Old Diary

And Darkness Descended Upon the Earth While Waiting for Stairs and Noisy Birds

Many people talk about escaping the weather. Not so many talk about searching for more sunshine. San Benito  But we know people with Seasonal Affected Disorder and the need for sunshine is real.Milwaukee

I live with a woman who CRAVES  her sunshine and one of the benefits of migrating South for the winter is an increase in the duration of sunlight. A lot of folks talk about the fact that as you go North the summer days get longer and the winter days get shorter;  I never hear people talk about the corollary:  the closer to the equator the less change in length of daylight  — and consequently the more the reverse of the above is true:  days stay light longer than if you were in the North, and nights aren’t as long as if you were in the North.

Having never lived in the South before we knew it would happen but we’ve never lived through the experience.  It’s such a simple reality; but if you crave sunlight and you are accustomed to the sun going down at 4 p.m. – before you even leave work – then there’s something actually thrilling about that extra 90 minutes of sun that we’re getting here. It’s funny the way the simplest things can give so much joy.  And so it is that I have a happy wife right now.  We’re less than 10 days from the shortest day of the year — and the beginning of lengthening days!  Hooray.

A few thoughts on Stairs

Our neighbors to the North got a new RV last August.  They had a Monaco coach — made by the same people who made our Holiday Rambler — and tooled around the country for 8 or 9 years.  But they’re getting older and the prospect of driving it South from Missouri each year has gotten the best of them – they sold their coach and bought a 5th wheel.  They don’t have a truck — so the dealer delivered it to their site for them.  And the Dealer didn’t put it in the right place so Wayne came over the other day to move it a few feet to the side and towards the back of the pad. AND THEN….

5th Wheel Steps

A typical 5th Wheel fold down stair

They decided a set of wooden stairs were mandatory.  If you don’t have an RV (more specifically a 5th wheel trailer) you may not be familiar with unevenness of RV steps.  In a sticks & bricks building who ever thinks about stairs — they’re uniform and they work.  But, as a matter of course the fold out steps on a 5th wheel (and many coaches) are usually quite narrow and steep.  Being narrow,  the depth of step you foot can rest upon feels stingy. Being steep they force you to actually think about how much of a step you are taking  in or out — and it’s fequently high and often not the same size as the step before it or the step after it.

The choice of stair builders here is limited:  they’re all geezers like us.  Well, when you have a bunch of geezers building your steps, you better be prepared for an interesting and lengthy process.  These guys have more than enough power tools — some of these guys have enough power tools to build an entire home.  So, you’d think that the process would go quickly.  Think again.

whataburgerWhen you have a bunch of geezers building your steps for you, you’d think it would be a rapid process.  With 4 seniors working on the project how can it not be done in a single day?

triple meat whataburger

Who in their right mind needs a triple meat burger?

But…. when you have a bunch of geezers working on your steps you have to expect pauses for the telling of stories, and 3 hour lunches at Whataburger.  Carl (our neighbor) would gladly have treated the guys to a better meal than ‘just’ a Whataburger but that would have meant working longer and us old codgers have a thing about how hard and how long we work — I guess.


Three geezers working and two sitting to inspect. Not sure which one is the union steward


It’s not a pretty solution but I might as well use this hole in the floor for something. Now we have access to another 20 amp circuit.

At the moment the pedestal is complete.  The steps are still in process.  And poor Carl is fit to be tied wondering where his crew got off to!

In between checking in on the workers, I  got around to running a cord through that unexplained hole in the office floor.  I attached a heavy duty female plug to the new cord and now we can access an extra 15-20 amps (depending on the wiring) when needed.  Cool Beans!

Whacked Out Birds


Not my photo, but they look like this

I need to get my bird book out and see if I can identify these birds.  Unfortunately my bird BOOK is of no help with bird songs — and these guys have the strangest alternate call.  I know there are birds like Mynas and Parrots that are adept at imitating sounds.  These guys look a lot like a Blackbird or Grackle but they sure don’t sound like any Blackbird or Grackle that I’ve ever heard before.  Their normal call is birdlike enough — but there are times when they seem to imitate sounds they hear — and in particular a sound that sounds like metal flexing.  It’s crazy.  Sure doesn’t sound like a BIRD!

Well, enough for today.  We’re hoping to get moved on Monday.  Fingers crossed that the rain stays in the clouds.  🙂

Thanks for stopping by and I’ll talk with you tomorrow.


6 thoughts on “And Darkness Descended Upon the Earth While Waiting for Stairs and Noisy Birds

    • I thought grackles had more brownish — but maybe in WI I’m accustomed to seeing more juveniles. These are much larger than the common Grackles. After looking at my bird book — if I have to choose among the grackles then it’s more likely to be the Great Tailed Grackle based on the bright yellow eyes and the longer tail, and larger frame. My book says they have an alternate call that’s a “Clack” which doesn’t seem to jive but hey — I just love listening to all the noises the make. 🙂


  1. DK says:

    I shared my pics of the boat-tailed grackles a while back at Animal Wonder that I took in eastern Florida. The lighting was awesome and managed to capture the blueish color in the male very well. The female looks nothing like the male, too. I would be surprised if yours is, in fact, a boat-tail, but they do live along the coastal areas, too. I remember being entertained with the male carrying on for the longest time as we went on the air-boat ride.


    • I’ll have to get my camera out and snap one in person. The real ones sure look a lot like your boat-tails though. They are quite brave around humans and they do have interesting calls.


  2. Good luck on the stairs. I’ll pray for you. I know all about old geezers!
    Also, I’d love to hear those birds. I think I may have to use them as characters in my children’s fantasy that I’m working slowly on. It’s nice to know things that I thought my creatures would do, truly happen in real life.


    • The next-door stairs are complete, and now we aren’t next-door! 🙂 But you’re right — geezers have their own way of ‘working.’

      It’s interesting that about a week ago the grackles seem to have disappeared. I don’t know if they are migratory here — just passing through — or if they winter here — or perhaps if they are just opportunists and feed and live wherever they find good pickings — and perhaps the pickings here aren’t good enough to keep them here. At any rate we haven’t seen many this past week. Go figure.

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