Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Another mountain picture adventure

I rented a cabin off in the woods and we headed out for a long weekend. We dragged the in-laws and invited a couple we met about 6 months ago and just hadn't been able to connect for anything. The cabin really was a small house without a lot of fancy furnishings... perfect. The backyard was a huge meadow with tall aspen trees and a river that was a little bit low but filled out nicely with a bunch of rain that hit later in the day.
The place was for sale and I was actually thinking about what needed to be done if we decided to buy it. The work I noticed wasn't too hard, but there was a lot. The growing season there is very short and if the river really swelled up you would easily lose a lot the backyard. Pass, not the time and certainly not the place. After a nice long Saturday morning run at 10,000 feet we headed up into the hills.

Bunkhouse from an early 1900's mining operation

Standard alpine meadow, around 13,000 feet

Typical stream in a mining community

Meadow that once contained a town in the early 1900's, edge of a gold mine

Road in the distance was our destination

Looking back at the top of said road

We rolled into the home last Sunday night and fell asleep listening to the rain and thunder.

Monday I strolled into my office and noticed a bunch of stuff was missing. I share an office with 6 people, 2 whom I trust completely. I made a sign and hung it up: "Do not steal, this isn't yours."
Fairly simple and to the point and I headed out for about 3 hours of driving. When I returned not only was the signed moved some but the stuff under it had been pawed over again. It's not the stuff, but the principal of people taking things that don't belong to them even if I give the stuff away to customers.
Addition to the sign: "I fucking mean it. I will fire you!"
An hour later when I came back everything that was missing was placed back into the box. It's silly I have to resort to such childish behavior but apparently it's the only language people can understand. I know who did it but can't prove it, perhaps the message was received crystal clear.

If they would have asked, I would have given them one of the little plastic frisbee discs. .20 cents isn't worth getting fired over... to me.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dinner of champions

Once again the heat wave continues but this morning it's heading out for a little bit. Running is so hard right now, no matter how hydrated I am or how much I drink on the run, my body can't keep up. I'm a sweat machine.

I can eat really well in hot weather. If I really wanted to make something in the over I would use the solar oven. The grill works great, so last night was grill night. I posted I would have this a few days ago but the meat at the store looked horrible. I don't eat steak often, and I certainly don't buy $9 a pound steak but I was feeling frisky and went for it.
Those bad boys were over an inch thick. I trimmed a lot of the fat off and I ate the entire steak. Someone else has half of theirs in the fridge for lunch. They only took 45 minutes on low heat to cook, but it was worth waiting for.
When grilling, why not grill some veggies from the garden. Seasoned with dry Bavarian brown mustard seed, rosemary, garlic, thyme, bay leaves and sage. I made some noodles but everyone knows what noodles look like so no pictures. No picture of the finished product and no picture of me content and full laying in bed sleeping like a cat in the sun.

My corn is about ready to start earring (I wonder if that's the proper term), my beans are going to pop in the next week, my pumpkin has crawled out of the fence and is heading for the hills. I love to shoot pumpkins so I'm guiding it around the watermelon and under the fence edge. 100 pound pumpkins should be fun targets. I've got jalapenos that are ready to be picked and my pepper plants are still producing nicely. The tomato plants are busting out, one is almost at eye level and I'm no dwarf. Cucumbers are climbing around and should start producing in the next few days.

The only work for the garden now is making sure I direct everything in the proper direction and a lot of water. In SHTF I would be hauling water and using rain water for the garden if it was kind enough to actually rain. It's not hard work but it's time consuming.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Happy Birthday Dad!

Usually you would eat so much cake and ice cream (just to be polite of course) that you would complain and moan about it the next day.
I know, who would have ever thought that kind of thing would be missed.
The last birthday we spent together was exciting, dragging you up to the top of Pikes Peak one day and to the Royal Gorge the next (where you kept looking at the boards thinking they would shift at any second). We had 30+ people over to the house for a BBQ that night and everyone figured out where I get my smart-assed nature from. I miss you riding your motorcycle across Canada and turning south to stay here for a few weeks. There are a lot of things I miss.

So happy 67. It was too damn hot to make a cake but I had some horrible Keebler elf cookies instead.

It seems I'm always doing something dealing with prepping and working towards being a little more independent. If it's not a lifestyle then it will really seem like a second job, it's a lot of work and it can be a lot of hard work. I like lists, if I write it down I tend to get it done and it makes everything seem easier. A healthy lifestyle helps keep the energy levels up when the going gets tough. When the sweat was pouring down my entire body on Sunday from all the work I was doing in our yard and the in-laws... well I just kept on going. Sure it was over 95 degrees and there wasn't any shade but the stuff needed to get done. 6 years ago I would have stayed inside or given up on the work, my post Army physical and mental condition was soft. I'm not built like a brick or have a hollywood figure but I'm in better shape than most of those people who look better.

Physical and mental toughness can carry a person through most difficult times. Knowledge and previous experience (think practice) will help a person survive and hopefully thrive during even worse times. We keep working towards bettering ourselves in all aspects even if it sucks, and let's be honest, it sucks often. We would have enjoyed having dinner last night before 9:30pm, but we got a lot of things done and had to wait until it cooled off to run.

I'm running with my ultra runner friend again Wednesday morning, this time I'll be ready and hydrated for a nice 2 hour countryside run. She is super patient with my slower pace and really pushes me to work hard.

All my zucchini went to the neighbors, she had her appendix out and is finally getting back to normal eating again. We got her some flowers and a bag of zucchini, the perfect gift for picky eaters.
The yellow squash is coming in so I tossed some in the fridge and then robbed the tomato and sweet pepper bushes for more salad fixings. I'll probably grill the squash and zucchini (whatever I find tonight) with the peppers and maybe some steak tonight. Too bad the steak is so expensive and looks like crap at the store... maybe I'll just grill some canned tuna on foil while the veggies are going.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Functioning on zero

As predicted there is a FREE sign on the mulch pile. They did a good job but only took about 10 feet out of the 35 in length. Hopefully people will pick some up this weekend so we don't have to help shovel them out, it's the neighborly thing to do since they are our tree's.

I let the dogs out at 3:30AM and spent the next few hours cleaning Rock of skunk. Right to the face, nasty yellow mark and of course the wonderful smell. The best part was it happened right outside the bedroom window... and it was open! I had a few dry heaves while we were working on him, luckily we keep some great stuff around: natures miracle skunk away.

6:30 rolled around and I was keeping Rock company upstairs so someone else could get some sleep and function at work today. I had a lot of plans that have been derailed by the 98 degree heat but I'm stubborn and went running anyhow. 90 degrees at 9:45AM and mile 4+ are nothing but sun on pavement for this particular route. I almost became a heat casualty at mile 6 so I walked the rest of the way after I found some shade. My heart rate was 179 and the effort I was putting out wasn't deserving of this number so I stopped. I almost threw up but just smiled and said hello to the nice family walking by.
This will take me a few hours to recover from.

I suck at sleeping and last night didn't help. I'm dehydrated and under fueled for anything and I have no one to blame but myself. I was tempted to give myself some IV fluids but I mixed a gallon of Gatorade up instead. It's nice to know what your body can handle and what kind of activity you can manage, especially in a SHTF scenario. I'm not experimenting at all, but I'm always worn down so I'll give myself a gold star for being conditioned mentally and physically.

I picked up some moth balls to hopefully drive the skunk away. In the meantime I'm back to patrolling the yard before the dogs go out. I'm going to get my .22 out of the safe and just kill the damn thing if I see it out and it's dark, self defense! I just want some sleep, it's been way too long and I'm not heading out of town until this coming weekend.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The tragedy of not having a firearm.

Growing up my Dad told me no matter what, defend yourself. Make an effort to defend yourself, don't just get lined up like cattle and get shot one by one. You may die in the effort, but you are most likely going to die anyhow.

Just click yahoo and see the headlines if you don't know what I am referring to here:

How in the world could someone walk into a PACKED movie theater and start shooting people as he walked UP and then back DOWN without getting killed or even shot at. Bulletproof vest... perfect, that mother will still fall even if the vest catches the round (or rounds). It's not a magic blanket, it's only going to offer so much protection from penetration, there is a lot of impact to deal with.

People just don't think it will ever happen to them. Everyone thinks it only happens somewhere else to other people. I don't, I assume it will happen to me. I've had more than 1 nasty confrontation in a movie theater, one to the point the police had to get involved. I don't look for trouble but I go prepared and I always carry when I am in the movies. Fact is, I usually double carry when I'm at the theater. I'm not sure why I started that, but it's just like going to the mall in my mind. We always tell each other what we are packing and know where it's at.

It's a tragedy, I won't wash over that. I'm just dumbfounded more than usual over the mindless population. To the point if I let it, I'll actually be really sad.

In other news, the tree trimming went well. The yard is a lot brighter, the sun is hitting a few new spots and it's brighter in the house when I wake up at 4:30am. Like I enjoy waking up at that hour for no reason, it's just brighter now than yesterday morning. We decided the mulch was too big for our needs, but someone we know wanted it all. The trimming company dumped it where they asked while they were at the store.
They have one car in the garage, the pile starts at the street edge and goes all the way back. I offered to help move it but they are going to put a "free mulch" sign up when they are done with the little they needed. They didn't think it would be so large of a pile, I laughed hard when I drove by looking at this blob-like behemoth mulch pile in the driveway. I'm really glad I decided not to keep it, the size of those chunks are really big for garden mulch.

Have a great weekend. I'm setting up an event for work again and finishing up my projects. The forecast is hot and sunny so I'll work on my tan as I sweat my butt off.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


I've been fighting some kind of stomach issue that really had me down. An upset stomach is one thing, but this was really painful and it made me change my diet and just about stop eating. I've still been running but it wasn't up to my usual standards since it's hard to do anything when you are not fueled properly. This is a list of things I'm getting done this week/weekend and while it's not all prepping it's still important to have things done.

Tree trimming: The utility company finally trimmed around the lines, today the company we hired showed up and the work is underway. Cleaning up the branches will really help the tree's, let some more sun in the yard, mitigate the fire danger and not have me worry so much when we get a massive wind storm. Bonus is I will have a small pile of wood chips/mulch when I get home this evening.

Carpet: The basement steps are concrete and old so I'm going to put carpet strips on the step tops to make it more comfortable going up and down them without shoes on. I started this project a while ago but summer came on full force and has been running me wild.

Garden: As things are growing and spreading out it's important to route them up and out in the proper direction. I use 10 inch bamboo sticks since I have a bunch of them and I use regular sticks as well. Pumpkin plants take the most work, they can creep out 30 feet so I route mine into a spiral as they grow.
I harvested all of my butter lettuce and my first planting of radishes. Cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers and zucchini rounded out a huge salad last night.

Summer cleaning: It's the same as spring cleaning, a great opportunity to throw things away and simplify living.

Bags: I'm digging into my get home bag and trauma bag to refresh myself on the contents. I like to do this every few months and it's a great time to make sure expiration dates are ok, batteries are good, etc. My IV fluids need to be swapped out in November and I'll change out my lidocaine at the same time.

Food storage: Costco trip is planned for some canned goods and cereal. Corn crops are struggling and oil is up $10 a barrel this week. This means importing and transporting more food so if you can stock up right now, do it.

Hot springs: Not really a project perhaps but I rented a cabin up in the mountains and we are taking the in-laws up next weekend. They will drop us off about 20 miles up the mountain and then head to the hot springs. We will run down while they relax and then all gather up for a massive 5000 calorie or more lunch followed with some high altitude off road adventures.

Mexico: Dive trip is set for October, just have to snag some plane tickets this weekend.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

People don't want free things?

Register here to win X.
Simple enough to do, many people fill out stuff without giving a thought as to what is happening with their information.
I do this for various promotions at work, usually working with other vendors that will be at the event, or local places that fit in with the event type/activity.
It took 12 different people before we gave a $20 Chipolte gift card away. No one is selling anything, I shred all of the info for people who don't win, no one gets calls or emails unless they win. It's just a thanks for stopping by the event. The sign even says so when they are filling the entry card out.

I have 3 x $20 Chipolte gift cards, 2 x $50 local running store gift cards and 1 $50 Whole Food gift cards that I just can't seem to give away. The only catch is you have to get in touch within a week of the phone call and/or email. If someone has given me their name, email and phone number... I suppose it's a stretch to think they would actually want whatever they won.

Send me a real email from a local business telling me I won something I should remember signing up for a few days ago... I'm all over it. Then again, I'm not normal, I like free stuff.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Running with a legend

My phone blew up last night with messages about an early morning run. It was already 6:30pm and I was heading out for my normal nightly pain and suffering but I'm a little brutal on myself and agreed. 4:15am came early and I'm not sure I got much sleep at all, but I'm a trooper and headed up the interstate for 30 minutes.
I've mentioned my friend Diane VanDeren a few times but this was the first time I have gotten to run with her in a long time. She just finished a 1000 mile run and isn't training for anything so we just enjoyed each other and talked about all kinds of things. 2 hours later we were back at the cars and I headed home to shower and work, she went out for another lap (a much faster lap without me).

I had such a great time that I'm going to try and make it a weekly adventure, she never has anyone to run with, most people are intimidated when she invites them, or not morning runners. I'm not a morning runner, it was a fight with my entire body the entire time but I feel awesome now.
5:20AM sunrise, blurry like my vision was
Here are shots from the garden this morning before I left.
Guarding the zucchini, measured over 4 feet and it's ground level, not box top

and you thought they only measured horses in hands

This is just one of 4 plants, over 50 ready to turn red
Gardening and running all before 7am. I canned some ground beef last night right before bed and tossed some cooked beef in the freezer. It's great when you don't have a lot of time and still want some browned beef in your spaghetti sauce.

Monday, July 16, 2012

12 hours driving, picture heavy

I passed on a Saturday trip with the family, brother-in-law would have piled in with his kids and I have no desire to talk to him, ever. When the entire family contributed to the in-laws Moab vacation, he didn't. When the entire family contributed to having the landscaping done at the in-laws, he didn't. He did loan father-in-law $100 when they were short on cash one day and then had the nerve to say that it was his contribution. Instead of just saying I can't/won't he ignored everyone and pretended to that he had helped (yes, the $100 loan looked great against the $750 everyone else sent). Just say no, don't bullshit and don't ride what everyone else is doing when you feel like shit for not getting involved.

Anyhow, Sunday rolled around early and we heading out. 3 hours of pavement, 9 hours of trail driving can easily wear you out. Enjoy the pictures, I didn't have my good camera for some reason so they are only mediocre.

Heading up and in, 90 minutes after driving across 2 mountain ranges.

Nothing holding this up but great craftsmanship, even after it fell apart.

Pure awesome, I know.

The weather changed every 30 minutes, looking South.

Looking South again, higher up.

Higher up, looking East.

We went a lot higher but many of the signs were missing, looking North.

This little engine can pull, South Park Line tracks.

Robber Jay looking for handouts, don't feed the wildlife.

The next picture is what the sign explains.

You can see the palisades work in the middle left of the picture.

Standard high alpine tundra before another storm.

1500 foot cliff to the right, muddy trail in between wiper swipes.

I felt like taking a nap right there, it was very tranquil.
Original marker, the other sides have been worn away
"Beneath this stone our dear son lies. For him we now do mourn. A loving brother stood by him while far away from home". We figured it was talking about how some siblings are at each others sides at the end, no matter the distance of the physical beings. We thought about rebuilding the fence but decided to leave it be, it's a natural process.
Old age, very old age back in the late 1800's.

That last picture is how I want to be buried. Under a nice shade tree covered in rocks. It was amazingly peaceful looking, as if the person was really at rest. This was a town of 1500 people, when the town moved a few miles away (the towns moved from one hot mining spot to the next) this became the cemetery for those who had been in the original town. A town could have been 5000 people with 200 buildings and the only remains you will find are the meadows where the trees were all cut down.
Dropping down out of the mountains, looking south

Same spot, looking West and looking awesome.

Same again, looking North towards the mountains we roamed.

Back up top, a long roller coaster travel kind of day.

Looking west from the divide sign, tranquil as the daylight fades.

Same picture with some awesomeness added.

The day was great, we found several camp spots and explored an entire new area that we had only talked about visiting. We only had one problem with some ATV's in one tough trail section. We had to strap and winch this ATV, the owner decided to bail after bad driving had it teetering on a 2000 foot cliff edge.
The temperature varied from 68 degrees in the morning, to 48 degrees up top, to 105 degrees in the valley on the southern route home. Even following the Arkansas river it was still 95 degrees but the scenery and drive was pretty nice no matter the temperature.

Friday, July 13, 2012

4.4 billion dollar loss

Way to go J.P. Morgan/Chase, you certainly are the best bank in America. I'm very thankful I closed my account about 6 years ago. If someone at work makes a money mistake, it comes out of their paycheck and/or they are terminated. There can be no excuse for a loss that large, cashiers have to have an accurate drawer at the end of the day. I understand it's not really a loss, it's just figures on paper that don't mean anything until people want to actually pull money out and suddenly it's not there. Trading loss they say... I suppose that makes it ok but in the end we all know who eats that loss.


My bank is right down the street, they know who I am and give dog treats at the drive up even when we don't have the dogs. I can walk in and take care of anything I need without feeling like I'm in a cattle chute. I know it's still a bank, but it's nice to be treated like a neighbor when you go there. We brought bagels for them earlier this year, sometimes being appreciated works both ways.

I wonder if there is really a safe place for money. Unless it's in your hands, it's just numbers on paper or a computer screen. Keeping the money in your hand doesn't mean it won't be worthless at some point, you just get the pleasure of actually holding onto it. If you invest in precious metals you better have the metal and not some certificate, that's the same as having a bank statement. FDIC insured but that's meaningless if there is a run on cash, and at that point cash will be just about worthless anyhow.

Precious metals can't be consumed (well probably just once, until you are full) so all the fantasies about TEOTWAWKI scenarios where people trade silver and gold.... no thanks. If someone wanted to trade, food or ammo sounds like the best way to go. Clothes, shoes, tools, etc. will work as well, those are things people can actually use and actually need. I'm probably the minority with that opinion and it's not because I can't take my cash and turn it into tangible metals. If I have extra beans and someone wants to barter for them, I want something I need.

Most people don't see cash at all. My check is direct deposit, my bills are paid online. I know what I will spend each paycheck and the rest is taken out in cash. I like having cash but it's actually sort of a pain in the ass. Cashiers can't count it back and just lump it into your hand, you have to go into the gas stations and pay in advance for an unknown amount of gas (and trust the clerk), if your bills are not crisp good luck using a self checkout, using cash at many places has you looking suspicious.

I'm heading downstairs to get something from the vending machine. Good thing I have cash.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Watching live tv?

Not me, not anymore. Sure I enjoy watching 2 chicks beat the crap out of each other on Jerry Springer, but every single commercial is about a lawyer looking for clients. I used to enjoy watching the news but that's like watching crap being poured out of buckets that look like human beings.

It would be great if the commercials would just say it like they really want to:
"I won a case for my client and they got $200,00 for no reason at all and I took $80,000 for myself, I'm an awesome attorney who makes your automobile insurance rates go up."
"Hey conservative white people; Obama is a muslim and black, he is stealing YOUR money, aren't you tired of having him in office yet?"
"Nobody wants a Mormon in charge of anything, don't you all know he's Mormon and will stop the flow of YOUR free money?"
"If you can't get an erection, take this pill. It probably has nothing to do with being in a relationship you hate, with someone you can't stand to look at, and wish you never had to have sex with."
"Hey cable customers, switch over to satellite and have shitty reception with many shows and channels on blackout. Sure that might suck but you are saving $50 a month!"
 "Want to see a sneak preview of next week' episode? That's great, we are going to force you to watch 15 minutes of this new show called; so you think you actually think for yourself, America votes and tell you if you do."


My zucchini is well on it's way to being 4 feet tall. It's growing at the rate of the national debt, I knew using the dollar bill fertilizer was a good thing. Now I just need it to stop grandstanding and produce...

Yes, it's that kind of morning, I didn't get any sleep last night.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The downside of running in the rain

It rained yesterday, really nice heavy rain for a few hours with spot showers the rest of the day. Being all cranked up to get back in top running form, I didn't care how the clouds looked and I had a ride up top to walk/run with my neighbor. She let her dogs play in the stream and walked/ran 2 miles and went home while I continued on like usual.

I was feeling miserable, my entire body was revolting at the thought of running home after that but I'm a super trooper. One foot in front of the other, it was going well enough but no blazing speeds and then it started to really rain. I had my visor on so I could see and then I happened to look down to notice my running shorts were a little 'wet t-shirt contest' looking. This is my only pair of shorts that are a neon color for running on switchback traffic heavy roads... I won't do that in the rain again.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Falling asleep to the sound of thunder

I love sleeping with the windows open, a cool breeze blowing across the bedroom and the distant sound of thunder booming off the mountains. Saturday it rained almost all day bu the actual rainfall level was tiny. So tiny that I had to water the garden yesterday as the tomato plants were crying and shriveling up a little. I was almost annoyed, a whole day of rain and still had to drag the hose out, but it's for a good cause. Sunday it rained from about 6pm until 3am, a real rainfall this time, the yard looked awesome this morning as it struggles to recover from 3 weeks of 100 degree weather.

Visited our friends who were finally back home, the area looks bizarre with all these large expensive homes that look perfect and then some foundations filled with melted vehicles and burnt wood. We didn't drive around the brunt out neighborhoods, it was already overloaded with people gawking. Our friends had several spots on the back deck that were almost fires but the hot shot brush crew did an amazing job only losing 3 houses down the hill. The top of the hill was abandoned shortly after the fire popped into town, it was too risky in case the fire swept around and burnt back up.
Front deck looking east

Driving to friends, right of dead center is their house, and that's where the fire stopped

We picked up a truckload of mulch and put some down in the corn and around the blueberry bushes and a few other plants. We thinned out the beans, radishes, lettuce and corn. The pumpkin plants got some TLC, they are getting really big and the zucchini finally flowered last night. I lack patience at times, especially when we want fresh garden veggies with dinner and have to head to the store instead of the yard.
All this thinning meant I had a great home salad with butter lettuce, radishes, sweet pepper, blueberries, strawberries and tomatoes. In real money this salad cost me about $10 with seed and water but since we have easily devoured $40 in tomatoes I'm way ahead. I have about $40 of tomatoes waiting to ripen currently, not sure if I'll even get any canned, nothing like a good tomato sandwich.

We discovered some sewer line work needs to done and we are debating digging the line ourselves instead of paying to have it done. It will save us about $800 but if you have dug in Colorado clay then you know that it's a backbreaking ordeal to dig down 7 feet deep, 10 feet long and 4 feet wide. Sometimes it's worth it to just pay, but I think I'll give it a go and see just how much of a fight it will be. Clay, roots and a huge hole... I might have lost the battle before it started. I know we can do it manually if we really have to but we are fortunate that we have a choice.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

What a great country, there isn't another I would choose to live in, even if it had all kinds of nice sandy beaches and awesome scuba diving. Relax, get outside and remember we crushed the British!

We finally got some rain, what a joy. An hour of a drizzle, more than enough to make my yard happy for at least 1 day. I sat on the front porch watching it fall, watching the dogs run around dragging mud inside the house... I didn't care at all. it was 64 degrees last night, and I got down to 68 inside so I had a wonderful sleep.

I had huge plans for a nice run this morning but the area is closed and guarded with National Guard troops. I thanked them for working on a holiday and for keeping an eye on people who could easily burn the rest of the mountains down with fireworks. Half of the area around my house is closed and guarded. Fireworks are banned in the whole state but people cross state lines and buy them, and then go in the hills a few miles away and light them off. If this prevents the majority of that, I'm glad. I honestly think if we were not in severe dry conditions they wouldn't be there.

I know what some people are thinking when they see them, and I even think it as well but for now I know the area is relieved, if anything else was to burn it would be my area and we don't need to lose another 350 homes.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Don't piss on the po-po

That's not a typo. The little child across the street took one night off of his seemingly endless party... one night. He held off until 3am and then we called the police, he can't take a hint. After the police told him to keep it down, the party was full force 20 minutes later.
The people were all screaming and yelling, one of them screamed out "let's all piss off the deck". Suddenly a loud voice said, "don't piss on the po-po."
What these children didn't realize, due to lack of situational awareness, was the police drove a block up and walked back to hang out and see how it was going to play out. Everyone there now has citations and will have to show up in court. It's not cheap, about $250 just to show up even if there isn't anything additional or you are just chewed out by the judge.
12 people in the neighborhood are all on alert and the police non emergency dispatch will be called each night they have another party. It's our neighborhood and they can either fit in or get out.

In other news the heat was relentless as usual, still no rain. The fire is 45% contained and everyone was able to go home or at least get into the neighborhoods damaged and see what it's like. I'm watering the crap out of my yard and garden, but I didn't water at all on Saturday and that ended up costing me some new growth on one tomato plant. It might recover, but 24 hours later it's still drooping even with all the water it got..
Zucchini plant on steroids I think

These are turning into monsters too

Corn is looking great, beans are 1 week old

Grabbed 25 cherries from here this morning

Chokecherries are almost ready to snag
  I got a new drop holster this weekend but my pistol isn't big enough and the snap is over an inch away from adding any security so it won't fall out. I'm just not getting lucky with mail order for holsters. My pistol is not petite, it's a full size weapon and this is a really adjustable holster. If I adjust it so the snap secures it, the trigger group is visible and able to get snagged on things. I'm going to play with it for a few days before I send it back, maybe I'm missing something.
I picked this up, it's slick and I'll toss it on my carbine in the next few days. The laser can rotate all around the light and lock in, I'll be able to have it ride close to the barrel so it actually lines up correctly. I'll sight the laser for 50 feet and when I get a reflex sight that will be for a longer distance. The sensor pads will go on the front grip but I'm debating keeping the laser to push button.