Category Archives: Castle Willett

Fall Arrives

It’s late February and we’ve had more and more windy days than I can remember. Time is all screwed up, in so many ways – even the trees are confused. At least our tree is.

The big tree in our back yard has just this last week decided to drop all of its leaves for fall. I guess it just didn’t feel like doing it in November or December.

I know that the season may arrive a bit late in these temperate, warm, semi-desert conditions, but this is ridiculous!

The winds have taken the leaves and the tree is pretty much stripped now. Just in time! Next week it will be March and we’ll need to start seeing those spring buds come out. I hope that sap didn’t get too comfortable down in the roots.

2 Comments

Filed under Castle Willett

Erratum – January 24th

In the past two days I have posted pictures, taken both during the day and at night, showing the tall, thin, coniferous trees in our front yard being blown hard by the wind. I have erroneously referred to them as “cedar” tress, even going so far as to use that term in the title of yesterday’s post.

Thanks to the diligent eye for detail and gentle words of correction from The Long Suffering Wife, I know now that these are not cedar trees – they’re Italian cypress trees.

I stand corrected, and regret the error.

On the other hand, in order to maintain a properly petty and sarcastic tone, I would not that no one, not even the omnipotent and omniscient Google is 100% correct, even on this subject. While researching these facts Google offered a link to “Italian cypress trees near me,” which did NOT mention the ones not fifty feet away from here.

They don’t know everything.

Yet.

Leave a comment

Filed under Castle Willett

It’s Seen Better Days

…but then again, so has the country that it represents.

This is the same flag that had started to shred back in October with the wind storms that came through. At that point, leading up to the election, it was my opinion that things were pretty messed up and getting dangerous in the United States, so I left it like that as a symbol of the country’s condition.

Since then the wind has continued to shred and wrap, much as the political winds have. Today, of course, that culminated in the second impeachment of a lower-than-whale-shit waste of protoplasm who never should have been within 100 miles of the White House.

But assuming that creature doesn’t do something truly insane and is allowed to do so by enough evil cult sycophants, in 6 days, 14 hours, 9 minutes, and 11 seconds (there’s an app for that!) I think we’ll be in a much better place (albeit with a metric shit-ton of work ahead of us!). I’m sure there will be some champagne, and I’m sure I can swing a new flag as a symbol of that new beginning.

But for tonight, we’re all still hanging on by a thread.

1 Comment

Filed under Castle Willett, Photography, Politics

Cloudy Friday

So many things actually accomplished today, so tired, feeling like so many things got left as loose ends… It’s Friday? Good, I guess…

Cloudy tonight, so no views of the Great Conjunction. Maybe tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the house is going insane.

Who knew that these fancy programmable thermostats could flip a digit, blow a fuse, crater a chip, or whatever it was and all of a sudden not allow any temp to be set except 40°? That might have been comfy if it were Celsius, but in Fahrenheit it’s a bit nippy for my taste.

The good news is that it wasn’t an intermittent problem – it was a fatal one, at least for the thermostat. It would have been extremely frustrating to have the landlord show up for repairs and have it then (of course) be working fine. Nope, it conveniently had turned into an electronic brick that would only reliably tell the time and the current temperature.

All better now, but not what I wanted to spend a chunk of my Friday dealing with.

How was your Friday? Onward, bravely, into the weekend!!

Leave a comment

Filed under Castle Willett

Cold Wind Sunset

The sunset was nice, if not spectacular. It’s chilly, and the winds are again really whipping up here on the hill.

How windy? Lemme tell you a story…

In my home office (aka one of the spare bedrooms) I prefer it warmer than the rest of the house, so I tend to keep the door closed. The computers and printers keep it warmer just fine. But unless I’m actually on a call or a Zoom meeting, I don’t necessarily want the door shut all the way, so I’ll leave it partially closed. Not latched, not open, but in that in-between position where the spring loaded latching mechanism has engaged and put some tension on the door frame, but it hasn’t clicked into the hole in the door frame yet.

Four or five times today the house has flexed enough with the pressure of the wind that it has torqued the rectangular, interior, hallway door frame enough to allow the latching mechanism to find the hole and snap shut. This sounds like a freaking rifle. And when it comes totally out of the blue, especially after it’s NEVER done this before in 2+ years here, it’s disturbing. Scares the shit out of me.

I’m not a fan of the wind.

2 Comments

Filed under Castle Willett, Photography, Weather

2020 Christmas Lights – Round One

As much as I had thought about starting Christmas lights a week or even several weeks early this year (because 2020 = SUCKS while Christmas lights = anti-SUCKS, in case that wasn’t obvious), the intentions might have been good but the work load and that whole “only 24 hours in the day and that’s the LAW!” thing sort of ruled that out. But now it’s after Thanksgiving, the normal time for starting to put up lights, in no small part because there’s a four-day weekend, so off we go!

I got up about half of what’s normal for this house over the last two years, but it’s the harder half with almost all of the roof lights and ladder work done. The lights that still need to go up go into those bushes and ground cover and that’s pretty straightforward and quick. (I hope!)

Plus there’s a 13 day-old moon rising, one day away from full!

Still need the lights over the garage door, but let’s hope it’s quick tomorrow and Sunday. Remember, if you aren’t blowing circuit breakers, you can still put up more lights!

2 Comments

Filed under Castle Willett, Christmas Lights, Photography

Thanksgiving 2020

What an odd holiday this year.

On the one hand, I have so much to be personally thankful for – family whom I love, our health (so far, and let’s keep it that way), a job with a great team where I find challenges and rewards and wonderful folks to work with, and overall a great many things capable of bringing me joy.

On the other hand – well, read the headlines. We seem to have dodged the worst of the political nightmare if we can make it another 57 days without an outright catastrophe, but it will take decades to repair the damage that the last four years have inflicted. And the COVID numbers continue to skyrocket with another 57 days before we can get an actual adult in charge. And, well, everything else.

This year we did not meet up with our kids or in-laws as we have every year in the past. There was not a huge bird or a full table or a house full of laughter and jokes and football and parades. There was just a lovely dinner for two.

We set up Zoom meetings with the Long Suffering Wife’s family back east and then with our kids and in-laws out on the Left Coast. We relaxed and picked up the mess as the wind was howling (35 mph at times with gusts pushing 50) but overall it was a relaxing day, with a long weekend ahead to put up lights and start the Christmas celebrations.

I hope you and your family had a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving. And if you’re not in the US, then he, it’s Friday!! Celebrate along with us.

2 Comments

Filed under Castle Willett, Photography

The Steep Hill, The Pine Trees, The Chain Link Fence

The scene of the mystery:

Otherwise known as, “It was one of those days when I was going to commit a homicide if I didn’t get up from my desk and see the outside world for ten minutes and as long as I’m doing that why not go get on a rickety 10-foot ladder in the back yard to take a picture of the scene I was describing yesterday?”

Off to the left is the steep hill. Throughout are many of the pine trees which are used as home for the evil Kong-stealing squirrel. (“Alleged” evil Kong-stealing squirrel – I don’t want to hear from their lawyer.) On the right is the chain link fence that the neighboring octogenarian would have to hurdle if she was to invade the yard to cover her tracks and plant the red herring incriminating the squirrels.

This is also where we’ve seen the owl. I could really use him to pick off that squirrel and end this whole, sordid affair once and for all.

Leave a comment

Filed under Castle Willett, Photography

No Context For You – October 17th

But with some context to follow over the next couple of days?

Where’s the mystery? I assure you, there is one here.

Or rather, there’s one not here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Castle Willett, Photography

Work-From-Home Lunch

In the next few days it’s coming up on seven months since I started working from home as COVID-19 spread. Believe me, I’m eternally grateful that I’m able to do that and that the amazing team I’m on has been able to keep everyone in our company on staff and working from home. But it’s a little odd to realize that I’m also coming up next week on the one-year anniversary of my starting there, and I’ve now worked five months in the office and seven months out.

Having said that, things have obviously changed. And things have gotten routine. And by “routine” I mean, well…

Lunch at my desk. Every day.

Some days it’s an apple or a pear instead of an orange.

Some days it’s PBJ instead of a turkey sandwich.

But that’s pretty much it. It’s lunch. At my desk. Every day.

I don’t thrive on routine and repetition, nor am I bothered by it.

I’m boring. I’m not a foodie. This is not news.

It’s simple.

In many ways, so am I.

Leave a comment

Filed under Castle Willett, Photography