A-a-and new battery is in

And it was almost as fiddly as anticipated.

First, buy your battery. Normally hardly worth mentioning, but this sucker is HEAVY. Happily, when I got to the Napa store and took it out of the car and set it on the curb, an older gentleman (within a few years of my age, probably) offered to carry it into the store. I took him up on the offer, and it turned out to be a win-win I think–I got the battery inside, and he got to feel good about himself, on two counts–proud of himself for being still able to do it, and good for having done a good deed. When I was thanking him afterwards, I said something like “your good deed for the day”, and he agreed–and thanked me 🙂.

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Ha! Battery is out . . .

And in the car, ready to take down to Napa.

Shows what stubbornness and a bit of cogitation regarding angles and lifting will do.

So the job is 40% done. I don’t know if our local Napa will have the right battery, though I’m hoping, and I honestly expect getting it all back together to be harder than taking it all apart. Though I won’t have to go searching for tools, which will help.

. . . By an “emergency” van project.

Copied from my FB page:

The battery of my van is dead, so I have been educating myself on what to do. It’s never been replaced, so have decided that the obvious thing to do is buy a new one and replace it (it’s eight years old). Should be a simple, routine operation, right? I’ve done it myself at least once on every other vehicle I’ve owned. But no—it is clearly going to be a major pain in the a$$. Starting with getting the old one out.

First, find your battery. Call me oblivious, but I had literally never noticed that I saw no battery when I opened the hood. Turns out the battery is UNDER THE FLOOR UNDER THE DRIVER’S FEET. Just watched a video of someone removing his battery, and is clearly going to be a challenge. Followed, no doubt, by the challenge of installing the new one.

Stay tuned.

Decided to get started today, even though it’s Sunday and couldn’t get the battery today.

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72 is good

I had the best birthday I’ve had in years this year. It was a peak experience in more than one sense of the term. So I’ll start there.

I knew I’d be on the road for my birthday, which meant spending it alone. Which has happened before and is in general just fine with me, but I did give some thought to making it just a bit special. Didn’t know just where I’d be, and weather and fire changed my vague plans after getting on the road, but it worked out for me to spend two nights in one spot in Hells Canyon, which was one of my goals. Having been born and raised in Idaho and Oregon, I’ve heard/known about Hells Canyon all my life, and my first year of teaching was in a town practically on its border as the crow flies. Nonetheless, I had never been there and knew nothing about its terrain, other than that it’s rugged. So, four days into the rip I headed up (and up and up) to a small campground that turned out to be way nicer than I expected. It got cooler and nicer (and bumpier–about 11 miles of gravel, most of it washboarded) as we climbed. Here are a few pictured from the trip up.

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Scamp swim videos

Scamp is the first dog I’ve owned who is willing to swim.  Indeed, she actually seems to like it. Last August or so, she learned to fetch sticks tossed into the river.  We were aided and abetted by a small group of dogs and their people who go down to the park for the purpose of doing just that. I’ve now collected several videos of Scamp swimming to get sticks, and decided that I’m just going to post them all rather than embed them in the chronological story of my life, such as it is.

Getting video of her getting a stick I’ve tossed into the water is not as easy as it sounds.  I have to remember beforehand that I want some video, so that the phone is out and the camera is on and ready to go.  Then I have to juggle tossing in the stick and remembering to point the camera and start the video recording.  So my first attempts were somewhat lame. Continue Reading »

Just now

So, got to see this guy just now.

First saw a large wing zip across the window, out of the corner of my eye. Grabbed the camera and went to look out the front to see if he’d landed in the tree, and sure enough could see this.

If you look carefully–as I had to–you can see his tailfeathers in the top middle of the picture.

When the wing first zipped past I thought hawk, but few hawks fly into the middle of a tree like this, though some do. So then I thought owl. And then I thought about the cats being out. So I put on a jacket and went outside. I figured either that would scare him off–one for the cats–or not, and I could get a better look and picture–one for me.

The latter is what happened. He stuck around for a couple of pictures.

Scamp came scampering up, and the owl was very interested in her, but I figured she’s a bit large for him to tackle, and the cats were nowhere to be seen, so I relaxed and did some straightening up of outside camp gear. When I next looked up, the owl was gone, no doubt to a quieter perch for the day.


Scamp’s stick ambitions are growing. She found this one down by the river. I promised her (well, myself) that if she got it up to the trail (mostly uphill along a narrow trail through tall grass and weeds) I’d take a picture. Here it is. Continue Reading »