Nature’s Bounty

We’re about 80% of the way done with the extreme pruning project for the oleanders that ring our backyard.

Oleanders (Still Fighting)

We never did find a store that sells Ladybugs’n’Stuff, but we did find one that sells Aphid-Be-Dead in great quantities.

That only leaves one thing: the bees under the shed. They don’t want us messing with any of the oleander bushes on the east side of the property line. The good news is that a properly-treated bee sting hurts less than a scratch inflicted by an oleander bush. The bad news is that I have one sting and Mrs. Jones has two, so we’re knocking off…for the time bee-ing.

Black Friday? Hardly!

Maybe the rest of the country celebrated Black Friday today, but here at our house, it was white and brown Friday.

We painted the eaves of the house. Which is to say, I painted it, mostly, because it was too far off the ground and the little missus isn’t one for heights. So I made about a thousand trips up and down the ladder — paint 18 inches, climb back down, move latter 18 inches, climb back up, then repeat. Do that once around with the white sealant-and-primer, then come back around with the brown paint.

(I won’t mention the first pass, dangling off the roof, scraping off the old paint and smoothing the wood. Because it was stupid and I could have killed myself. So it’s best if you don’t know about that.)

But the funny thing? I threw out my back rummaging around in the refrigerator for a soft drink.

City Pool

I left work early today, because my wife was taking the kids to the public pool for the last day of summer. But when I got there, it was closed. When I got home, I asked WTF and she told me this was the last day, but that means the last day for the staff. They spent it cleaning the swim rings and whatever else you do at the end of the season, then they all left.

That’s par for the course. When they aren’t shutting the pool down during operating hours, they’re letting little kids crap in it. Then they shut down for a day while the chemicals kill off anything that got in the pool.

It sucks that Yucca Valley doesn’t have a real public pool. Instead, it has the High School’s pool, except for about 10 months of the year.

(If it had a pool designed for kids of all ages, instead of high-schoolers, they could have a smaller wading pool for kids of crap-in-the-pool age, and reduce the risk of having to shut down the pool for everyone.)

But I don’t know what’s up with not having a public pool. You’d think a pool would be a no-brainer for a town of 25K in the middle of the desert.

Of course, the town could just tell people to put in their own pools. It could just cut taxes accordingly, and people could use their money to buy pools, or home theaters, or off-road-vehicles, or whatever else melts their butter.

But, honestly, that wouldn’t be the best thing here, though, since this is the desert. It doesn’t make sense to have a whole bunch of small pools all over the place evaporating, when you could have just one big one doing it. Likewise for draining it at the end of the summer.

In fact, if you had one big pool, and were able to amortize its costs across a lot of users, you could put a building around it, so the water doesn’t evaporate. And you could use it all year long, so you wouldn’t have to drain it at all. In fact, you could use the other three seasons to help pay for it.

That’s such a great idea, in fact, that somebody else already thought of it. There’s a pool just like that here in Yucca Valley. It’s called the Senior Center and Pool, and is located at the Morongo Basin Senior Support Center.

It would be awesome if there was something like that for people who were under 55+.

But kids don’t vote, so they can use the high school pool, from mid June to mid August. The rest of the time, they can look forward to being 55. And if they get bored doing that, they can get tatoos and piercings and join gangs and tag buildings and sell drugs.

To be fair, there is a skateboard/BMX concrete-jungle by the library. Of course, it’s a sunk cost, approximately $zero/year to operate.