly out of scraps) but I will have to purchase a ¼ inch piece for the top since the clearances are so tight. I found out that Mark sold the lawnmower and used the money for himself and that really pissed me off. He should have asked permission and I e-mailed him that I want him to work off the interest that I have been paying. I have probably spent over 500 on interest alone. I have most of my grading done and my midterm ready for 321. The big news is more snow is predicted (now down to 1-3 inches) but I can’t stand anymore. This has been a terrible winter and I hope spring gets here pronto.