atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#619: Tuesday afternoon

And damn, it is, already.

Vinyl siding crew is coming tomorrow (Wednesday) to get started on the house. Mom and I measured the shutters only yesterday and went to Menards to order them today. ETA: two weeks. *sigh* I guess the siding guys won't be installing our shutters.

I also went to Menards, not just to drive Mom there, but to buy myself a freaking snow blower.

Yes I know we just set a record high for October yesterday. Yes I know it's in the mid-70's today and will be just shy of 60 tomorrow, and for the rest of the week.

But I am not going to shovel any freaking snow this winter, damn it, and I am not going to get caught with my pants down, standing outside and shoveling snow and wishing I'd bought the freaking thing sooner. No.

Let me see: I now own a four-wheel drive truck (a Jeep, no less) and I just bought a snow blower.

Note to self: buy stock in companies which make sunscreen; it's going to be a very mild winter.

I was going to say to all the snow-hating folks in Chicagoland that they could send me $10s and $20s for preventing massive snowfall, but then I realized that the companies which depend on snow to stay in business would sue me for all that money (and probably more besides) so I guess I won't take credit for our impending mild winter.

But still, you're welcome.

* * *

It's a simply gorgeous October day, though. It's pleasant outside, clear blue sky ("severe clear" in the parlance of aviators and serious meteorologists) and there's a cool breeze. The sun is that warm autumn gold color. Once we got home from Menards I hauled out the snow blower, put it together, gassed it up, and started it, letting it run for a bit to make sure it was working correctly. Then I cleared a space in the garage for it and put it away. Then I took the compressor out and started filling tires on all the vehicles, including my two-wheel dolly, the tires of which have never had air put into them. *sigh*

Hopefully, a few more days or another week or so and the Escort will be sold and out of here. I have to fix the brakes on the van, and then I can get the spare Escort drivetrain out of here, too, freeing up still more room in the garage.

The '85 Fiero is probably going to get washed and then put under a car cover. I don't see myself driving it for the rest of this year, not unless I get a wild hair in an unlikely place. I just have too many other things going on right now, and with Christmas season coming, my free time will take a nose dive.

BTW at Menards I saw something annoying: a Christmas tree with LED lights on it, and it's wired to some kind of module about 8"x12"x2" which controls the lights and plays Christmas music. The lights change colors in time to the music. All I heard it playing was "Jingle Bells" over and over again, and the display was being set while I was browsing it, so there were no details to be had on WTF this psychosis-inducing piece of holiday dreck was. At least the music sounded good; it was polyphonic and had a fairly wide frequency bandwidth.

I recall, in previous years, lights that blinked in time to music--monotonic, high-pitched music, which was frequently off-key because the frequency source was astable.

Think of "Jingle Bells". Now imagine it played two or three octaves above middle "C". Then imagine the notes going flat as they were being played, so that C turned into C flat, and then into B, starting anew with each note. "Anew"? I've been reading too much of the JRR.

Long ago there were those ornaments which made "chirping bird" sounds. It was a couple of analog oscillators or something that would make a convincing trilling bird sound, over and over and over again. I haven't seen or heard one of those in centuries. (I'd like to hear one in operation again, but not badly enough to try to find a sample on the internet or anything.) A circuit diagram would also be interesting to look at, but I don't care all that much; it's just something from when my age was single digits that I remember every once in a while.

Heck, at work they've already set the back wall with Christmas lights.

Funny item: there is a Christmas lawn ornament which is consistently assembled wrong. I've seen it done this way three years in a row now.

It's an angel, blowing a trumpet. If you look at the box, the angel's arms are supposed to hook to the bottom of the trumpet, supporting it. But the people at work don't set it up that way; they set it up with the angel's arms out to the side, as if someone had pointed a gun at it and said, "Stick 'em up!"

Yet the trumpet stands out proudly from the angels' lips at a jaunty-but-not-vulgar 45° angle.

That's a hell of an embrouchure!

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