Who’s peekin’ out from under a stairway / Calling a name that’s lighter than air*

You guessed it. It is really windy out here in Northridge. According to the CSUN Weather Station, we’re seeing Santa Ana gusts of up to 27 mph, with a temperature, at 9pm, around 70°. I don’t like Santa Ana conditions in the summer; I like them even less in the winter. To top it off, we have an old TV antenna mounted on a vent pipe, and it periodically rocks in the wind making these really odd creaks.

(Although, the wind does have a side benefit. I’m getting lots of exercise getting leaves out of the pool.)

* Why the title of this post? Click here.


Tired of the Rain/Anti-Garden Song

OK. I’m tired of this rain. It looks like once things calm down, I’m going to have to go out and clean the gutters once again. I’m containually checking the ceiling to see if the leak has started up (it only starts up when enough water comes in at a particular angle, which tells me it is most likely in the area underneath the plenum return on the roof). To make things worse, supposedly this storm will be around until early next week. East coast folks: You can stop laughing now. Yes, folks in Southern California get annoyed when the sun goes away.

Last night we had a delightful Shabbat evening with the Schwartz family. While over there, I picked up a song parody I just have to share. Many folks may be familiar with “The Garden Song“, written by Dave Mallet. It was recorded by many folks, including Noel Paul Stookey and Peter, Paul, and Mary. It’s the one that goes:

Inch by inch, row by row
Gonna make this garden grow
All it takes is a rake and a hoe and a piece of fertile ground
Inch by inch, row by row
Someone bless these seeds I sow
Someone warm them from below till the rains comes tumbling down

Well, it turns out there is also an “Anti-Garden Song” (link has music), with lyrics by Eric Kilburn:

Slug by slug, weed by weed,
My garden’s got me really teed
All the insects love to feed upon my tomato plants
Sunburned face, scratched-up knees
My kitchen’s choked with zucchinis
I’m shopping at the A & P next time I get a chance.

The crabgrass grows, the ragweed thrives,
The broccoli has long since died.
The only things left still alive are some radishes and beans.
My carrot plants are dead and gone,
Hear the rabbits sing a happy song
Until you’ve weeded all day long you don’t know what boredom means


You get up early, work till late
Watch moles and mice get overweight
They eat their dinners on a plate from the hard work you have done
As ye sow so shall ye reap,
But I smell like a compost heap
I’m gonna get that lousy creep who said gardening was fun


Today is mostly a home day, except were going down to Long Beach this evening with  ellipticcurve to see Once On This Island. Tomorrow is Dim Sum and Gaming!


Mumblefrotz Rain…

We are definately going to have to reroof this year. We have a leak in the living room. It’s dripped a little, and it is not worth calling to roofer to seal, as the roof is in such a shape that his repairs have no warranty (in fact, this leak is in an area repaired about four weeks ago). We’ll just have to live with it, as the rain is supposedly supposed to stop tonight. Perhaps when the weather is better, I’ll go up on the roof and slap a load of patching tar on everything. [Explanation: The leaks are almost always in the same place, where the heater is on the roof. One of these days, we’ll move it down to the ground, but that would require major reworking of the HVAC on the house.]



God Willing and the Creek Don’t Rise

[Cross-posted, with minor modifications, to chk_is_life]

The subject is quite literal.

Today was S&F’s Camp Reunion day. So, because we both love camp so, we trudged out to Camp Hess Kramer. For those of you unfamiliar with the camp, it is about 1 mi N of the Los Angeles/Ventura county line, in Little Sycamore Canyon.

It was an interesting drive out. Kanan Dume Route (LA County N9) was open, but there was evidence of recent mudslides and loads of water pouring off the hills. Pacific Coast Highway (CA 1) was actually in worse shape: much more mud and water on the roadway. But we made it out.

Not that many people did. I’d guess that overall there were perhaps 20 campers there. A bunch of staff, including the new director, Doug; the past director, Howard; the assistant director, Becca; and the office manager, Cheryl. I don’t think anyone from the chk_is_life community was there; at least no one came up and recognized me (although it could be that I’m much older than the typical members of the community—you know how the LJ age breakdown goes). Hilltop was closed, as there were landslides on the road. At Kramer, the creek was within a foot of some of the bridges (by now, it may be over), and looked like a white-water rafting locale. S&F wanted to show me her cabin, so we hiked (in the rain) for a mile to the cabin area, saw the cabins, and hiked back. We had some more punch, talked about DVD vs. hardcopy yearbooks (they are going DVD only next year), and then came home. S&F will be going back to camp next year, although she still wants an 8 day session (not 12), so she’ll be trying the Tsofim session at Hilltop.

The ride home was worse. By this point, it was pouring. Visibility was nil. PCH was getting pretty yucky at points, but open. Kanan Dume was open, but again, yucky at points. In the valley, the freeway crudded up, so we took Ventura. At points, that was half under water! From what I understand, both Sunset and the McClure tunnel were closed, and at some point earlier in the day, Kanan Dume was closed (forcing the office manager to go all the way out to Las Posas to get in). But we made it home.

We then watched the camp DVD (for Session 1). Actually, it was quite good. There was a long “Howie Potter” sequence that was produced by the Video Elective (“Chug“) that was, ummm, interesting. There was a good shot of S&F (in her orange shirt) as she got off the bus. There was also a “PeePee” song that was designed to remind the kids not to get dehydrated.

I think she’s re-energized about going next year!


Somehow Appropos/Road Conditions

Seems it never rains in southern California
Seems I’ve often heard that kind of talk before
It never rains in California, but girl don’t they warn ya
It pours, man it pours

(Albert Hammond)

First day in August
Last rain was in May
When the rainmaker come to Kansas
In the middle of a dusty day

Said the rainmaker to the people
“Tell me what you are prepared to pay”
Said the rainmaker to the people
“I’ll conjure up a rain today”

Ninety degrees ‘neath the trees where it’s shady. Hundred and ten in the hot sun.
Heat from the street burned the feet of the ladies. See how they run.

Called down the lightnin’, By a mystical name
And the rainmaker called on the thunder, And then suddenly it began to rain
Then the rainmaker passed his hat to the people, But the people all turned away
And the rainmaker’s eyes and the Kansas skies, Well they both became a darker grey

First day in August, Last rain was in May
When the rainmaker come to Kansas, In the middle of a dusty day
And the rainmaker smiled as he hitched up his wagon, And without a word he rode way
And the people of the town heard the sound of his laughter, And they knew the rain had come to stay

Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day.
Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day.
Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day
Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day

(Harry Nillsson/Bill Martin)

We just had a horrendous rain cell (if you look at the map, the red cell just passed over about 10 minutes ago). The county public works department shows we’ve gotten 1¼” to 3″ of rain in the last 24 hours. We’re getting the usual flooding. I know know there must be some cracks in the chimmney; we never had it checked after the earthquake in ’94, because we never use it. However, we’ve got a small leak at the edge, and I can see some water in the chimney, plus the bricks are wet. Guess we’ll have to get it checked this summer… gonna be a summer of home repairs (reroofing, chimney, redoing the sprinklers on the front lawn). Those of you thinking about buying a house: this is the side they don’t tell you about!

They say it is going to be raining until Tuesday. Somehow, I think I’m crazy taking S&F to the camp reunion in Malibu today. However, I think I’ll take a safer route: sticking with PCH and coming up from Santa Monica. However, the Caltrans Highway Conditions Page (enter Route 1) is showing the McClure tunnel as it is closed due to flooding. I don’t think that Kanan Dume road will be better, although the Traffic Incident Page shows it as clear. The LA Times Traffic Map is only showing problems on Las Virgenes Canyon (Malibu Canyon) and a little mudslide on US 101. Should be an interesting drive.