James Pearl Thinks Blogging is Dead

The September Blog Project - #5

Yellow jackets suck. Tis the season, yay!

I started my day doing some outside work. Specifically, I got to work on the planters. Not only do I want take out all the weeds, I need to fix the lawn-side 4x4s because they have slowly moved towards the street over the years. A before and after below - well, current. Before, then current state. We're not done yet.

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In the second pic, where there are still weeds, there is a huge hornet/yellow jacket nest. I don't know which it is but they are little assholes. I dumped almost a whole can of hornet spray in their nest and then let it sit when it neared 8:30. I took a shower then got to work.

I decided not to bike today. Instead, I lifted weights after my work day ended. But before that, I went to Hilltop and procured my very own eBike.

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Whoa.

Ok not really. This has been donated to the MTBNJ JORBA chapter for TM work, mostly at RV. Jim pulled a few strings a few days ago and here I am with this monster truck, ready to haul a hedge trimmer up & over the overgrown park. Now, I have no excuses.

Then around 6:00 I got stung. Yeah, I went back out to assess the situation and it's going to take a lot more than 1 can. I may soak the whole area in gasoline or napalm or nuclear waster. Holy shit there's still a lot out there.

That was 2 hours ago. I got stung in the hand and it still hurts like hell. Not swelling up but this might suck to sleep with.
Ground bees are the worst, I took over 80 stings to the foot years ago working on the farm. I vote gas/fire or calling a pro in if the fire is not your thing. My past experience has shown the need to be generous with the accelerant to ensure those bastards do not come get you - that can be dangerous.
 
The September Blog Project - #6

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Every morning, I spent time on the porch with my dog, my coffee, the birds, and my thoughts. I look forward to this peaceful start as soon as I get out of bed every day. Before long, it will be too cold to come out here, so I enjoy it while I can. Today was not a case where it was too cold.

As you can see in the picture above, the blob of greens still sits between the yellow pot and the garbage can. This is where the yellow jackets still exist. As of this writing, I have emptied 3 cans of spray into their nest and they're still going. I have 2 more cans and I will be waking up nice and early and giving them some more business in the morning.

Instead of working on the planters this morning, I started clearing out the C-line in the backyard. This is going to eventually be more of a skills area. What that entails is TBD but it will circle the outer edge of the properly, "behind" the B-line. In my head it's going to consist of wooden features to be ridden at low speed, maybe a few drops if I can find the real estate, bridges in the air, log rides, and the like. The stuff that was built up in Adams Camp is what comes to mind here. I need a plan for this, though.

After work I tried to fix Simon's bike and it looks like the helicoil in the lefty is gone. I thought my toil with this fork was a thing of the past, but apparently not.

I did a Zwift ride tonight because I have no desire to ride in this heat. Just a few more days and we should be over the hump. I hope.

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I have no advice for the yellow jackets, I had a giant nest hanging from a low branch on a maple tree a couple of years ago...ended up cutting the tree!

With regard to the helicoil on the lefty (and maybe I'm putting a foot in my mouth here but that never stopped me from opening it anyway...) what size is the thread? I prefer to use time-sert instead of helicoils, they're a lot more expensive but it's a done once and forget type of deal. I do have M6 and M8 sets (I need to double check) so if you need one of those sizes and it fits the application you're welcome to them.
 
I have no advice for the yellow jackets, I had a giant nest hanging from a low branch on a maple tree a couple of years ago...ended up cutting the tree!

With regard to the helicoil on the lefty (and maybe I'm putting a foot in my mouth here but that never stopped me from opening it anyway...) what size is the thread? I prefer to use time-sert instead of helicoils, they're a lot more expensive but it's a done once and forget type of deal. I do have M6 and M8 sets (I need to double check) so if you need one of those sizes and it fits the application you're welcome to them.


No key-sert?
 
I thought the benefit of a helicoil already being in there is you can just remove it and insert another?
 
The September Blog Project - #7

Yellow jacket update: After being directed by JManic via text to spray them last night after dark, I went out and emptied can #4 into the nest. This morning & today, I've seen a few but they are pretty much on their last leg. I took the pick axe and slammed it into the side of the wood (the street side is a retaining wall made of 8x8s) and not a single one came out. I also buried the hole they were digging with a bucket of dirt. After I post this I am going out to empty can #5 into the last place I saw a few going in & out today and hopefully that's the end of it.

This morning, I spent another hour on the C-line before work. Before and after pics below:

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Before too long I can probably start constructing something, but I haven't decided what that something will be. I'm currently on the deforestation path of the project and will worry about infrastructure later.

Then I worked and wrapped up my day with another Zwift ride. I think it may have been even hotter today than yesterday. I rode with rottin' in spirit.

Ed - you hit on something I've been focusing on recently, the daily positives. Every day I try to have something non-work related to enjoy. Adding in the project stuff before my work day starts has made this week considerably better than usual. I've been trying to engage in projects around the house, or doing things with people, or spending time with the family, in a reasonable balance with the demands of work, life, etc.

I read a quote recently from an 82 year old woman who said the hardest 2 things about getting old were 1) your mind works just fine but your body breaks down and 2) time just goes faster and faster after age 50. I've been making health more of a focus the past few years, and I think I've gotten myself into a pretty good spot. As for her time comment, I try not to look forward to things too much. If you look forward to tomorrow, you miss today. Having something to enjoy today means you won't miss the day. You can see how people with too little on their plate can lose entire weeks when they are looking forward to Saturday when it's only Monday.

I feel a lot of this makes sense to everyone, but I think we all fall into the trap of toiling through work the first 3 days of the week, sometimes all 5. At this point, I'm trying really hard not to do that. Find something every day to enjoy, even if it's going all napalm on the local yellow jacket crew, or enjoying your morning coffee with the birds. This morning I heard a red-headed woodpecker, which Capers tells me is extremely rare. I never see them like he does, but my Merlin app tells me they're somewhere.
 
time just goes faster and faster after age 50.

wait until the kids are off (away) to school.
Time flies, but you have more to "yourselves" -
meals change, less laundry, plans - we don't need no f'n plans.....

yet it just flies by. i'm hitting the big 60 this year., the last couple have been a blur.
even dismissing the lost covid 18 months - i can't remember before then ;)
 
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The September Blog Project - #8

I start the day at CR with Kirt and Ranger Ryan. More info on that can be found here. Not going to write more about it, other than to say I really like the Hulk Smash/Bob Ross analogy. That said, the 3 of us combined have as much hair as Bob Ross' right arm. The afro is totally beyond us.

Then I worked from 11-5 which is usually a non-starter for me on a Friday. This week we had a go-live and it was from 2-5, so I did what I had to do. It all went fine so there was nothing of note.

I finished up the afternoon doing more work on the C-line, as well las the end of the A/B-line. The A&B-lines merge at the end, and I'm thinking about how to extend that in an interesting way. That's sort of a major project though. Not sure I'll get to that this year.

An update on the yellow jackets

First - They're not as gone as I thought.
Second - I got stung once on the back at CR today.
Third - I got stung twice in the front yard, which is why I went to the back to work.

None of these 3 stings hurts nearly as much as the hand did. The 2 on the back just itch. I did not win the battle today, but I'm confident I'm winning the war.

I was also in a bit of a coffee bean crisis today. I had 1 cup this morning, and that was the last of my beans. My Onyx order got delayed and it didn't come yesterday. I was unsure if I should make a run to Black River, or wait it out and hope it made it. Long story short, tomorrow morning will be glorious:

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The September Blog Project - #9

It was a bevy of things today, a veritable plethora, if you will. It'll be easier to make a list. I don't think I've made any lists in September yet. Let's start with a list then add some color at the end.
  1. Walked the dog with a few dog friends at the park
  2. Went for a ride at CR by myself to check out some of the work we did
  3. Came to a new assessment of the yellow jackets
  4. Went to the Asian food store
  5. Then we went to Costco, where we walked out of the store into a hail storm
  6. After a brief period on the couch, I went out and trimmed up some of the extended A/B line
  7. Worked on the other side of the planters
  8. For dinner, we ate like 50 scallops and it was glorious
Yellow Jacket Update

I really do hate these fuckers but I will give them credit, they are resilient. After driving them out of their first 3 holes, today they have moved a few feet to the left to what appears to be a new home. I take it as a win, that I have now rendered their previous 3 homes toxic. I take it as a loss that they're not all dead yet. On the bright side, I did not get stung today. Yet. I have another can to dump into home #4 shortly.

The A/B Extension

The idea would be to have a jump of some sort where that rock is, then at the tree at the end, a wooden berm would send you off to the right, back towards the house.

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Here's where the wooden berm will go. I have a bunch of IG posts saved on how to build this but I have to admit I'm unsure about it. That said, there's no other way to keep speed and turn 90 degrees to the right. At least I have a tree to anchor it. In the picture above there's a dead tree on the ground. Ideally I would hoist that up and put it at the base of the live tree and use it to anchor things. Minor problem being that the dead tree probably weighs a ton.

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The Planters

Below is my aim with these things (well, you know with like flowers growing in them or something). This is what started the whole War of the Yellow Jackets. This image is on the far end of the other side of the planters. The hazardous area is on the far side of the mailbox. I'm going to work on this side while I play the long game with the other side. Just past this box you can see what we started with. It's kind of a mess.

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@jmanic wanna go on a date?



Sorry Norm, you blog has become the court to volley nickelback stuff
 
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The September Blog Project - #10

The Schilling Memorial Ride at Allaire

I won't lie, I didn't want to do anything when I got up today. D pushed the issue and we made it out on time. And of course, as always, I'm glad we did. It's obviously a cornerstone ride the team has every year. While it's not mandatory in any regard, it's nice to see so much orange & blue down there. This year the numbers seemed a bit off, which may have been due to the weather. For the most part, we had a decent day with the weather. You know, until we didn't. Actually, we made it just in time. The extended group got dumped on.

I spent most of my ride talking to Carson, Mare, and Kris (Nagy, not the one that rides for us) in the intermediate ride, aka the hungover intermediate ride, according to Sideshow Jim. I forget his username here. Hacksaw Jim? Dodecahedron Jim? IDK.

Then Mitch told me I looked good.

I didn't get to talk to rottin. I was going to tell him about our 1.5 pounds of scallops last night and how gloriously splendid that was. I don't know why but I feel like he would appreciate that. I could be wrong. Stef, D, Dodecahedron Jim, Myles, Carson, Mike, and rottin below:

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Sandwich

We were both starving on the drive home so we decided to go yard with lunch. Kool Aid man says OHHHHH YEAH

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The Mounds

A bit of a side project I've had in my back pocket is the mounds on western blue. Bear missed out on his walk this morning, so I took him out and we came in from the Crim side to do a little work this afternoon. I'm going to generally work my way up from the bottom. I'm hoping to make these 5x more fun. I probably won't succeed in that but you gotta have a goal. 5x or bust!

Today I made the last main hump more better-er. At least IMO. Before & after below. It'll need some finishing work. There's only so much I can do with an axe. Careful with that axe, Eugene.

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Yellow Jacket Update

I gave them a break today. We can resume this journey tomorrow.
 
We are considering installing railroad ties as curbing,similar to your planters, do you find them to be in constant need of upkeep, rotting etc or are they pretty much set it and forget it? It seems every contractor wants to install Belgian blocks but the costs become astronomical for a long run.
 
We are considering installing railroad ties as curbing,similar to your planters, do you find them to be in constant need of upkeep, rotting etc or are they pretty much set it and forget it? It seems every contractor wants to install Belgian blocks but the costs become astronomical for a long run.

We've been here 10 years and this is the first time I'm doing anything with them. Objectively, a bunch of them, or all of them, should probably be replaced. Practically, ain't nobody got time for that!

We were trying to figure out how old these are. D thinks they may have been installed when the house was built in the 1920s. I don't think they're that old, but I would say they've been there a while. The top of the wall is now leaning a good 10 degrees towards the street (due to the yard just slowly "rolling" downhill I guess you could say). That gives you an idea of how long they've been there.

We also considered a stone wall for 1.7 seconds. The costs of these things is astronomical and 1 snowplow clip can easily cost you $5000 in damages. We're good passing on that.
 
The September Blog Project - #11

Morning Planters

Today I kicked off my morning roughing out the rest of the left plater, as seen below. In the image you might be able to see that the far side is higher than the near side, and the tree's roots make it impractical to make it level. But the bulk of the hard work is done and I just need to figure out how to lay this out. I want to have this side done this week, in between the torrential downpours.

The Hulk Smash part is done. Now I need to Bob Ross it.

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Round Valley

I emailed the RV super today and she actually got back to me within an hour. There's another program coordinator I'm going to work with to get some of the trail work moving forward in a more official capacity. I hope to get out there and meet 1 or both of them soon, maybe this week.

Zwift

At 4:30 the skies opened up and sort of decided my fate for me. I didn't really feel like lifting weights so I hit Innsbruck for a big hill climb. I did a hard hour then needed to get ready for dinner and the 7:00 meeting.

I've thought a bit about the shittier weather season and how I want to approach it. I think I might take on The Sopranos this winter. And maybe every Coen Brothers movie.

Jorba Board Meeting

Tonight we had the first ever Board Meeting with the new structure. I'm not going to say that all sorts of exciting things came of it. It was more of an organizational thing than anything else.

I forgot I'm the Development Committee director. Or I was. I may have lost that job.

Monday

In the pantheon of always having something positive on a daily basis, Monday is kinda hard. I asked D last night which evening is the worst of the week, and she quickly replied, "Monday." So there you have it.

Daily positive: Monday is almost over.
Daily positive #2: I did not get stung by a yellow jacket today
 
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