Sunday, April 2, 2017

Well went down. A Walk in the Park. New Magazines. If you liked "Vikings".....

No water this morning.

Got up yesterday morning, got ready for my luxurious, hot shower.  No water pressure.

Nine times out of ten, when this happens to a home well system, it's the control box. But, it could be the pressure switch on the pressure  tank,  the breaker on the well, or , horror of horrors, the pump .

I don't mess with the well.  To trouble shoot a well  calls for expertise and equipment I don't have.  So I called the well drilling company.  Every time I have a well problem, it's a Saturday or a Sunday. That means time and a half.  Holidays are even worse, you pay double time then.  And you are paying windshield time, too.  From the time the on call technician leaves his house til the time he gets home, you are paying by the hour.  Time and a half equates to $120.00 an hour, so , if my math is right, that's $2.00 a minute.

I  got lucky though, instead of  the on call guy being down in the next county, as usually happens to me, he just lived 10 miles away.  Came right out, fixed the well  (it was the accursed control box), and I have great water pressure. Going to zap me in the wallet, but I consider it money well spent. I do enjoy a hot shower.  I have around 300 gallons of water stored in jugs right now, so yes, I could flush the toilet, wash dishes, wash clothes, and we can heat water on the stove for bathing.  We have a giant cast iron tub upstairs, but in a case like this we'd use the smaller tub downstairs, saves hot water. I can do all that but I sure don't want to!

Two new magazines on the news stand this week.

I haven't had time to do more than  thumb through them, but they look pretty good.

A Walk in the Park

M and I went to the park in town for a walk yesterday. We had to go into town anyway for some errands.

I have to say, this is one thing the county did right.  It's a beautiful park. One side of the park is bordered by a big creek, and another by the river.  It's got walking trails all over , a big swimming pool, softball fields, and a playground for children.  Lots of picnic tables and secluded places to sit and rest.  Benches strategically located along the river and the creek.

The park was so popular, the county bought the land on the other side of the creek and the river. There are boat launching ramps there on the river, and bridges so you can cross from one side of the creek to the other.

The creek here is a little low now, but when we have enough rain it's deep. You can see the trout swimming in it , because the water is crystal clear.

The walking trails are really nice. In the old part of the park, they are asphalt and make a three mile loop from the parking area, around the old part of the  park, back to your car.

The new part of the park, on the other side of the creek, has more rustic walking trails. You can walk out there and never see another soul, and there are some good views of the mountains.  Now that M is back, we are trying to go to the lake, to the state park, or to this county park and walk every day.

Updated 040217 2317E: Something I didn't make clear. These books all tell the story of one man, from his youth to his old age, so you need to read them in order or they won't make much sense. 

A Great Series of Historical Fiction Books About the Dark Ages in England.

 I wanted to mention this series of books.  If you liked "Vikings" on the History Channel, you will really enjoy these. They are extremely well written, and they are historically accurate. The author, Bernard Cornwell, is a "Dark Ages" buff and he knows his subject. The books start just after Ragnar Loftbrok has burned and pillaged the monastery at Lindesfarne.  His sons are characters in the first books. The books all have a guide in the front so you can take the Dark Ages place name, and look up the modern name. They also have epilogues in the back that discuss the particular incidents the book covers.

I got into trouble once by recommending books that cost a lot of money, and made some people mad. But when I recommend books, I am not saying you have to go out and pay a lot of money for them. Here's something I learned from Lisa at Three Bears Farm.  You can go to your library, and they can order the books for you, and it doesn't cost a cent.  Each of these books runs about $23.00 new, and I haven't been able to find any used copies, so I got them from my library.  In my case, the local library has a complete set, but your library can temp loan them through an inter-library request. So fear not.

Updated: 0403171121E:  Several people found these books "for cheap" in different places. Check the comments if you are interested in owning them and don't want to spend an arm and a leg.

These are absolutely not just for men.  I think women will enjoy them just as much, and if you are interested in this period of history, you really couldn't do better as far as I know.

In Chronological Order, then.:

These are really gripping stories, and the characters are fascinating. It may be a little trouble to get them, but it's worth it. I'm reading  them for a second time now and enjoying the books as much as the first time around.

Thought for the Day:

Some Cartoons:

And a few good memes.


  1. Sorry to hear about your well, but glad that you got it repaired so quickly. That is a beautiful park, and I love all the walking trails. Big storms here today.
    I heard about the big fire on the interstate in Atlanta. Was it intentionally set? Jana

    1. Jana, I'm just glad it was the control box. The whole rigamarole will probably cost me about three hundred. If it had been the pump, it would have been over a thousand.

      That fire was set by three crack monsters. They were doing their little crack thing under the bridge, and one of them, a guy who has spent more time in prison than on the street, thought it would be fun to set fire to some conduits that were stacked up under the bridge. Atlanta is in a panic. 250,000 cars passed over that bridge daily. They are expecting pandemonium in the city tomorrow as people try to get to work. Atlanta has some of the worst rush hour traffic in America without this anyway. The strange thing is, it will take months and ten million dollars to fix it, according to the news. If one crack monster could do this with a fifty cent lighter, what could ISIS do?

      We are expecting another big storm through tonight, and the Weather Channel says Monday and Tuesday are going to be high threat tornado days...

      Our Park really is magnificent. And there's never any trashy people there because the town police and the county Sheriff keep patrol cars there during the day. But after nine at night they lock it up, because nobody dares go down there. The whole park is covered by an extensive network of surveillance cameras, because when they first opened it people on the walking trails were being accosted, robbed, beaten up, or all of the above. It's safe now.

  2. Nothing brings home the importance of water like a broken pumping system. I put my own in so I'm the pump guy. Yes, they almost always break at a bad time. Nothing like climbing down a shallow well in December with the snow flying.

    Cornwell is a good writer. A good friend of mine buys them and then lends them to me.

    1. Hey, good to hear from you. I saw you were taking a break there for awhile, glad you are back.

      I'm not much for electric stuff, so rather than risk blowing something up or frying myself, I call the well company. Especially since they hired a tech for this county. Used to be they had to drive all the way up here from a county to the South West, and that cost some green.

      Yeah, I really enjoyed the books. I thought about buying them, but I figured if I could get them from the library for nothing, I'd go that route.

  3. Harry - i am so glad that your well problem was a small one. and good for you that you took care of it so quickly!

    we are watching Season 2 of The Last Kingdom, a series based on those books on netflix. it's really good and i am sure you can find some clips on youtube if you are interested.

    your park is very pretty and i am glad that you explained above that it's safe.

    with your recommendation, i will see if i can't dig up some of those books. the series is really good but i find that books are always 10 times better than a movie/series based on them.

    sending much love, as always! your friend,

    1. Kymber, I sure do wish I could see Netflix. I bought the BBC DVD Last Kingdom season I, and it was really good . I looked up the second season on the net, thinking I could watch it on BBC, but it is showing on BBCII, doesn't look like BBC America is carrying it. I guess I will have to wait until I can buy the second season on DVD. I would like to get Netflix, because they also have a show called "Longmire" I really liked. The first season or two was on A&E, which I got on my satellite, then Netflix picked up the series and I haven't seen it since. My understanding is you can get netflix on your computer but you have to have a pretty good speed, and my internet here won't even play music or videos without buffering forever.

      The well was something I wanted to get resolved quickly, because I didn't want to worry that the pump itself had been damaged by all this lightening. We have had really bad thunder storms for weeks now, on and off, with bursts going off right over the house and hitting trees all around us. Even with the breakers thrown on the pump, a nearby strike can destroy the pump and then you are out a thousand bucks by the time they pull the old one, replace it with a new one. That happened to me about 8 years ago and I sure don't need that now, so I was glad it was just a control box.

      You can get them on Kindle for about eleven dollars, but that's still 110 dollars. I hope maybe your library there can get them for you without costing you anything. I think you will like them if you can get them.

      The park is really nice. We went to the state park today, for a change, and the wind was blowing across the lake making waves. It was really nice, cool and low humidity.

      There's another really bad storm coming this way from the Gulf. We have really been getting pummeled and April is just starting. April is the worst month for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms here. I was reading your friends blog and saw she was covered up with snow again....

      Take care up there.

  4. I went to my favorite used book site, and
    typed in Bernard Cornwell and they have 126 listings for him. They have 6 books of the first in the series, "The Last Kingdom" and the best part...$3.59 each! I didn't check to see if all on your list are available. But almost all of the books are for $3.59. Free shipping if the order is over $10.

    1. Are those paperbacks? I have never heard of thrift books but it seems like a good outfit, I will look them up.

  5. I just checked iBooks, where the The Last Kingdom at least, is only $6.99. Kindle and other e-book sources are likely very similarly priced.

    1. I know Kindle wants 11.00 for a digital copy and about the same for a paperback. I gave up buying paperbacks years ago, because I often read books over and over again, and the paperbacks fall apart with time. It was nice to get all ten books from the library for free. However, there may be people who can't get the books that way and I guess a tablet or something digital would be the most economical way. Thaks for the heads up on that.

  6. Those park pictures are great. No better place to de-stress that a walk in the park I say. Do you have to pay to get in?

    Also glad you got the well fixed. There's nothing worse than cold showers. I had more than my fair share of those while living in the Andes. The locals told me it was better that way for your circulation. Ya, whatever Pedro.

    Hope you have a great week. --Troy

    1. Troy, the park is free to all. When we go to the state park, we have to have a park pass, but we get the senior pass and it's twenty five dollars a year. To go to the county park at the big lake, which is really beautiful , and has great views of the mountains across the lake, costs two dollars a visit.

      I was lucky I could get somebody out here that quick. It's a real stroke of luck too, that they have a well technician now that lives in my county. Used to be they had to drive all the way from the next county. I hate cold showers. Hot , long showers are an indulgence. I usually take Navy showers to save propane, which is how my water is heated,but sometimes I just enjoy a good long shower.

      I think this week will be ok. Next week will be a little harder. M is having some dental work, and we have to take five of our cats to the vet to get them spayed. Since it's up in North Carolina, we have to take the cats early in the morning, then pick them up in the afternoon to take them home. We'll just potter around up there, it would be too far to take them, go home, then go back and get them in the same day.

  7. I like Cornwell's writing. I saw a series based on his Last Kingdom books when I was on a long flight recently. There were about 4 episodes, and they were great.
    - Charlie

    1. Charlie, BBC did a mini-series based on the books last year and it was great. They second mini-series is running now on Net Flix, Kymber has been watching it. But I don't get net flix so I guess I will have to wait till it comes out on DVD.

  8. Good to hear you were able to get the well back online so quickly.

    Yep, something are worth paying others to do!

    Sheriff Clarke is a good guy. I'm surprised he's been Sheriff for so long, as Milwaukee isn't exactly a conservation bastion!

    1. Dr. J, yeah it wasn't so traumatic as it has been in the past . Pretty straight forward. I'm just glad it wasn't the submersible pump!

      I like the guy a lot. I hope he hangs in there. I am a big fan of that fellow.

  9. We have been lucky with our well (knock wood), only lost a pressure switch and one water logged pressure tank in 23 years. We always keep our fingers crossed with a well system. I loved the Vikings and watched them first on Netflix and then the last season on Amazon Prime. These people have always intrigued me. It is unbelievable to me that their descendants are now over run with devil worshipers
    and are protected as such. I see Kindle on Amazon has these books but I really don't want to buy to read on my fire. Will go to town tomorrow and stop by the library and see if they have them or can order them. They look interesting as hell. I have a Viking name (as you know). Boy, wish we had a park like you have, but we only have about 2,000 people in our town. There is a state park on the CA border, but not as nice as what you have.

  10. You have been lucky indeed. Most of our problems have been storm damage. Even with the breaker to well off, all that wiring and those pipes , and especially the control box, can get fried pretty easily.

    Are you getting Netflix over your internet? Do you have pretty good internet? I ask because I'd love to have it, but my internet speed is so slow I gather it won't work. My kids have it but they live in a city and have super fast DSL or whatever.

    I find it ironic that the Scandinavians are being overrun by the ragheads too. Of all people, you would think they'd be the least likely to make such a stupid mistake.

    I read a lot on Kindle, mostly because it's cheaper than paper, but it's just better to read a paper book with these kind of stories.

    We have a big city park, a state park, and a county park on the big lake, all within about a 15 minute drive of the house. It's one of the good things about living here. One of many, I guess.

  11. We don't get the lightning storms like you do. We mostly just get rain and maybe a thunder shower once or twice in a summer. Passes in about 15 minutes. I have good thing this little town has. Broadband with good speed. I don't get Netflix anymore as they were having streaming problems, so I went over to Amazon. It is included with prime membership. I like a good paper book, too. The smell of the paper and the feel of the pages. I do like reading on my Kindle fire or kindle online for some things, though. We have a big new modern library; it just does not have the atmosphere of the old, cozy one. Very impersonal and sterile. Don't even like going there much. The old one had little nooks and crannies where you could hunker down with a book or magazine. Lots of comfortable chairs. Used to love it. We don't have those kinds of parks; we have wilderness areas and the trails are pretty good. Unfortunately they are all still covered in snow up the mountain. Could meet a bear or cougar up there....not really my cup of tea.

    1. My download speed is 3.56 (something, I don't know what units they use) according to what I pay for, but I use Speed Test to check it and my download speed is usually significantly lower than that. For instance, on a bad day, I can't listen to Pandora because it will play for 15 seconds, buffer for a minute or two, play for fifteen seconds ad infinitum.

      I'm torn. On the one hand, I know the house is already full of paper books and it's going to be a problem when we eventually die, move, go to the old folks home, or whatever. On the other hand, I really like to look at paper books. All of my gun books are paper books. But a lot of my novels and science fiction type books are from Kindle. I'm so hung up on paper that I buy Off Grid, and American Survival Guide on Kindle and still buy the paper issues too.

      I used to not like our library because I offered them a beautiful leather bound set of Shelby Foote's books, and the stupid cow that ran the library, told me they would have to go in the fiction section. She said his view of the war was fiction. We had a frank and open exchange of views, and she called the Sheriff's Department , which sent a deputy to ask me to leave as I was being "disruptive." I went straight to the County Commissioners office and we had a discussion, but to no avail as he wouldn't force her to accept the books. However, she didn't last long as librarian and now there's a more reasonable person there, who I think is the County Commissioners niece or something like that. We go to the library every four days or so, as my wife has a voracious appetite for old mystery novels, written in the twenties and thirties.

      We have great parks. We also have a big "fine arts center" where the high school kids put on plays and concerts. It cost over a million dollars. We have an "agricultural center" they just finished building for the 4H kids at the high school, it was over a million and it's really beautiful and well equipped. When I read in the paper that they were building that "fine arts center" I went up to the county commissioners office and told him that was an awful waste of money, that there were still people in this county who lived without power and indoor plumbing and why were we spending all this money so the rich people's kids could add something to their college application forms. But he said it was all being paid for with a federal grant so I didn't care either way after that. We have a woman on the county government, believe it or not, whose only job is to get grant money, it's called "writing grant applications."

      This place has changed so much in thirty years I can hardly recognize it. From two little roads that crossed in town, one gas station, a Hardy's, and two grocery stores now it looks like somewhere in Florida. Fortunately for me, I live out in the "poor" quadrant of the county so that hasn't impacted the tranquility of where I live. I have national forest on three sides and I own down the fourth side, down slope, so I am pretty secure against encroachment. The 2007-2008 crash got rid of a lot of the second home people who were out here, and now those houses are just falling apart.

  12. Hey Harry,


    Onto something that may strike your interest Harry.

    Go onto the web and check in 'the philosophy of Kek, Kekistan, Kekistani people, Pepe the Frog.

    This made up 'Kek' is part of the internet 'meme' war between the liberal SJW's and the conservative, Trump fan's. read all this on this website. It was just brilliant want these hackers, trolls and internet crap posters have been doing.
    check out this website
    The lengths at which the trolls went to steal this guy's flag was unreal. The CIA should hire these guys.

    Read about some of the antics of the people on 4chan/pol incorrect you will laugh your head off. This stuff is brilliant.

    There is a whole 'online army' of men (and a few women) that are making grand sport of going after all the 'nut's and flakes' in the legacy media like MSNBC, Racheal Madcow etc.
    The jokes, cartoons etc, are just epic.

    The mascot is 'Pepe the Frog' you know all those cartoons with the frog face online (that's pepe) Pepe was recently made a 'racist' symbol by several online organizations because the cartoon meme 'Pepe the Frog' was used to criticize muslim immigrants from war torn countries.

    I'd recommend checking into and reading up on it because this is becoming a huge 'right wing, libertarian' online movement.

  13. You know, CC, I have seen that frog on a lot of memes and I always wondered what the significance of his frog self was. There's a huge part of the internet I have never explored and am totally ignorant of. I appreciate you passing the word on these sites. I'm definitely going to take a look. The more I learn, the better I feel about the political and social scene. For instance, yesterday I ran "Trump supporters beat protesters" and I found lots of videos of people fighting the skraelings. One was particularly impressive, with a U.S. Marine and his friend attacking a knot of Ninja, beating them up, and taking a U.S. flag from them which the Shitbirds had intended to desecrate. There's a lot of stuff out there on the net that flat out doesn't make it into the news.