Today I went hiking in the Box Springs park area with the Venturing Crew. We started further away at a church building, hiked further up to the M on the mountain for Moreno Valley and then back. We took my traditional trails of Two Trees, Spring and Edison trails as well. Last weeks hike was about 7 miles in three hours. Today’s hike was about 10 miles in 5.25 hours. There was a lot of socializing along the way. At times there was more talking than walking. I did not have a problem with it, because I hike alone so much it was nice to have some other people along.
As for pictures, found a new plant with flowers. It was the only thing that I photographed. I was too busy talking.
I went for a Saturday morning hike in the Box Springs Park today. Four weeks ago most of the trees had not leaves. This week, they are full of leaves.
Our neighbors have a mulberry tree that is just about to loose its last leaves. It is also showing signs of new buds. The Orange tree is full of blossoms and the fragrance if citrus is in the air.
As for the trail, there were signs of new plant life and flowers. We have had a little rain this past week that had helped the parched lands. The Cassina Spring is flowing as well. As for the floweres, they added some nice color to the hike. It was 6.9 miles in three hours. Just a morning stroll with about 1800 feet in elevation gain.
Tonight I received a text from my daughter that said, “The dryer still smells fire but I am going to start it.” I was not as concerned that the dryer was smelling fire as the dryer smelling like fire.
I had walked through the house and it had a faint smell like someone had toasted a tortilla on a burner of the gas stove to heat it up. I did not see anyone so I went to run an errand. On the way back I received the text. My thought was, “Holy Smokes” or something like that. Just what I needed tonight was a dryer lint fire.
The vent on the back of the house was fairly lint free. I took off the cover and turned on the dryer to air only. No need to fan a potential fire with hot air. There was not an indication of smoke or a burning smell. With the cover off on the outside of the house, I reached in and started pulling lint out. I ran some wire up the vent pipe and brought more lint out as the air was blowing chunks out as well. I attached wire to the end of a dry garden hose and ran it up the vent and pulled it out several times. More lint. I also began to have other things pop out of the vent.
I went inside and pulled lint out from inside the dryer. Back outside to run the garden hose with the wire on the end in and out of the vent pipe. Lots of lint that looked old, compacted and impregnated with small particulates and sand. And what surprised me was the amount of pencils. Some of those pencils have to be 10 plus years old as Scott used them in grade school. The short ones. He loved them so much he would take a perfectly good eight inch pencil and sharpen it down to almost nothing.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. The vent is only about 6 feet long and this is most of the solid debris. There is a lot for lint to get stuck on. Especially the clock guts and the 3/4″ pvc pipe. I am just thankful there were not rodent carcasses in the mass of lint and debris.
I have been told for several years that they dryer does not seem to dry. I have been religious about cleaning the part at the outside of the house to insure that the dryer was working properly. It has been at least 20 years from the time I put the metal dryer vent in. It is like many things on an old house. You either know it need some attention or it will tell you. Occasionally it screams help me. Typically that is a plumbing or electrical issue. Of course, smoke and fire scream as well. I guess that where there is smoke there is another honey-do . . .
Today Emily and I went for a 3.5 mile hike. This was the first time we hiked in probably two years. It was fun to get out hiking with Emily. They day was a beautiful day. The sycamore trees are already starting to have hew green growth. One would think spring is here.
Problem is, we still have about 6 weeks were we could see temperatures drop below freezing. I guess the plants will survive if it freezes. That just indicates it is almost time to plant tomatoes. Regardless of what the near future may bring us, it will bring us more hiking. Additional, if the mountains do not get more snow, we will really be in a bad drought.
So back to the beautiful day and hiking. We hiked up Two Trees trail and they up the Spring Trail for a little until we hit 1.75 miles. It was then time to turn around and make our way back to the car.
After watching a video of one of our State Representatives, I only have one response – This is a seven magazine clip.
Early this morning Jacob and myself made our way out to the desert. It is officially Jacobs eighteenth birthday and we were going to be hiking in the Mecca Hills. The Mecca Hills were formed by the convergence of the North American Plate and the Pacific Plate along the San Andreas Fault. It sounded like an appropriate venue for someone leaving “childhood” and moving into being an “adult”. One could say, there is a lot of pressure on the move, a little like on a fault line. So back to the morning drive.
Once we arrived we met up with Jacobs Venturing Crew. They were running behind so we did a little geocaching. That gave us the opportunity to see a few different areas. Soon enough we were hiking up Pained Canyon towards the split for Ladder Canyon.
Once we found the large arrow made by placing small rocks in the sand, we knew it was time to go left. We made our way up Ladder Canyon. This canyon is a slot canyon that is not very wide. There are a few places that require ladders to get from one level to the next as you make you way up the canyon.
In a few places the ladders were partially buried in the sand and did not reach high enough. In those situations it required a little climbing. Those below are waiting their turn to climb up to the next level.
Once we reached the top we had great views of of the desert around us. We could see over the Mecca Hills to the Salton Sea in the distance.
We then made our way north across the trail until we reached the spot where we dropped down into Painted Canyon. They area was extremely dry as was evidenced by the stressed plants. In Painted Canyon, there were several different colored rock formations as well as the obvious look of extreme geological stress.
What did not look stressed was Jacob reading a book while the others took a break.
It was a great hike. We followed up with a trip to In-N-Out Burger as we made our way back home. We realized that we missed several geocaches on the top that we will need to go back and get. This will be something we do soon before it gets hot.
Tonight Jacob passed his Eagle Scout Board of Review. I failed to get a picture of him in his uniform and did not remember until I was taking him home. He did well on with the Board of Review. As for getting there, we met a park this past Saturday so that he could finish his display board. it was actually a lot nicer than sitting in some building.
The display board turned out well. His project, sailboat racks for the Riverside Community Sailing Program, was done back in 2010 and he had a few merit badges to finish. He finished those up a couple of months ago and had all his paperwork done and sighed off. The last thing was the Board of Review. He made the final preparations in the last few weeks and got it all finished up and done before his 18th birthday. You can click on the project board to make it bigger and possibly look at the pictures.
As the new year starts I think about the world we live in. One of my colleagues, Dave, went to the doctor last week. The doctor asked Dave how he liked his medical insurance. The response was something to the effect that it is alright. The doctor responded that he was insured under his wife and her plan was canceled. A doctor without medical insurance die to a plan cancellation and looking for medical insurance. That is a snapshot of the world we live in.
Today there is a opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal titled, America’s Dwindling Economic Freedom It ranks the United States with other countries as to Economic Freedom.
“For 20 years, the index has measured a nation’s commitment to free enterprise on a scale of 0 to 100 by evaluating 10 categories, including fiscal soundness, government size and property rights. These commitments have powerful effects: Countries achieving higher levels of economic freedom consistently and measurably outperform others in economic growth, long-term prosperity and social progress. Botswana, for example, has made gains through low tax rates and political stability.”
So where to we rank?
1. Hong Kong
5. New Zealand
12. United States
Why? Just take a look around. It is the economy, debt, unemployment, deteriorating social conditions and probably even a place were a medical doctor loses his medical insurance coverage. Who would have thought?
Every year is started with hopes of change or something new. I started my day with a little hike up the Two Trees trail. I have not been up this trail for a few months. I though back of my trips up this trail with Stevie the dog. She had a desire to climb the five and six foot chain link fence at will to go play with the neighbor’s dog or to run the neighborhood. I was afraid she was going to get hurt so she found a new home. As will all things, there is a time for change.
In the spring time there are flowers. In the winter in southern California, the hillsides are green ant there may be flowers to see as well. There also may be places that take on the appearance of fall. one can even see the evidence of fall and winter with the winter green.
So as seasons come and seasons go, as years come and years go, we may not be much different because we have chosen not to change or to change very little. We may appear to look or act a little different for a time. But then again we may surely be the same.
The key is to give up those things that are not positive attributes or habits. Give up those things that really do not enhance our personality or make us a better person. Ring out the old and ring in the new as in the poem by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out thy mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.
There are so many things we can “ring out” to make the changes necessary to be a better person. There are many things I can do to be a better person. It may not be as many as the sands of the sea, but I am sure it is as many or more than the leaves on this mountain.
It may seem at times that the sun is setting on us or we have reached an end. We need to press on looking toward the next day.
As the sun sets one day, surely the sun will rise the next. As we change the things we need to or ring out the bad, we will need to ring in the new or that which is good.
So as my trip started up the trail today I made a resolution to have the inspiration to know do what I can and should change in the next your, to know what I should not change and to be smart enough to know what I cannot change. As each season comes, or each day, month or year in our lives. There is always time to change for the better. The key is to actually do something about it.
This evening my lovely wife and I looked at each other and said, “What is for dinner?” It was New Year’s Eve and we were watching Elizabeth. After a brief discussion, we agreed on Chinese food. We ordered orange chicken, kung pao chicken, chicken and vegetables with sides of fried rice and brown rice. We had a great New Year’s Eve eating Chinese food. We think that makes it Chinese, New Year (comma included to clarify).
After dinner there was the bath and then we read bedtime stories to Elizabeth. It was an early evening and that was fine by me.
Due to the large crowd on Sunday night, we decided we would make another run at it on Monday night. Tonight it is Elizabeth, Emily and myself. The crowds were extremely light as the sun was just going down when we arrived. We had time to take a picture, Emily, Elizabeth and myself. Or should I say, someone walked up behind me and said, “It that your daughter?” I replied that she was my granddaughter. They were kind enough to offer to take a picture. I usually take a bunch to get a good one. They took one, and it turned out pretty good.
We then meandered over to where the ice rink is. There are a couple of places to eat in the area. Tonight, we chose pizza. Perhaps I should add that usually we order a pizza. Sometimes Chinese food. I do not know about you, but eating pizza outside when it is 72 degrees and watching people ice skate outside under Christmas lights almost does not seem right. Then again, Chinese food may have not been any different. Both are better while sitting in weather that is in the 70′s than weather in the 40′s or 30′s.
While sitting there, I noticed that the moon was rising in the east. I patiently waited, checking after each slice, to see how the moon was positioned with the palm trees and the partial cloud cover. If you are eating pizza in 72 degree weather outside in December under holiday lights, you need a picture of the moon behind palm trees with a display of Christmas lights.
Then it was off to the mini doughnut vendor for some hot fresh mini doughnuts with chocolate on some and maple on the others. We munched on the small treats and walked around the Mission Inn one more time watching the carriages being drawn by those large furry animals. It has been a fun couple of days.
This past weekend I got to spend some extra time with Elizabeth. There were several things on the to-do list. We cleaned up the garden, raked leaves, added organic material to the garden boxes and turned the soil over. This was all in preparation for planting the onions.
Last week we planted broccoli, brussel sprouts (this is a first) and sage. We needed the sage at thanksgiving so we pulled out the chives and put in the sage. We only used the chives once in three years, so it is gone. This is all for the winter garden. We just hope the freeze is not heavy this year.
Sunday afternoon we sat by the Christmas Tree. I read and Elizabeth rearranged the decorations. She had fun.
Frost of not, we headed downtown to walk around and look at the Festival of Lights. Lots of people. The line to go into the mission in and see the lights was extremely long so we passed on that. We found someone to snap our picture in front of the Mission Inn.
We picked up some kettle corn, sat on a bench and watched all the people walk by. It was fun and soon enough it was time to go home to relax and prepare for bed time. A phrase that in not dear to the little ones heart. However, life cannot be all fun all the time.
Today Janet and I went to Oak Glen for her birthday. We had the opportunity to take Elizabeth along. I though it would be great fun. We ended up at Los Rios Ranchos for lunch, apple cider and a little bluegrass music. Lunch was good. Elizabeth especially liked grandma’s apple cider over the water that I gave her. Go figure.
After lunch we listened to music and wandered around the store. After we purchased some apples, some old fashioned candy and of course a couple gallons of apple cider, we turned to the outdoors for some adventure. Just out the front doors were a couple of large horses that Elizabeth got excited about. She pointed and said, “wow wow,” her regular phrase for dog. Then again, wow wow may be big furry animal on four legs.
Form their we went to the petting zoo, which was closed. We still got to see the goats, sheep, pig, llama and horses. Wouldn’t you know it, wow wow was the phrase. It must be applicable to four legged animal. I wounder what she will do when she sees a chicken or turkey?
We then wandered out to the Oak Knoll Park. Elizabeth stood still for a picture. I should say, kind of stood still. She slowly moved towards me.
Of course then it became a game. Chase after grandpa as he walks backwards snapping pictures.
She thought it was so fun she started making the noise and facial expressions she does now and then. I took several pictures just to catch those rare expressions that happen so quickly. And, yes the chase was on.
We reached a point where we had to return. But not before giving a real wow wow (dog) a rub on the head. Elizabeth was not as interested in walking uphill as she was chasing grandpa downhill. I piked her up and we made out way back to the truck. It gave us an opportunity for a few more pictures.
Soon we were in the truck and on our way to find a geocache. We went to An Apple for the Teacher – GCPVQQ It was at the old historic school house in Oak Glen. After logging our find, we got back into the truck and headed home. It was a great day for lunch, a little hike and grabbing a geocache.
Early in my day my daughter complained about the washing machine. It had given us a error code of F02 the evening before and now it was fairly consistent. Washing one load of closes was not working. Knowing that with the right search I could find an answer I searched “Whirlpool Duet F02 error code” and came up with several hits.
The first one was a YouTube video so I watched it. It gave me my answer, pull the lower front off the washer and unscrew the cover on the water pump housing where there was a filter. I went to the washer and followed the instructions. Stinky water drained as I pulled out the filter which was a fairly solid mass of black spongy stinky grossness. The guy in the video said he found a sock. I found three, how could that be?
Three baby socks is about all the filter will hold. The small holes in the filter also had a few air-soft BB’s in them. Of course there was what was left of a few pens, and shredded paper. There was the imagination flowering with the thought that this washer is used to wash baby diapers as well. Realistically, that thought stunk.
I cleaned the filter out in the laundry sink, which was not draining well at all. Cleaning out the trap became the next Saturday morning job. Much to my surprise, there was more in the trap than I thought. In fact, as I lowered the trap, the slimy stretched out fibrous mass of hair, string and who knows what all snaked through the trap.
I had to cut a few hairs and a piece of string at the drain of the sink and the black snake fell to the ground. I handled it with care as this is the sink that the baby diapers get washed out in before they make their way to the diaper pail to be cued up for laundering. The thought of baby diapers decorated with what they are decorated with being rinsed off above. I guess it gives a new meaning to dingle-berry . . .
After the mass fell to the floor I picked it up with my slip joint pliers and put it on the back stoop so I could get a trash can. Can you say green toothbrush? And yes you can click on the pictures to make them bigger. However, I do not think scratching your monitor will allow you to get a whiff. You will have to use your imagination there.
I was glad to put the trap back together and be done. The day went better as I did not go anywhere where a diaper or its contents had gone before me. All because of the F02 error on the washing machine. Those darn computerized washers . . .
As for the socks, I text-ed the picture of the filter to Emily and she replied that she was missing some socks. When I was a kid I thought socks left the house because they were not happy. They always left as a single sock and never in a pair. Silly me, all these years and the socks may have been falling victim to some other problem. I will let her clean up the sock filters from the filter . . .
Today I had a few thing to do around the house. I fixed a garden lamp and needed a little concrete at the base. No problem, a little concrete, some water and someone to mix it up.
The young worker worked so hard helping today I decided to take her out to dinner. Naturally mom came along. We walked downtown to get some pizza.
We then took a walk, or should I say a follow of Elizabeth as she found things that interested her. Things like lights dancing on the sidewalk.
Of course there was other things that interested her. I though back of the days when I was a youngster and I had the opportunity to look at the water features downtown.
Times may change. However, sometimes it is the simple things in life that give the greatest excitement. Then again, there is nothing like working in the yard with grandpa.