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Kevin Standlee: Fandom Is My Way of Life
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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Kevin Standlee's LiveJournal:

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Sunday, September 23rd, 2018
3:01 pm
Box Painting Time
Lisa completed the lower portion of the new small wood box (the roof will be a separate piece added later) and that meant it was time to start painting.

Get Out the PaintCollapse )

There's still work to be done on the large wood box, including painting those bits that couldn't be done without splattering the house, and Lisa also wants to do some repainting on the front porch, which does need it. The sun is very harsh here, and painted surfaces have to be redone regularly. (I'm really glad our house has metal siding.) This afternoon, I cut back bushes from the porch and scrubbed old peeling paint from the area that will be painted first. Lisa says she wants to first tackle the area where the small wood box will go, which makes sense because obviously that has to be done before we can put the box where it will sit for the winter.

Current Mood: accomplished
Saturday, September 22nd, 2018
8:00 pm
Train Watching from the Front Porch
As autumn officially begins, we enter one of the best periods of weather of the year, which alas lasts all too short a time. After Lisa did a round of work on the wood box refurbishment, we watched BNSF switch the small yard across the street from our house. When they were gone, we examined the results of their work.

Chemical Cars in FernleyCollapse )

We noticed that while the BNSF crew were making up their train a hobo was wandering through. He took up residence on the sill of a bulk product car sitting in the yard. Lisa and I think he was expecting BNSF to take that cut of cars west and found himself disappointed when the crew left the cut here (it will be picked up by one of the through trains later; the "little BN" local switches local industries) and headed home to Reno.

It was a lovely evening, with the temperatures just right, and no bugs. A nice evening to sit in our chairs on our front porch and watch the trains go by.

Current Mood: happy
Friday, September 21st, 2018
1:51 pm
Yet More About the Wood
Yes, I do natter on a bit about wood storage. But this is the time of year when we can do the necessary maintenance on the property to get ready for winter, and with autumn just a day away (and you can definitely feel it in the air, and I don't miss summer one bit), we need to keep at it before we must fill the wood boxes with firewood again.

State of the Big BoxCollapse )

Repainting the big box has to wait until Lisa has finished the work on the new small box, because she wants to try and get as much of the painting done at once as she can, to minimize the number of times she has to clean the paintbrushes.

Current Mood: optimistic
Thursday, September 20th, 2018
7:42 am
More Wood Box Developments
The project the needed that plywood (and generated a mis-cut sheet thanks to me mis-marking a sheet at Lowe's) has spawned a smaller project: a new "ready storage" wood box to go on the front porch near the door. We've had a small box there all along, but it was not covered (aside from a plastic sheet we tossed over it) and thus the wood would get wet when it rained or snowed. As our main firewood supply these days is energy logs that are pressed sawdust that dissolves when wet, this is not good. Lisa decided to use the plywood and 2x4s salvaged from some pallets we have laying about to build a new, better box.

Using the Material at HandCollapse )

Once Lisa has all of the pieces cut and assembled, she plans to put the small box into the temporarily empty large wood box and paint it there. That way, any paint that drips will simply drip onto the large box, which she's planning on repainting anyway. Like with re-purposing scrap pallets and mis-cut plywood sheets, this is a waste not, want not situation.

Current Mood: pleased
Wednesday, September 19th, 2018
6:12 am
Credit Where Due
A long-running web-comic that I follow has come to a (planned) end, and as part of the wrap-up, the author created an "end credits" sequence that, in the style of some movies, tells "what happened later" to the various characters before running the titles. Somewhat to my surprise, I found my name among the various people listed in the sequence. I'm not sure what the criteria was, but I'm amused to be credited as an Assistant Art Director.

Blink and You'll Miss ItCollapse )

Current Mood: amused
Tuesday, September 18th, 2018
3:57 pm
Chipmunks Moving In
There are no ground squirrels in Fernley, but there are chipmunks. This afternoon, when I went out to wave to a more-than-6-hours-late westbound California Zephyr, I saw that they were taking advantage of railroad cast-offs.

Concrete NestCollapse )

I'm not sure what's bugging Amtrak this week, but besides today's very-late-running train, yesterday there was no westbound train at all. From the Amtrak status board, it looks like they must have annulled #6 at Salt Lake City yesterday, and probably put the passengers on buses or planes, which I know I would not have liked at all. I don't take the train to ride a plane or a bus.

Current Mood: amused
Monday, September 17th, 2018
8:13 pm
Boxing the Wood
Lisa attached the new lid to the woodbox this afternoon. Tomorrow she hopes to put on the second coat of paint and/or paint the inside, which also will a chance to put new paint on the box. After several years, the paint has peeled pretty badly. (The local sun is really hard on all painted surfaces.) Eventually we also need to tackle repainting the front porch, and probably replacing some of the wood entirely.

Current Mood: accomplished
Sunday, September 16th, 2018
6:57 pm
Good Intentions
We had great plans for today, but nothing actually happened. I did my normal quiet weekend routine Sunday (breakfast at the Wigwam, bowling at the Frontier Fun Center), but nothing else planned for today happened. But I did get extra sleep, including a nap this afternoon, and maybe that's a good thing in itself.

Current Mood: restless
Saturday, September 15th, 2018
7:56 pm
Sacramento Again
It has been too long since I visited my sister in Sacramento, so this morning after breakfast at the Wigwam (got lucky with the free-play coupon, free breakfast, yay!) and after confirming that Lisa was too worn our from yesterday's home improvement work, I headed off for Sacramento. This is a trip that I can do it one day — it is only half the distance to the Bay Area, and thus the round-trip is only like when I drive to the Bay — but it always leaves me pretty tired.

I spent a couple of hours with my sister, discussing both business and pleasure. She has put the various postcards I've sent her from around the world up in her portion of her ward. She and I discussed places she was able to go before she got too sick to travel.

Visiting Kelli was the only purpose for today's trip, so other than stopping for dinner in Auburn and swinging by the grocery store on the way home, I didn't do much else today. When I got home, Lisa showed me that she had unloaded the wood box (preparatory to replacing the lid and repainting it) while I was gone. She even moved the energy logs into the garage in case it happens to rain. We had a tiny bit of drops in the past couple of days, but the energy logs dissolve in water, so it was good of her to get them under cover while we prepare the wood box for winter.

Tomorrow I have few plans, other than to help Lisa with the wood box repairs if necessary.

Current Mood: tired
Friday, September 14th, 2018
2:52 pm
Let There Be Light (and Internet)
Lisa has been working on several home projects all summer, although punishing summer heat makes a lot of projects go very slowly, on account of only being able to work for an hour or two in the evenings at best.

Dig ThisCollapse )

While laying the Ethernet conduit, Lisa got to thinking about what else she could do while she had the trench open. Then she got an idea that made use of material salvaged from Mehama.

Reusing Parts from MehamaCollapse )

Lisa got her metal-bending tools out and, with the purchase of some additional wire and some wiring boxes, started a project to put lights along the sidewalk that connects the house to the travel trailer.

Lighting Up Our Life, or at Least the SidewalkCollapse )

This afternoon after work, I helped dig and move dirt from the original trenching (and from another place on the property where we're excavating for a different project about which more later when it comes to pass) to fill in the rest of the trench. Once we have the trench filled sufficiently, we will cover it with decorative rocks that have been on the property since we got here.

I'm pleased with these lights, and with the other work Lisa has done to improve Fernley House.

Current Mood: happy
Thursday, September 13th, 2018
7:37 pm
Quiet Meeting
After a fairly raucous, standing-room-only meeting last month, this month's meeting of the North Lyon County Fire Protection District was lightly attended and fairly quiet. But as usual, nobody but me seemed willing to sit in the front row.

Most people seem to want to huddle in the back. To that extent, it's like the WSFS Business Meeting. I read complaints this year from people complaining that they wanted to speak at WSFS who were never called upon. I'm reminded that when I presided in a large room back in 2015, I warned everyone who wanted to hide in the back (particularly behind the camera platform) or stand around the edges (even when there were chairs) that I was highly unlikely to call upon them and that only people sitting in the forward section of the hall were likely to be recognized. In San Jose, the stage lighting was such that if you didn't sit in the front portion of the room, the Chair couldn't see you and I'm pretty sure Tim Illingworth said so. Maybe people didn't catch that because Tim didn't say it forcefully enough, but he wasn't calling on "the usual suspects" only because they were "the usual suspects" — they were just the people he could see! Ironically, using a room larger than we actually needed (because Programming wasn't using it in the morning and it had the tech setup we needed) led to people being "procedurally invisible."

Current Mood: thoughtful
Wednesday, September 12th, 2018
8:28 pm
Good Evening, Reno
A store in Reno where we can sometimes find jeans that fit Lisa (she's really difficult to fit) was running a one-day, 40% off sale today, so after work we went into Reno to see what we could find. We did manage to find her one pair, which is good. Lisa suggested we have dinner at the Peppermill, but the place was packed and we balked at the parking garage. The Reno Air Races are in town, and the California-Nevada Moose are having their convention, so things were busy. We made one more stop at the remaining Scolari's grocery in Sparks where we can still get a brand of mushrooms that Lisa likes but Raley's does not carry, then headed for home. Not terribly exciting, but we got things done.

Current Mood: accomplished
Tuesday, September 11th, 2018
8:22 pm
Measured Once, Cut Twice
We went to Lowe's to get a sheet of plywood for the latest home project. The sheet needed to be cut down to the dimensions Lisa had worked out, and I read them and (I thought) marked them on the plywood. But after we got the sheet cut and Lisa started to look for some other things, she re-measured the cut sheet and found that I'd marked it wrong. So there was nothing for it but to get another sheet and get it cut with the correct dimensions. That's a $36 mistake. However, Lisa does say she'll be able to make some use of the mis-cut sheet, so it's not a total loss.

Current Mood: relieved
Monday, September 10th, 2018
4:54 pm
Dig Them Weeds
Digging up all of the Russian Thistle ("tumbleweeds") from around our property is hard enough (although Lisa did it). What's harder is finding some way to get rid of them. Fortunately, after the pile of them sat around for a few days, they were dry enough that I could squish most of them into our refuse bin, but it helped that we didn't have a lot of other trash this week.

Current Mood: accomplished
Sunday, September 9th, 2018
5:02 pm
Portola Ho
Yesterday, as I earlier mentioned, Lisa and I drove over to Portola to visit the Western Pacific Railroad Museum. Lisa and I are members (which includes free admission), but it had been almost two years since our last visit, as we misread the museum's open dates last October after they'd closed for the season.

Bear Wants to Rides, ToosCollapse )

There were no trains to ride today because train rides only are offered Memorial Day to Labor Day (plus special events like pumpkin patch trains and Santa Trains, but that's later in the year), so the museum was rather quiet. However, that was helpful for Lisa, who brought the Panasonic P2 and the remote microphone and put me to work doing a impromptu documentary about the museum. This gives Lisa practice working the camera, and it will give me practice using the editing software. It's more complex than turning WSFS Business Meeting videos into usable YouTube MP4s, but unlike WSFS, there's no time pressure.

Current Mood: peaceful
Saturday, September 8th, 2018
9:16 pm
Fire Detour
Today, instead of working on the various home-improvement projects that have piled up, we decided to use our Feather River Rail Society memberships and go visit the Western Pacific Railway Museum at Portola. However, I'm not going to write about that tonight, because on the way back, when we stopped to have dinner in Reno, we saw a lot of smoke to the east, and a bit of investigation showed that a fire was burning in the area south of Interstate 80, west of the Patrick exit and east of USA Parkway. The fire was well to the south of the Truckee River and it was safe to stop and take a look, so we did.

Fire CallCollapse )

According to news reports, several hundred acres burned, and the fire was not yet out when we left, but it did appear that the sustained air attack was knocking it down.

When we got home, Lisa handed me the video footage from the camera. It took me a couple of hours to extract the footage you see above and to upload it to YouTube. Our upload speed here at Fernley House is awful. A two-minute clip took about 40 minutes to upload. Someday we'll update our internet service.

Lisa was worn out from spending much of the day hauling that heavy camera around and went to bed early. I don't blame her. I'm a bit worn myself, and all I did was stand around in the sun. Glad I remembered to put on sunscreen.

Current Mood: accomplished
Friday, September 7th, 2018
6:00 pm
Let's Hear it for the Rainbow Fleet
The local BNSF switch job ("Little BN") that serves industries between USA Parkway and the BG Terminal in Fernley is based out of the little two track yard in front of our house. BNSF rotates equipment in and out of here regularly, giving us a bunch of different paint schemes to enliven the parade of Union Pacific Yellow.

Four for FourCollapse )

As I was lining up this shot, I saw that the signals at West Fernley had lit up, and just as I snapped it, a Union Pacific container freight roared through in the background at track speed, which is 70 MPH on this stretch.

Current Mood: pleased
Thursday, September 6th, 2018
7:55 pm
Livining in Hardware Stores
With the weather now (barely) mild enough that Lisa can work around the house, and with Worldcon behind us, we have a number of home improvement projects happening. As a result, we've been to either Big R or Lowe's or both of them nearly every day for the past week. The good side to all of those Lowe's trips, however, is that we've collected several coupons good over the next few days that should be put to good purpose as we need to hitch up the utility trailer and go buy several sheets of plywood, which will end up costing a bit, but less than if we didn't have the coupons.

Current Mood: optimistic
Wednesday, September 5th, 2018
4:32 pm
A Look at Black Gold
Over the weekend, Lisa and I went over to Fallon to look for some things that the larger Big R there has that aren't at the smaller Fernley store. On the way, we had a look at the Black Gold Terminal, which held a formal groundbreaking a couple of weeks ago to built a rail terminal here in Fernley. (I didn't get an invitation to it, but heard about it from the Mayor at the last Fire Board meeting.)

No TrespassingCollapse )

Black Gold Terminals Fernley is the newest expansion of the Blacklands Railroad, a Texas-based company that operates short lines and railroad terminals.

This is in general good news for Fernley, as it supports continued industrial growth in our city. But because the terminal is safely away from all of the built-up areas, I'm not likely to be able to see any of the action. I assume that they'll end up with at least one switching locomotive, but it's not that likely that I'll see it unless they end up with rights to operate between their terminal and the Fernley industrial park.

Current Mood: pleased
Tuesday, September 4th, 2018
3:08 pm
Beset by Buses
This afternoon after lunch, I saw that a fleet of buses had taken up residence across the street.

Burning Buses AheadCollapse )

As I walked back from the post office, the fleet, now back under way, passed me heading east on Main Street, and I could see (but was not quick enough to photograph) the Black Rock City Transit sign on the buses. I speculate that the drivers had parked where they did so they could go have lunch.

Current Mood: amused
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