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L. Neil Smith's
Number 792, October 12, 2014

Rabid Crapweasel!

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T Minus Two Months (Or Less): The Countdown to Norseman's Hell Begins
by Jeff Fullerton

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

Friday October Third 2014.
Possibly the last perfect day in Greater Appalachia.
At last the start of it anyway; which was warm and sunny and well into the upper 70s at least. But the clouds that moved in and then out again for yet another burst of warmth before what seems to be setting the stage for the rains that were promised to set in by afternoon. And that will probably be the beginning of the end of the Renaissance Summer which started out on the cool side of "normal" and wet at times before drying out right after the logging operation ended in late August. And now it has been very dry bordering on the verge of drought conditions which were slightly quenched by a brief soaking rain a few days ago. And maybe soon more rain will fall in the advance of a coming Canadian air mass that promises the possibility of severe storms followed by a dramatic shift to fall like conditions and even a little taste of winter in the mix!

So said the weatherman yesterday and the AccuWeather display on my phone.
As well as my own weather sense.
It was obvious late Thursday night on the drive home. The eerie feeling that went hand in hand with the sight of a bloody orange half moon hanging low in the western sky and the windy unsettled atmosphere signifying the end was near.

The Last Perfect Day in Greater Appalachia.
That is sort of a take off on Carl Sagan's "Last Perfect Day on Earth" in the chapter of Cosmos titled: Heaven & Hell—referring to the start of the sun's transition to the red giant phase set to commence a billion years hence.

Norseman's Hell is coming: according to the weatherman and Ray in Wisconsin who expressed his dismay as the cold settles into his region and the possibility of snow!

O-Bummer—what a bummer!

Maybe not so bad here but still a significant shift is forthcoming and reason to get serious about final preparations.

I am running a little behind where I would like to be at this time of year but still not too bad considering that the property taxes are paid, the propane tank for the greenhouse is filled, have all my firewood delivered plus what the loggers left in the way of a few big logs and tops waiting to be cut up and I've even started to bring gravel in to redo the driveways and turnaround! Slowly but surely it has all come together again.

And I have yet to hear from Big Brother. Or whoever flew helicopters over my place or drove into my field to cause me annoyance and anxiety a few weeks ago. Maybe they are satisfied with the straw we put down on the bank above the turnaround and the grass seed that is now beginning to germinate with the onset of cooler weather. Can only hope.

The rains took their time coming Friday evening. That gave more time to get stuff done that day. Made some progress on stacking wood by putting down a bottom course of split logs to give the pile stability and started laying the wood—sorted by species—to place the lighter woods like poplar and maple toward the front so it will be used first and the heavier stuff—oak and cherry to the middle so I will get to it during the coldest weather when the BTUs are needed. I didn't get anywhere near finished but it is a decent start before the rains finally set in.

Flash forward into Saturday.
The severe storms never happen but we got some much needed rain of the slow steady soaking variety. And by noon skies are fair and the cool down is quite dramatic. Frost threat that night so I was busy in the evening after work covering plants and moving things onto the greenhouse. It went smoothly for a change. Along with my recent furnace problem which turned out to be a simple fix (just a bad thermostat) it is perhaps a good omen.

Was hoping to write a more comprehensive article but fatigue and time constraints don't allow. I fell asleep trying to finish it Saturday evening and will be lucky to get it done in time for inclusion in this Sunday's edition. But maybe for the better as it will make for a shorter, easier read that conveys my gratitude for the amenities of civilization as pinging of the copper plumbing heralds the startup of the oil furnace that is keeping the cold night outside at bay.

Always something to be thankful for!
And the worst and the best are yet to come.







End Note:

Early Sunday morning as sunrise approaches. Generally the coldest part of the day and we barely make 40. The official AccuWeather reading for town is 39 degrees F. So much for short term predictions let alone climate modeling!


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