Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘close call

Impressive Sky

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There was no missing the approach of a significant change in the weather yesterday afternoon. It didn’t come as a surprise after a dramatic jump in temperature and humidity that was combined with a strong, gusty wind. All the ingredients were there for a bumpy end of the day.

I was moving the horses back into the paddock from the back pasture when the leading edge of a line of thunderstorms arrived overhead. A short while later, our cell phones announced our county was included in a tornado warning.

This was the second such warning to occur in this county during the past three weeks. Something tells me it’s going to be a long year for severe weather. It would be just fine with me to be wrong and have these two close calls be nature’s way of using up the threatening storms right away in early spring so the rest of the warm months will be safe and calm.

In addition to the weather drama, I got a little shock when an itch on my side turned out to be a small wood tick latched onto my flesh. Makes me miss our chickens free-ranging all over the place and controlling insects like nothing else I’ve ever seen. Sure wish the rest of the busy wildlife around here would pick up the slack and eat more flies and ticks.

The horses are also going to miss the fly-control the chickens were providing. All the wet weather of the previous weeks is harbinger of a high fly population this year. Flies have shown up early and are already making pests of themselves around the horses’ eyes.

As the sky began to look gloomier and doom-ier, we checked weather radar maps and watched as the worst looking blobs on the screen approached. Fear not, this wasn’t to be our day for damage. Just like the storms a couple of weeks ago, our location was spared as the worst-looking masses passed on either side of our property.

At one point, it began to rain in the backyard while the other side of our house remained dry.

That’s what I call really riding the edge.

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Written by johnwhays

May 10, 2022 at 6:00 am

Yay Internet!

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Amid all the clutter and junk on the internet, the social disasters and false information of the great technological curse of the century that we can’t live without, this week I was able to enjoy one of the gems that occasionally make life better for those in search of answers.

The overly complex Denon receiver for my home theater unexpectedly went silent one day. I sensed something was amiss right away upon power-up because the tell-tale click of relays engaging was absent. There are so many features that we aren’t utilizing, it’s difficult to know what buttons are even pertinent to my situation, let alone which one might have been inadvertently toggled.

It is so rare that I even look closely at the displays on that unit or the power distribution module beneath it that I couldn’t tell if something was lighting up different than usual. In fact, something I did find hinted at an over-current surge which was certainly believable given the stormy weather that transpired on Tuesday when no one was home.

I was prepared to deal with disconnecting everything and sending in the receiver for professional service, but not without spending a little quality time using my digital meter to step through rudimentary troubleshooting. The light on the sub-woofer was not coming on, so I started there.

Measured good voltage at the power plug, pulled the fuse and happily found that intact. Like magic, reconnecting everything brought the sub-woofer back to life. The power light came back on.

Next step, remove AC voltage to the receiver and let that sit for a few minutes. Not so lucky on the magical reset there.

The final step before finding a service center was to see what the manual offered. After spending more time than I wanted to waste in the manuals file in the den and not finding what I wanted, I went to the computer.

Before even downloading a manual for review, in the search for my unit, I included the words: “loss of audio out to speakers.”

Multiple forums with a variety of similar issues on Denon units appeared.

“The problem may be dust in the headphone jack.”

Really?

That was certainly something I could investigate myself. I grabbed a 1/4″ headphone plug and headed up the spiral stairs to the loft. After a very technical step of blowing into the headphone jack on the front of the receiver, I plugged in the phones.

Music!

The output amplifiers are not blown! I unplugged the jack and the room speakers came to life.

Imagine if I had taken the time to disconnect all the wires and pack up the unit to be shipped for service for that repair.

Thank you, internet. Thank you.

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Written by johnwhays

August 23, 2019 at 6:00 am

No Damage

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There was a close call with violent weather near our property yesterday afternoon, but we squeaked by with no obvious damage. We haven’t walked through all our woods yet, but the openly visible spaces look unharmed. The worst inconvenience we faced was flashing digital clocks that were the result of a brief power outage at the height of the storm.

I was in Hudson at an annual eye appointment when the sky darkened and windblown rain pummeled the building. By the time I was ready to drive home, the sun was coming out. I had no idea a tornado had formed just a few miles northeast of our home.

Pierce County Herald: Tornado Strikes Rural Pierce County

I heard mention on the radio of severe weather nearby during my drive. That didn’t surprise me, based on the ominous looking sky I was driving toward. Luckily, the threat was moving away from me the whole time.

Tornado Touches Down in Wisconsin’s Pierce County

I want to go out and hug my trees.

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Written by johnwhays

June 29, 2017 at 6:00 am

Posted in Chronicle

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