This weekend is Oktoberfest, which means I will be avoiding the downtown, as the sixth-drunkest city in America (my own La Crosse) spends a weekend guzzling beer, staggering home in the wee hours past my house and leaving empties and puke on my lawn. It's midwest culture at its finest.
This has been the wettest September on record for La Crosse, and one of the wettest summers.
|A second round of storms from last week.|
The storms arrive, usually from the west or northwest. Normally, a band of them follows the front of a low pressure system and they move through fairly quickly, with lots of thunder and lightning, dumping a couple of inches of rain in a short period of time. One or two this month had one, two or three bands of storms coming through sequentially. They moved slow and the bands of storms were deep, meaning that they could dump three or four inches of rain in a day's time.
The Mississippi is was at minor flood stage earlier this week in La Crosse, but it's already subsiding. It was the other rivers in the area that did the most flooding and damage. A big part of that is crops still in the fields that ended up underwater for days.
Fun times for me since the last post: I got together with Ryan, who runs the theater space at the Pump House, and we went over the rudiments of the lighting board. It's a very weird layout, like a two-scene board, but with the capability to record scene presets in each channel. It reminds me of trying to set the time and radio stations on my bedroom alarm clock. I still haven't figured out how to program it, but I know it is possible—with both.
|One-time choir sings finale of gun show at the Pump House|
Board operation consisted of dimming the house lights, bringing up the stage lights and then sitting there. It was an easy first gig for me, but Ryan was running around, emceeing, organizing the various groups of performers (dancers, singers, musical groups, solo performers, rappers) and fielding the organizers' concerns and complaints.
Other highlights of the last few weeks: Taking the car in for routine maintenance and finding out there was a crack in the fuel pump and it was leaking gas. Kinda dangerous. Of course, they had to take off the gas tank to do the repair and replacement, and the new fuel pump was over $500, so the whole thing came to about $900.
Add that to the $1800 to replace the front end steering this spring, and it's still cheaper than car payments for a new one. I'm not really interested in getting rid of this car any time soon: it was Steve's car, so I still have a little bit of him (and California) sitting in the garage.
A second highlight was keeping up with my doctor appointments. I have decided to quit smoking (it's about time) and my quit date is Oct. 13, the third anniversary of Steve's death; also the third anniversary of my starting up smoking after having quit during his illness. I'm confident I'll do it this time, since cigarettes are almost $9 a pack here, and it's an easy way to save a couple thousand dollars a year. And, too, I'm really tired of having to keep track of how many I have and where I can get more.
A lot of the rest of my days has been filled with the almost addictive onslaught of the presidential campaigns. Going into the whole mess would take far more space than I want to devote to it. Suffice it to say that I can't wait for this election season to be over. That is one thing, I think, that everyone can agree on, no matter which side(s) of the fence you're on this election year.
I did want to share this video from Randy Rainbow with you, though. It's one of the few parodies that have made me truly guffaw.
So I have two weeks to smoke 'em if I got 'em. I'm looking forward to the colors of the fall foliage. After that comes Halloween and lots of dead leaves, then Thanksgiving (yea! I can put up my new tree!) and the start of winter. By the holiday season, things will be frozen for the next several months, and there will be snow. Time to go out and get new boots and a new winter coat.