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Monday, February 29, 2016

February 2016

I built a tire jump so Isabel could practice this dog agility obstacle at home. It took a couple of months to finish, working on it a little at a time.  It turned out pretty well, I thought.  I made it from a pallet and some drain pipe.  I took photos during the construction process so that I could make an instructable.

My tenant moved out from my little apartment downtown.  I spent considerable time working on the place, installing a cabinet and range hood in the kitchenette.  Then there was a dead space where I think they used to have the water heater.  It's terrible to have wasted space in a place so tiny to begin with.  I carefully cut out the drywall and filled the space with a cabinet that was just the right size.  The apartment was open only for two weeks before we found another tenant, a young man who works for the city.

Our other rental, 901 West, finally sold.  It's been a drag paying the mortgage and utility bills for three months, but it was worth it.  I had to move a bunch of stuff from the garages at 901 West to the Jamison place, which has a huge garage.

I attended a Level II stream team workshop in Jefferson City.  I spent the night before with my friend and former student, Mike Irwin.  We had a great time drinking beer and playing guitars.  His girlfriend Belinda cooked dinner for us too.  The workshop was about like usual.  I have to do these every couple of years to maintain my level III certification, so this was probably the third time.  I met some interesting new people and got some free stuff.  I'm kind of excited by the new pH meter.

While I was gone Isabel tore out one of her toenails and bent another, probably while running around in the back yard. She limped on and off, but the vet said that she could still go to agility class, so we did. By that time, she was no longer limping.  She has been doing exceptionally well lately, and can chain together 9 obstacles without error.  She was so good that our instructor has graduated her to a more advanced class.  Unfortunately, it's later in the evening, but it will be better for her and my development.

We've been tapping maple trees for syrup production in my Environmental Science class.  The flow has been on and off.  It has been a good experience for the students, but we'll be wrapping it up this week.  We took field trips to the La Grange water and sewer plants, which is always edifying.  We also went to Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.  I hadn't been there in 4 years, and it has changed a lot.

It has been a terrible month for photography.  On leap day I took my camera and long lens down to the riverfront before driving to work.  I was really mad that I couldn't get the camera to focus on a greenwing teal before it swam out of range, but then I found a live raccoon by the side of the road.  I have no love for raccoons, but you don't generally see them like that in broad daylight.  I shot many frames of it.  I photographed a few other birds in the area too.

I gave a talk to POLIS, our educational series for retired folks.  I didn't spend an inordinate amount of time preparing, but the talk was still very well received.  I've been doing these so long that I appear to have a following.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

January 2016

It appears I neglected to publish a January blog.  Rather than try to catch up, I'll do some brief summaries.
After returning from Brazil, it took my awhile to edit the videos, but here they are.

Hang Gliding
Brazil wildlife

We had enough snow one day for me to take Miss Kitty cross-country skiing.  It was a lovely time.  I have video from that that I have yet to edit.

Although Canton Eagle Day was kind of a bust (not many people or eagles showed up), I have hit a couple of days that were cold enough to bring in eagles for photography.  The bonus came on a day when I saw few eagles, but spotted a coyote on the edge of the woods next to the levee.  It was distant, but the lighting was good.  At first it was hiding behind a stick, but as it stretched and moved, it got out into the open for some clean views.

I went ice fishing for the first time in years.  I went out to Lowell's.  The ice wasn't very thick, so I stayed close to the floating dock.  The action wasn't fast, but I ended up with about 8 nice bluegills.

The spring semester began immediately upon my return, and it has been fun so far.  We tapped our maple trees on campus and got a good flow for awhile.  A cod snap shut it down, but it will come back, and we'll soon have syrup.

Below should appear a slide show of some of the highlights.