Jury Duty

Summons

Having served as a juror on many, many occasions during the time of my employment, I truly thought that I would never again be called for that odious “service” given that we are remote from the big cities and not much happens here to warrant a jury trial locally. I guess all the stars aligned and my name popped out of the local selection lottery. (Why couldn’t I be a Powerball winner or something?) I am not one of those people who enjoy jury duty.

In the Los Angeles County area where we lived, one’s name would regularly come of the selection process every couple of years. I’ve served on so many trials, I could not begin to enumerate them. After a while, I got clued in that if you were to postpone jury service to a week where there was a holiday, the odds of selection to a particular jury would be much less. I used that tactic the last few times I was called and it worked pretty well.

Unfortunately, our little town doesn’t offer a postponement or reprieve unless

  • it causes serious financial impact
  • you are physically or mentally unable to serve
  • are above a certain age

I missed being able to use the latter excuse by almost exactly one year. So, unfortunately, I have to drag my ass out of bed at the crack of dawn to report at the ungodly early hour of 0700.

mickey.gifThere is still a chance to get out of this since the instructions say to call and verify the trial is still taking place on the last business day before reporting.

UPDATE: I followed the instructions to call the court to verify this afternoon and, lo and behold, the recording said THE TRIAL HAS BEEN CANCELED! YOU ARE EXCUSED! HAPPY DANCE!!

Monsoon Season is Upon Us

Monsoon Radar

Last night, tonight and for the next few afternoons and evenings, the radar image above is typical of the precipitation activity over our state. We experienced our first downpour late yesterday, with the results being a lot of flooding and debris in the usual places. There were reports of downed trees in town and emergency crews restoring electric power and other interrupted services.

We were fine here, albeit a bit shaken when lightning struck just up the hill behind our house. It seemed to rattle the dogs a bit too, but no harm to anything we could detect. None of our utilities were interrupted (other than satellite TV due to the precipitation) and we stayed cool (104° and 77% humid outside).

Our retention walls behind the RV drive did the trick yesterday, with the heavy runoff diverted to the west side of the property and down the creek that The Better Half and I devised in early 2016. We should continue to be OK in the weeks to come.

LED There Be Light

LED Fixture Installed

Over six years ago, we bought a couple of fluorescent light fixtures for the garage as the house was being built. Each fixture had two four foot tubes and the ballast, starter, etc. As we look back at getting these lights, we recall settling for a cheap house brand from one of the big home improvement stores in Surprise, AZ.

Last week, one of the tubes in one of the fixtures crapped out. We were going to get a replacement tube, but when trying to remove the diffuser, it broke. At that time we also noticed that one of the plastic parts containing the electrodes on the end of the tube was broken away from the housing. We made the decision to upgrade the fixtures to a more modern solution.

We opted for a couple of LED fixtures available from Amazon.

  • 4-Foot LED linear flush mount features an impact-resistant polycarbonate diffuser with brushed nickel cast aluminum decorative end caps
  • Integrated LED provides 3,460 lumens and 4000K cool white color temperature
  • Energy star-certified and listed for damp locations
  • UL-listed to US and Canadian safety standards
  • Delivers general ambient lighting for surface-mount ceiling applications

Installation was pretty simple, really, with toggle bolts holding the frame to the ceiling and wire nuts making the electrical connections. The fixtures are better looking than the ones they replaced and put out as much or more light with a similar color temperature.

The Better Half helped with the installation and took the (clickable) image above and the inset while I was preparing the house wiring to receive the new connections.

July Fourth Festivities

What’s for Dinner?

Despite the 109° patio temperature this afternoon, we ventured outdoors to grill up some beef tenderloin steaks and roasted/grilled corn on the cob. The Better Half prepared “crashed” potatoes (microwave baked Yukon taters smashed with butter, sour cream and shredded cheese) to go with the meal.

We are about five miles away from the park where fireworks are scheduled to be launched at around 9PM, but we can see some of the higher rockets from the courtyard out front. This will be under a waxing Gibbous moon and the summer triangle with the Milky Way beyond. The night sky is usually spectacular to see out here, fireworks or not.

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

 

Smokin’ Sunday

Electric SmokerWhen the summer weather here gets above 110° as it has for the last ten days or so, The Better Half would rather not prepare food in the oven and heat up the kitchen. Alternates for oven cooking, in our case, include Crock Pot, Steamer (out in the patio), Electric Smoker and the BBQ Grill, none of which result in heating the kitchen up.

The latter item above, the BBQ grill, is also somewhat undesirable in this weather since one has to tend to it while being out in the heat, although we have been known to “tough it out.”

(Clickable) Image: Our Masterbuilt Electric Smoker

Yesterday, we opted for the crock pot with TBH preparing a tasty Tex-Mex Casserole dish. Today (starting last night, actually), we employed the electric smoker. Late last night, I put a pork loin into the smoker and cooked it on low with smoke overnight. This morning, I put a 2 pound beef brisket in the smoker and cooked it along with the pork with smoke all day at 250°.

This is actually the first time I have used the smoker for preparation of two different meals simultaneously. Today, we enjoyed smoked brisket with baked beans and potato salad. During the coming week, we will be having pulled pork sandwiches using shredded smoked pork loin.

Joke of the Day - Eric Holder, Presidential Timber

liar.jpg

This cartoon from Ramirez back in February of 2012 says all you need to know about Eric Holder and most Democrats. They cannot tell when they’re lying.

And now, the aforementioned Holder seems to think he’s qualified for the highest office in the land . . .

From Breitbart:

Former Attorney General Eric Holder has said he is eager to become more involved in resisting President Donald Trump and is also considering a presidential run in 2020.

Read the rest.

What an Effin’ Joke!

Heatwave Brings out the Bugs

Bark Scorpion

One of the dogs started to go after a bark scorpion on the patio this afternoon. Luckily, we were able to restrain her while I eliminated the little beastie with a size 10W stomp.

After we finished walking the dogs, I set about to spray the perimeter of the patio and all of the entrances to the house and garage with a commercially available insect spray. We generally call our town exterminator roughly when the monsoons start for the spray service, but the heat is here earlier this season and the bugs are out already. Since I killed one scorpion, The Better Half would feel better if I were to lay down some spray, so I did.

You can see by the patio temperature inset in the image that the heat would be a bit abusive for more than light outdoor activity, so I sprayed the minimum of the essential areas and got back inside where the thermostat keeps us at a “cool” 82°.

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