My Fancy Pants

The clue to this mystery photo: I hunted our backyard for 2 days to find it. Answer a few photos below:

This year’s flu hit us both hard. 5 days I’d rather not repeat, a good 2 weeks before we felt normal. I was so delirious I saw bears in our bed:

This guy doesn’t get the flu. Probably how he has survived longer than the dinosaur (300 million years). Helen calls it a winged beetle, as she doesn’t want to admit that we have an occasional cockroach in the house:

Doggy was disappointed to find a neighbor boy broke his favorite river bridge:

That mystery photo was where our 100+ feet of mostly underground 120 volt backyard lighting wiring had shorted out. Looks like squirrel teeth marks. It was not on a safe GFCI circuit, so whoever was having lunch there got quite a shock. I re-did the wiring, adding a GFCI as well as a few LED spot lights. Looks really pretty at night now:

We had a big storm recently, 5 inches of rain in a few days. This photo was taken around midnight, but looks like noon as I caught it in the middle of a lighting strike:

Our timid little creek knows how to roar when it has to:

For you non-electrical people who feel cheated by the first mystery photo, here is a 2nd one:

Boris and Irene stayed with us for a week while waiting for their stuff to be shipped from Salt Lake to their new house here:

We enjoyed having a 2nd cook in the house. This photo legend should say something like: Boris, Rose, and an air plant playing with Hanuka candles:

It took about a week to unpack most of their boxes:

I blackified another household item, this time an old spare, unused, rusting refrigerator. Seemed easier than removing it:

I would have blackified the piano, but it was already black, so I did surgery instead, fixing a stuck key:

I gleefully discovered the ground here doesn’t freeze in the Winter, so I spent much of the xmas/new years off days playing with dirt and rocks in the backyard. This slate path was bumpy and uneven:

So I broke out my special fancy pants:

And scared the rocks back into proper form:

That got me fired up to create a new trail down to the river. This is a before shot:

I first moved the white bellied Buddha to a spot where he could properly laugh at me, then used a come-along winch on some of the bigger rocks (those granite rocks are heavier than they look):

A couple of weekends and a few sore muscles later, we ended up with 15 steps and 50 feet of new trail:

I hopefully engineered it so this new little patio spot will not wash away in the next storm:

That 2nd mystery photo was a closeup from this guy. We don’t really know what it is. Helen picked it up from a garden center. Possibly an ancient squid tentacle, but more likely a now rotting gourd of impossible length:

Finally, this month’s geek video is about a magic button:


Originally published at on April 10, 2016.