I rolled out of bed at 5:30 this morning, about the regular time. A few minutes later I got a text from Landlady. Now, Landlady and Ian were due to come up together this weekend, and we were all going to work on installing better roofing material on his cave’s porch roof since quite a lot of what’s there got torn up in the winter and spring wind. But the weather forecast promises lots of rain through the weekend. Ian is a busy man these days: His business has taken off, he’s literally a bona fide Youtube celebrity, he has a new book out, he routinely travels the world to elbow Trump Jr. out of the way so he can make videos at the great gun collections of shady Russian oligarchs* or shoot exotic weapons at well-attended 2-gun matches in faraway places, and basically getting him out here to the nothin’ is quite a trick these days. But the weather has gone to hell and there’s nothing we can do about that. So the day began with a conversation about that, the conclusion being we’d better go to Plan B because if he comes out here and gets rained out we’ll never manage it again.
Opened the laptop to find a need for a similar conversation with Big Brother. He’s coming up next week! Yes, the Secret Lair’s porch already has a new floor and will soon have a new – and badly needed – roof. Except for some tweaks and regular maintenance, that is going to … deep breath … COMPLETE EVERY ASPECT OF MY FULLY-IMAGINED SECRET LAIR!
I never expected that to happen.
The major materials for that job are under a tarp just in front of the porch. But there will also be a need for a large quantity of fasteners and other hardware, and we’re trying to get that worked out before he leaves pavement. Lots of back and forth on that subject, better accomplished in conversation than in a truck.
Anyway, so yeah – between 5:30 and 7:00 I was busy with correspondence, along with getting Torso Boy and me fed and walked and me about halfway caffeinated. At seven I jumped in the Jeep and drove to Landlady’s for morning chicken chores. No time for a leisurely walkie, though the morning dawned unexpectedly bright and beautiful.
On days when I have a gig on the other side of the plateau, here’s something that always really bugs me. There are two ways to get from Landlady’s place to my next destination: Over that hill right there, along that perfectly convenient if rather winding and bumpy BLM road, total distance less than 2 miles. Takes like five strenuous minutes. OR – ALLLL the way around, by good roads that won’t tear pieces off the increasingly decrepit Jeep. More than 10 miles. Almost 20 minutes.
Trouble is, the quick way has eroded down to stone. Scott the Road Guy stopped even trying to keep it graded years ago. Every time something actually broke right off the Jeep’s suspension, it was on that road. So I tend to give it a miss and go around. Once in a while I succumb to temptation, but this morning it was a nice day and I wasn’t in a big hurry. Still, it annoys me. If I ever win the lottery I’m buying one of those expensive ATVs that look like golf carts with attitude.
Okay, so around the range, up and across the plateau, feed horse, tend cats, check plants. It rained like crazy up there overnight so I didn’t have to water anything. Came back to the Lair but left the engine running: Loaded up my tools and the generator and drove out to the shooting range.
Yesterday afternoon I got enough of a break in the rain that I could lay out the new chains for the lower bank of metallic targets. I really wanted this done before Ian came up and the urgency of that has receded, but still: That was the plan for this morning and I wanted to get it done. All I had to do was drill holes in the steel, and I could mount the last set of targets.
BUT! Just as I got my phone out of the Jeep to take those two pictures I noticed I had a text from Neighbor L, who wanted to take advantage of the unexpected sunshine to wash laundry! Be there at 9. Checked the time: 8:35. I’ve got time.
I fired up the generator, grabbed the drill and oil can, drilled four holes whose location I’d already marked. Hauled the targets, orange paint, fasteners and wrenches out of the Jeep and left them at the target rack. Coiled up the cord, drove back to the Lair. Unloaded the generator and tools, ran inside, sorted out my laundry, loaded the hamper in the Jeep and drove at speed to Neighbor L’s. Got there precisely at 9.
Drove in a more restrained manner back to the target stand and completed fixing and painting the metallic targets. Evidence below:
Came back, shut off engine, cookied Torso Boy, brewed second cup of coffee.
* Private to Democratic party opposition researchers: I’m available for clandestine testimony of imaginary overheard conversations about election tampering, money laundering, and human trafficking. Please see my price list on the Send Joel Stuff page for details.