Tag: north carolina

It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. And the heat. And more humidity. And more heat.

If you didn’t catch it from this post’s title, summer has arrived early in North Carolina, with 90+ degree and 60%+ humidity days, driving the apparent temperature outside to well over 100 degrees.  Just stepping outside your door brings on a full-fledged sweat, and if you even think about doing any yardwork or physical activity during the day, it better be in the early-morning or late-evening hours, or you’re risking heat exhaustion or heatstroke.

So, of course, I stupidly spent most of Friday morning hauling mulch from the landscaper’s back to my house, and most of Friday afternoon transporting it from a pile beside my house into the playset in the backyard.

It was only 4.5 cubic yards of mulch, total, which compared to the 8 yards from a couple years back, didn’t make quite the same size pile as before, but since this time I transported it all by myself instead of paying for a $75 delivery fee, felt like about twice as much as I really wanted to handle.

4.5 cu. yds of cypress chips still makes a sizeable pile!

One “benefit” to the new mulch, (when compared to the shredded palettes that made up the last playground mulch I bought), is that it was significantly less dense per unit volume.  Although this meant I needed to get a little more than I wanted to get the same coverage, it made shoveling and hauling around in a wheelbarrow much easier than the last time I did this.  My nephew wanted to earn some money, so he took his turns with the mulching fork loading the wheelbarrow, which I then pushed into the play area and dumped/raked.  With copious amounts of water breaks and a couple of trips in to the air-conditioning to REALLY cool off, we finished up the mulch transport in about 4 hours or so.

Rejuvenated play area, just in time for the heat of summer.

We barely beat out an afternoon thunderstorm, which immediately flooded the storm drains and catchbasins around the play area, but the mulch bed itself weathered the storm nicely, and may have even leveled itself out a little bit more because of the torrential downpours.

So of course, by doing all this prep work to get the play area spruced up again, I’ve guaranteed that the thermometer this week isn’t going to drop below 95 degrees.  But at least it’s nice to look at, while tucked away safely indoors behind double-paned windows and basking in the cool breath of central air conditioning!

Yod’s Weekend Photo Scavenger Hunt, Take #2

1. Take a self portrait of yourself doing your best secret agent impression.

What evil lurks in the hearts of men?  Only the Shadow knows…or the shadowy, partially obscured figure dressed like a sekrit agent from an old 50's B movie…I'm passing the uber-secret crossword puzzle to my invisible government contact in this photo.  Please note I had already completed photo scavenger hunt topic #2 at the time of this photo.

2. Show us the most delicious thing that you can prepare in your kitchen in under 90 seconds.

Ross' Extra-Delicious Manhattan Recipe

1 part whiskey (Black Label optional, but highly recommended)
1/2 part sweet vermouth
2 maraschino cherries
Ice to suit
Stir and sip, repeat when you hit bottom

I swear I wasn't copying crankypants on this one!  I made and drank this one long before I saw her post!

3. Take a picture of a tattoo or piercing on your body. If you don't have either, show us where you want one and tell us what you plan to get. If you're against body modification or are just not interested, take a picture of your thumb.

This is a slightly-weird angle of my one and only tattoo.  I got it after I had graduated college and joined the working world, and was completely sober at the time.  I had started off with an idea of what I wanted, combined it with some flash I saw at the tattoo parlor, helped the artist fine-tune it to my liking, and just went for it.  I highly recommend Skin Funk Tattoo in New York, if you're ever up that way and looking for some new ink.

4. Show us something that could only exist in [where you live].

Only in North Carolina can you find Big Tobacco manufacturing facilities hand-in-hand with acres and acres of cow-pastures.  These fields are all owned by Philip Morris, who has a facility somewhere back there on-site.

Note: North Carolina's unofficial state motto is: Remember, Tobacco is a Vegetable!

5. Create a sculpture of a pig out of unconventional materials (don't use clay or play doh, etc.) and show it to us.

Meet Gerald the soda-pig (not to be confused with Spider-Pig).  Born 11:22 AM, August 18th, 2007, Gerald consists of:

1 caffeine-free diet pepsi can
4 sheet-metal screws
1/2 sheet of pink paper
2 pieces of scotch tape
1 pink-vinyl coated paper-clip
Ink from a Sharpie
A whole lot of TLC

Unfortunately, Gerald suffered a bad accident involving a recycling bin, and is no longer with us.  He is survived by his littermates Geraldine and Harold, both of whom declined to be pictured here.

Gerald, the Soda-PigGerald's Profile ShotGerald's Derriere

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