Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June Ends.

So it's quit raining. So your crops are now for the first time all season thirsty and in need of actual attention. So the lawn looks crispy. So the pots are so dry you could build with the soil in there. Still:

There's something distinctly un-Piedmont-like about what we have going these last couple days, which is to say, and to quote TLK, marveling this evening in Burlington at the weather and the Rookie League baseball: Four days ago it was a hundred thousand degrees. Now it's nice.

Hey, the Burlington Royals. Hey, new 2009 Burlington Royals cap. Hey, 10-3 win, errors and stolen bases everywhere. Hey, low in the low sixties. Hey, end of June. Hey, all that rain from (way) back when. See you all in July.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cats Porched.

Done. Finished. Mission accomplished. The door doesn't close just right just yet, but that'll give me something to chew on evenings this week when I myself am porched. Our Sunday spreads in front of us blank and wide and open, with the only thing that has to happen being a lawnmowing. Friday's storm and yesterday's oddly, oddly timed midday mini-storm have left the lawn a step or six ahead of where it needs to be. Send me out there, then, with our rickety rock-damaged mower. Just not quite now. Maybe a little later on. Some time. At some point. Perhaps this evening.

Do I have the itch to chop-saw something else? To walk out back and pull the paneling off the walls and the ceiling down from overhead and plunge whole hog into the outbuilding renovation? I do. Do I also have the desire to pawn said chop saw and buy as many ice cream cones as the proceeds might allow? Well, there's that, too.

A funny thing happened mid-afternoon yesterday, once that little storm had bubbled up from basically nowhere and rained for twenty minutes and ratcheted the humidity up to something close to underwater. We landed AMR's old beat-up pine table on the south-facing vista of the 4'x11' chat chateau, and then we stuck a chair in front of it, and something about that table and chair in those dimensions just seemed right, seemed snug in the correct way, seemed situated—which means, I think, back to the quadrille paper and the pens and the walking lap after lap out back. Back to—or maybe just for the first true time to—a real consideration of what the renovated outbuilding might ought to look like. Maybe something a little more than just a redone rectangle. Maybe I need some nooks out there. Maybe I need something like a 4'x11' something. I don't know. And it doesn't matter, yet: current plans call for a renovation of a different sort, an ass-in-chair-whether-situated-or-not-sort, a writing-of-new-pages-finally-goddamnit kind of deal from here until the end of August. Easy enough to get up from the difficult paragraph and go to the big-box to buy 2x4s. Time, just maybe, to lean away from that crutch for a while.

Heat creeping up and building in. June almost spent. Chance of storms tonight. The ten-day looks like we might need it in order to get through the dry that could be coming. Glads just starting to bloom, here and everywhere else in town. Summer. Summer for sure.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Easy Rain.

Wired for sound. Hole through the wall. Cats out-of-doors on the morrow.

And we picked up a wee storm. TLK reports a storm something more than wee southward, so hang on down there, Groveward and Marionward. Or: hope you hung on. Here it was just a third of an inch or so, and not much wind. Heavy rain, but not much wind. And we were mainly cloud-to-cloud, lightning-wise, but once it slid south—like once it made College Hill and slid on—you could hear things change.

I sat on the porch and told AMR that it felt like the kind of thing we used to get, back before it rained, back in the early aughts, wherein it would rain everywhere but here. Where you could hear it raining somewhere else. Where it would set up just west or north but then fade out right upon getting herewards. But then the dog snugged up all close and got the long mouth, and then it sure and sure did rain. Pretty little thing, too. Smelled like Florida.

You know what? I confess to not knowing what the forecast is for tomorrow. If I had to guess, I'd say lower chance of showers, but not nil. The wind has shifted, though, and it's a little drier and cooler. A little. There may yet be sitting on the porch tonight. There may be coffee out there tomorrow.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Floor Painted.

But it's quite dark out there, so pictures will have to follow tomorrow. Those of you breathlessly following updates at the newly minted 709 1/2 will have to wait until then. I'll say this, though: the door's hung, the trim's trimmed, and the floor, once it has one more coat of paint, will be painted. Which leaves only the cutting of the cat-sized hole through the side of 709. Those fuzzy fat fuckers better goddamn like their new poopagazeatorium, is all I have to say. Photos of said fuckers, if the day goes well tomorrow, may indeed feature here at ANYLF. If all goes badly tomorrow, then photos of this fucker cutting his own head off with a Skil saw will appear in this here space.

Weather: the fancies seem to think we have a slow to medium chance of seeing some. Check the tarps on those lawnmowers out there, people. A front's coming through. The nature of the front: tomorrow, it's supposed to be 89. Post-front: 91. Hold on to your barometers.

Starting to get where I can sort of sniff July.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Door Fits.

The ANYLF staff, in light of recent events, feels the need to come clean. We truly thought we'd invented the Summertini—gin, lime, Pellegrino, ice—but it turns out that the Summertini may be nothing more than a Rickey sitting in a glass next to a weather blog. Still perfect, though, after a long afternoon of catporcherĂ­a.

A day of mild success: got the trim trimmed, and the door fits the hole. No hinges on that thing yet, but the cattery seems damn near ready for cats.

In other weather news, there is no weather news. Sometimes there are clouds. We're near a week since rain. It's medium hot, but not ungodly hot. It's slightly breezy, but not windy. The sky is blue, but not so blue you'd want to mention it. The late evenings are of late OK for dogwalks. The summer is just now barely starting to get itself underway.

Partially Trimmed.

Ran out of little skinny pieces of wood. Still, it's coming together.

We're just beginning week three of our one-week catbox project. Things are going swimmingly. Can't blame the weather any more, either: the pattern has for sure shifted, leaving us hot and even a little dry, not a ton of humidity to speak of, no real fighting chance for afternoon showers. The tomatoes are going gangbusters. Flowers and ferns in their pots, though, not so much. Haven't really yet had to water this season. Am trying to remember what the rhythm of that feels like.

Am trying also to remember the rhythm of going outside every day, hearing people talk, writing down what they say. Most of the sentences out back right now are feeling very Hall-of-Presidents. Only one in ten feels like I want to ask it to the prom. Maybe I shouldn't complain. Maybe one in ten is enough to get things going.

New building, new book. Feels like I have to teach myself to write all over again. I need to hang some new doors out there, get some better light in. I need a damn screen door, is what I need.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Many Staples.

First of all, it hasn't rained since I got all excited and discussed, at length and with visual aids, how much it's been raining. Thanks, me.

Second of all, the festival of in-law visitation has come to a close, which means: full steam ahead on the porch du chat. Once we went back to the store to buy staples that actually fit the staple gun, we did OK.

Trim tomorrow. Then the building of a door. From scratch. I hear that only takes about ten minutes.

Summertini. Five mangoes on the dining room table. The long, late summer light. Sleeping in my own bed again. Head just maybe starting to get wired for the next project. Mums dying off in their vase. Nothing else to report. Nothing much else at all.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Apex, Zenith.

It's gone all hot, like it's maybe summer. Really hot. As in: I can feel certain internal systems shutting down. As in: following lunch, I wanted badly for a nap. I can do a lot of things. Six things. Or seven. I cannot, as well as I'd like, do the heat.

It is, though, even to my own surprise, still not yet homicidally hot in the late evenings, such that the last two nights, post-dinner, AMR and I have sat out on the front porch and had nightcaps of various sorts with her visiting father. It could be eighty-five, I suppose, at midnight, and I'm sure it soon enough will be. But for now, it is still cooling off—or just dialing down—around seven or eight, is easing back just enough to leave a sliver of hope in the hearts of the faithful. And the tomatoes are growing. And the squash. And the decimated okra now finally has okra-leaf-shaped leaves. A body that wants to find the glass half-full still can.

Also, there's been a wind.

Summer. Officially, as of about an hour from now. Solstice. We celebrate here at ANYLF Global HQ with a sprig of mint. Celebrate out there in your own quarters with your own talisman of choice. Time to move semi-permanently to the short pants. Time to maybe trim the beard to some kind of summer length. Time to celebrate the excellent work of HVAC professionals everywhere. Time to add an icecube to the glass. Time, too, to remember this: tomorrow night, the light gets shorter. We aim now towards something entirely other.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Exceptional Rainfall.

Friends and fans of vast precip, I have good news:

That's month-to-date, through today. Here's year-to-date:

The staff had started to worry that our precip totals, located over there somewhere in the sidebar amidst the dog photos and various borrowed radars, were inflated. Hopeful. On the juice. There was hand-wringing among the interns. Carping about reliability. But I'm here to tell you that the entire team here at ANYLF can, given the fact that early June's five-incher was hyper-local, and this week's almost-three-incher was hyper-hyper local, happily stand behind our nearly thirty-two inches YTD and our nearly ten-and-a-half inches this month. And remember, boys and girls, there are twelve days left of June.

Thanks to the good folks at the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service wing of the NWS for providing today's radar-estimated precipitation party favors.

Two more items of import before we let you get back to whatever it is you were doing before:

That's the drought, in fast retreat.

And that is yet more rain, trying to come this way, which means that if what you were doing before wasn't tying up the tomatoes, then we recommend a pair of scissors and an old t-shirt and a quick mosey into the back yard. Or maybe a leisurely mosey. Still: what is recommended is a mosey all the same.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rain Gutters.

Is there another sort of gutter? Surely there must be. But let's explore this, instead: during Tuesday's early-morning deluge, only the latest in a series of June deluges, it was determined by a near-sleepwalking me that the splashdown from the roof overhanging the cattery roof was, shall we say, no good. And that it was splashing up onto the windows overlooking the cattery. And that it was assisting in the leaking of the new cattery roof, about which much wailing and gnashing of teeth. What, then, to do? Straightforward, relatively: Gutter the fucker.

Who knew the cattery would be so very much about, ah, weather?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Heavy Rain.

You just can't let what happened this morning go by, and so: It rained another 2.7 inches. In ninety minutes. Which takes us over ten inches for the month. Which makes this the wettest June on record (previous record 9.53", 1995).

More rain coming tonight out of the west. Then, of course, nineties to follow by end-of-week.

The rain and mist this afternoon felt like nothing so much as a little nodding reference to winter.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Felted, Shingled.

What's hard to believe is that it hasn't rained. Or hadn't. Or that's what was hard to believe. What's now hard to believe is what's happened to us since seven o'clock, which is that's it's cleared off, relatively, and what we are now piloting the front porch through is something like marrying weather, blue sky and a little breeze and temps trying to push toward the low seventies. There's enough humidity in the air to catch what remains of the light, such that when it's not blocked by clouds or trees the sun, it seems to be coming through or landing on sheets, or tissue paper, or some equally tired metaphor or simile, whichever one this sentence is either like or as aiming for. Doesn't matter, doesn't matter. We seem to have set the Wayback machine for April. Or for a lucky May. What we know is that this is not June. June is what we had all damn day until now. Now, though, is something else.

The big board says it may yet rain. Go ahead: we got our evening, more than any right-minded person could have asked for given the way we started, and anyway, we're ready, give or take. Rain on our new roof. It'd be helpful, or at least instructive, to see if it worked.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Rafters, Roof.

Little excuse-me storm through last night, with enough rain to wet the lumber. It was vastly cooler this morning, wind out of the east, it seemed like, but we sure as hell swung that back around by evening, when we aimed ourselves toward sauna conditions. Hurried progress on the cat roof today out in front of an iffy roofing forecast for tomorrow. If we're lucky, we get it shingled before the storms. If we're not, we bail it out tomorrow night.

Around here we're sore in the way people who do real work for half-days get sore. Mornings: we write, we coffee, we do the old soft shoe. Afternoons: we carpent.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Porch Walls.

Temps perhaps slightly less miserable today. Little breeze as the evening came on. TLK angel-of-mercied his way up the driveway around six to drink a couple of tall boys and help us kick the last wall into place. A good man, he.

Another quarter-inch of rain last night, taking us well over seven—seven—for the month.

The dog's licking her chops at the thought of seven inches of rain. So are we all.

Keep that summer pattern in the forecast, but don't be as sure it's going to rain as you were the last few days. It could rain—it just might not. Still and all better than it's been in years past, no?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

No Baseball.

I don't know if they called the Grasshoppers game or not, but neither TLK nor I were up for a Thirsty Thursday as severe as this one, even though the severity seems upon inspection to be not so severe. Oh, we're getting storms, but they're not even last night's storms. This is just a little wind and rain. It may get a smidge worse here in the next half an hour or so, but for the second night running it appears we get, agricultural-interests-wise, most of the good and little of the bad.

No cat porch progress. No progress on much of anything save for one morning page written out in the moldering shed. But that is a written page, friends and fans of incremental success, and there is now a wee storm, and there is also now an ANYLF-copyrighted Summertini (gin, lime, Pellegrino to top off a low rocks glass) to ease the day's difficulties, which were difficult, but maybe not as difficult as they originally seemed.

Looks like by 10 p.m. we'll be in the clear. Sleep tight out there, weatherers. See you anon.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Porch Floor.

But more importantly:

That was in the mid-eight-o'clock hour. We're not in the weeds yet, but just north and west of here there seems to be nearly continuous lightning. The NWS says penny-sized hail. The dog was deeply unhappy that she and I were spending any time at all tying up the tomatoes out in front of all of this. She was endlessly down off the deck to let me know there was trouble, and then endlessly back up onto the deck every time the trouble could be heard. There was violence out east of us last night near midnight. There is violence out west now, and it could well be coming our way. Or we could get the sunset clause invoked and have all the heat emptied out of this thing right before it gets here. Or we could get some kind of less-exciting situation, ANYLF-wise, anyway, wherein we get a thunderstorm, but it is just a thunderstorm, a good half-inch and maybe some close lightning but no hail and no flood. In fact, sign us up here at 709 for a storm of the less-exciting variety. We could use just a good rumbly rain.

Current conditions: Nice light rain, less-frequent lightning.

Current cat porch conditions:

Only: In the interest of integrities both journalistic and meteorological, you should probably imagine it, if you're going to imagine it how it is currently, darker and damper.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Post Holes.

Construction on the cat porch has begun. If one was in real estate, or historic preservation, or in public relations, or if one was even medium-sane, one would call it a potting shed. But it is a cat porch.

The plan—and this, friends and fans of balloon construction, is a revolution—is as follows: Build the floor, frame out the walls, glue a roof to it, screen it in. Then? Cut a hole in the wall of the house and send the cats on through.

Will there be photographs?

Oh, yes. But will there still be weather?

There will always, always, be weather. We may even get some here today. Keep an eye out those west- and north-facing windows, my pretties. If you have bags of cement, cover them. If you have litter boxes, build some sort of monstrosity in which to house them. See how it all works out?

Monday, June 8, 2009


AMR reports today: Hot. It was hot. It was bright. It didn't rain.

I missed all of that in the throes of one more draft, one last copy-edit. Hey, book. I wore my pajama pants until almost 6 pm. I think I remember it being hot and/or bright, but I think I also remember a couple hours of haze sometime midafternoon, which means AMR's reportage may not be quite Peabody-worthy yet, but let's just go with our man on the ground, as it were, and say it was hot today. And bright. Let's hang that same forecast up on the big board for tomorrow, with maybe a medium chance of storms.

Mashed fresh potatoes. Steamed fresh broccoli. Even if you missed the whole day, it was still summer at dinnertime.

Is copy-edit hyphenated? Is dinnertime a word?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Cool Evenings.

It's still cool enough in the evenings here in early June to make the prospect of mowing the lawn and having a cold beer seem more than anything like a better-than-fair price for having been able to get up in the morning at all. We've cleared off, cleared into a more normal summer pattern: chance of storms most days out of the next however many, fewer cool evenings in the offing. But for now, for tonight—Miller High Life Light. In a bottle. Bin full of grass clippings on the curb. Pretty little yard. Dog on the porch to oversee the whole operation. Cat in the screen door wishing it was him. I'm wearing boots I bought for nineteen dollars ten years ago. We're doing alright over here at 709. We are doing alright.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Official Statement.

I'm going to go ahead and call it before the sun breaks through and makes everything pleasant again: This, friends and fans of June storms, is the TLK winter. Every June. Every single one, every time. Long sleeves, gray sky, afternoon coffee, a book on the porch. This is it. Keep your dogwood winters, your Indian summers. This is early summer on the Piedmont. This is the TLK winter.

Update: not ten minutes later, the sun came out. This does not obviate the official call. Nothing can obviate the official call. And don't get all excited quite yet, either, Greensboro: there may yet be a little more rain up out of the south. Or the west. We shall see.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

More Rain.

If I had to guess—it's raining a little too hard to go check the gauge—I'd say another inch. And more coming. This is some rain, friends and fans of the sound of this sort of thing through your just-open windows. Don't open them too far for fear of water on the floors, but if you can sleep—if you can lie down without worrying too much about how much water's in your basement, your outbuilding, your garden front or back—then this is windows-cracked weather. This is the kind of night where, if one was so inclined, and if one was able, one could sleep the sleep of the just.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Much Rain.

First off, let's us say this: it's still raining. It's been raining since somewhere in the five o'clock hour, but the rain we are currently enjoying—gentle, lovely, soaking—is not the rain we enjoyed this evening, which was famous even before it ended. It's rained before at ANYLF, notably here and here. And it's hailed before, too. But this rain was bigger. And this hail, while it lasted, was much, much smaller, and so not as fancy (or damaging), but the crackerjack staff here at ANYLF demands the reporting of hail when it hails. So: pea-sized. Some. Two or three separate times somewhere close to seven o'clock. Minor tomato damage. Moderate petunia damage, but those fuckers get damaged if you look at them crossways. What they like is three days of sun. We do not so much have that right this second.

There was wind, too, of the will-La-Vieja-Nueva's-tree-come-tossing-into-our-yard? sort, but other than the tomatoes, we came through that fine, and the tomatoes are now staked to some maple tongue-and-groove flooring I was saving for, it turns out, this storm. But this is not about the wind. It is also not about the hail. This, friends and fans of astonishments meteorological, is about the rain, which, if you're scoring at home, and we were, was 4.4 inches in about two hours: ANYLF world record. What happens when that happens? Water in the outbuilding, for one. For two, water in the basketball court down in the park:

For three, water all everywhere else all over the city. Buffalo Creek: for a while this evening, not so much a creek.

You want your radar progression? Oh, weatherheads, we have the radar progression. Here's six o'clockish:

And then I went out back, to the as-yet-unflooded outbuilding, because I thought that giant comma of doom had moved past us. But it backfilled, or backbuilt, or just plain backed up, and I got stranded out there while all hell broke loose. This, though, is a classic—or familiar, at least—27408/1 pattern: The line that builds and builds along a Greensboro-Winston axis and just keeps on coming, keeps on raining, keeps on sprouting new storms. Does it rain an hour north or south of here? By and large, it does not. I think the fancies like to use the word 'train' when this happens. But I digress. Here's 7:50:

And then here's nine o'clockish:

And at this late hour there is something large back towards the Wilkesboros which, should it somehow hang together, could deliver another half an inch easy. It may slide north, or it may fizzle out. Or it may once more send water in under the front wall of my office out back, as yet unrenovated, happily, and also formerly a peanut shop, says La Vieja Nueva, and about which more another, less weathery time. For now: it rained. It rained like this was the last chance it was going to have to rain. We're now almost an inch over our average for June, and it's June the three. For now: let's get you back to your regular programming, which may already be in progress. This is ANYLF, reporting live from the ark.

Large Storm.

Hello. That was something. We still have all our fingers and toes over here, but the tomatoes are down. More a little later.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Nineteen Days.

Nineteen days until it's officially summer, and this is what we get? We're on a kind of back-and-forth jag these past few days: Sunday, hot as hell. Yesterday, so pleasant you considered outdoor projects. Today, curled fetal in the darkened hallway. We're headed for ninety. It's water-the-pots weather. It's don't-walk-the-dog weather. It's how-soon-is-it-cold-beer-time weather. It's why-would-I-have-even-considered-building-a-screen-porch-if-this-is-how-it's-going-to-be weather. And it's not even that hot. It's not even summer. Ladies and gentlemen, June.