The sound and the fury

I am sitting outside, alone and in the dark. I’ve been awaiting an interminable amount of time for my Winblows powered netbook to boot up and allow me access to the interwoobies.

It’s beautiful right now. Mother Nature is providing a springtime light show, replete with rolling thunder and bright flashes of lightning. I love it when it is humid and hot. I sit here and anxiously await the moment, which may not come, when I must fold up my tiny technological wonder and head indoors.

The dogs hate thunderstorms. They cower under any object they can find which, they feel, may provide some sort of sanctity. I, on the other hand, adore the raging power…the loud and bright build up of more rain.

Earlier tonight I played Redneck Golf. For those of you unfamiliar with this silly game, it’s quite simple. Golf balls are strung between a length of rope. You have 2 sets of balls and must throw them at 3 rung ladders to accrue points. You only earn points when your throws outscore your opponent’s throws. For the past few years this activity has been rather regularly observed at my buddy Jim’s. Really, it’s an excuse to drink beer, socialize, and swear at one another. In other words, good fun.

But tonight, being so early in a rather violent and unpredictable spring, everyone headed home prematurely. The thunder and lightning somehow encouraging all and sundry to head indoors. I do not think tonight’s storm will reach us. It’s at least 8 miles off. Last night, however, we received quite a dousing. 3 inches of rain in about 30 minutes. I couldn’t even use the toilet in peace…a mini-dachsie in my lap, a lab under my knees, and another lab attempting to force her large head into the already occupied space of my lap.  The dogs do not share my storm-joy.

Because it is a joy. As I drove home from Jim’s place I reveled in the noise and light. I turned onto our gravel road, America’s “Sister Golden-haired Surprise” blaring from my truck’s speakers, and felt indescribable peace. Summer storms make me happy. They always have. Perhaps it is only more so now, in my latter days, that I can truly appreciate them. Their power, their wonder.

I sit here, in the cool of a thundering front, netbook on lap, cold beer close to hand, and am unutterably happy. Frogs are calling their mates, crickets are singing their ceaseless, almost unnoticeable, song and thunder is drowning them all out. It is hot, it is humid, and I am happy. And that damned whippoorwill is chanting his never-ending tune; it goes on, and on, and on throughout the summer…resulting in either ire or an almost cheerleader frenzy on part of the humans who are within hearing distance. PLEASE, GET LAID OR SHUT UP!! All night long it goes, “wip-ur-WILL, wip-ur-WILL, wip-wir-WILL”, continuous and frenzied. I don’t know if his determination is an example of his perseverance or if it is simply something for him to do when it’s dark.

But it’s simply background noise amidst all the other songs of a summer’s night. I find joy in all of it. And it puzzles me, more than usual, how others can live life without these sounds and instead find comfort in the wail of sirens and the constant hum of car tires on pavement. The cries of humanity packed together into small spaces.

For now I will enjoy the drama that nature provides. It is, in my opinion, a far cry better than the nightly din of compacted humanity.

Add this anywhere

Busy and still at the same time

Whew, what a last week of school. Aside from the usual stress of unknown final grades and cramming, there’s always one wrench in the works. My last final was a critique of two possible articles and we wouldn’t know which until the night of the final. The semester went well, though, and my 3.3 GPA is still intact.

But on to more interesting things; rest and work and scooter rallies. Oh, and dog training.

We’ve put in a rather large garden out at the Farm. 25′ x 80′ and we’ve pretty much everything in the ground ‘cept potatoes. Thanks to spectacularly soggy and cool spring weather for the past couple of weeks the garden is growing by leaps and bounds, albeit too wet to plant any additional veggies. Tomatoes are flourishing, broccoli is growing sturdy, sunflowers are seeking the sunlight. Which, for a while there, it felt as if sunshine would never be seen again. Yet the sun is shining once again and temps have climbed into the low 90*s. Only in Missouri do you come home from a wet and cold scooter rally one weekend to seek the warmth of a hot shower and then a scant two weekends later seek the same shower for relief from the heat.

Speaking of the garden, it’s locale on the Farm leaves it entirely dependent upon Mother Nature for water. Of course, this being the northern Ozarks, we may well have seen the last of good rain last night. So, we’ve devised a clever plan for bringing water to the garden. How about portable, potable water?

We purchased a 550 gallon potable water tank from Plastic-Mart. Not only do they have an incredible selection, they ship quickly and, upon my rather cursory initial inspection of the tank, the build quality is excellent. I then found an old truck bed that had been converted to a trailer at a neighbor’s and for the hefty fee of $50 towed it home. Then plan is to frame up a platform on the inside of the truck bed to accommodate the water tank. Which is trickier than it sounds as the tank will weigh over 4000 lbs. when filled.

To get water into the tank we purchased a Simer blue water pump; a 12v DC wonder. The pump will be powered by a marine battery wired into a small solar panel. The idea is to drag then entire shebang down to the river whenever it needs filling and pump river water into the tank.

Watering the garden, on the other hand, will be a simple matter of gravity. I intend to plumb in a quick disconnect and two shut-off valves. One shut-off at the tank outlet and another at the watering manifold I’ve devised. In this way we’ll be able to feed water into several soaker hoses (or drip hoses) at a time.

I’ll be starting in on framing up the truck bed later today. Yes, it’s hotter later in the afternoon, but the truck bed will be in shade in another hour or so making the work a bit cooler.

In the meantime, I have a scooter rally to prep for.

Tornado R’Alley VI in Kansas City, KS. Essentially it’s the most scooter fun I have all year. I’ve been attending the rally since TR II and simply can’t stand to miss such a great time cruising all over KC and the surrounding areas with a herd of like-minded lunatics. The prep work involves plotting the most circuitous route from the HT Ranch to ScooterWorld in Overland Park, KS. I abhor 4-lane highways. I was a truck driver, I’ve seen enough concrete slab to last the rest of my lifetime, so I avoid them at all costs. Basically I turn a 3.5 hour drive into a 5 hour trek via the smallest roads I can find.

Last but not least, dog training. My redneck golf buddy, Jim brought home a puppy a month or so ago. Between him, his wife, their daughter, and her 8-year-old son, no one can control the dog. Too many chiefs, not enough consistency. Jim asked me if I could perhaps get her trained a bit and I’m working on that now, as well. Sissy, the pup, has the potential to be a great dog. She’s just full of puppy and is incredibly stubborn. My efforts aren’t helped by our terrier, either. Since I’ve spent the past 3 years in two places I’ve never had much of a chance to get his mind right. He is entirely the better half’s dog. That, however, is changing as we speak. Amidst all the work I’m having to do with Sissy, Duke is right there nipping at her heels. I got that stopped this morning. Now to put the both of them on leads and stick them together under my control. The evening should prove interesting, to say the least.

That’s about all for now. I’ll work up something about my trip to Mimi and Ron’s wonderful off-grid home and Mimi’s incredible garden later.

Thanks for reading.

Add this anywhere

Just a few more days…

It’s finals week. I’m trying to pay attention to my studying, but I have half a notebook full of notes on potential blog topics that I’d rather be writing up. And wrenching on stuff. And building some stuff. And designing stuff, too.

Bear with me, I promise to crank out some entertaining prose in the very near future. I’ve just got to get through this week, then I have all summer to satisfy my Redneck urges and make you all privvy to how my odd little mind works.

So, back to it…I really am way to old for all-nighters. So, g’night. See you all when hell week is over.