Friday, May 17, 2019

Rain: Unusually Heavy Rain Late in the Season

It began raining on May 16, and really raining. It's unusual to get much rain in May at all—very unusual to have an actual storm come through. It rained most of today, May 17, and more rain is expected into next week. It's been cold and windy, more like December than mid-May. The rain gauge showed about half an inch this afternoon, but I had put the gauge away for the season and so missed most of the first day's precipitation, which I'd guess was at least another half inch, maybe more. I will update the total once the storm has passed us by.

[Update: As of this morning, May 21, we have had 1.65 inches of new rain, not counting the half inch or so I missed recording. That brings our total for the 2018-2019 rain year to 38.95 inches—or about 39.5 inches, assuming I missed about half an inch. I hope the rain is over for the year now. It's been a very long, very cold, very wet spring.]
[We had more rain on May26-27, adding 0.45 inches to the total for the 2018-2019 rain year. It looks like this, finally, will be the last for the year. It's been so wet and cold this spring that some of the plants in the garden had started to rot. Sunshine will be very welcome. The total at my northeast Santa Rosa location stands at 39.95 inches, which is on the high side of normal. Average annual rainfall in Santa Rosa is a little over 36 inches. Substantial rain this late in the spring is rare. Perhaps we will have a somewhat less threatening fire season in 2019. I hope so.] 

Monday, May 13, 2019

Books I'm Reading: My Name Escapes Me

Penguin asked Alec Guiness to keep a diary for a little over a year in the middle of the1990s. My Name Escapes Me (Penguin 1996) was the result. It's an idiosyncratic collection of daily jottings that, as the author himself puts it, reveal his "phobias, irritations, prejudices, childishness, and frivolity" (although he's a little hard on himself; he doesn't come across as terribly prejudiced, childish, or frivolous). It is mostly a dryly observed record of what Guinness was up to in 1995, by which time he had mostly retired from acting.

Apparently, he was an art lover. There are a number of pages about paintings he wished he could own. There is a fair amount of travel. There is a great deal of dining with friends and reminiscing about the theater and film. While Guinness drops names left and right, you never get the feeling he's doing it to impress. He simply knew many well known actors and actresses (although a fair number of the early British stage actors mentioned were unfamiliar to me).

Always intelligent, often quite funny (I especially enjoyed the several remarks that reveal he deeply regretted his connection to Star Wars). Not a challenging read, but entertaining and worth the time.
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