After a week or so of rain, sleet, snow and general overcastness, the sun is out today. All the wintry stuff started thawing on Wednesday, and Thursday it was in the 40s, so all the ice was gone. There was about an inch thick sheet of ice on top of my mailbox post. Taking the ice off the cars was actually pretty fun, since we tried to see who could pull the biggest single piece off.
For more on Ice Storm '07, see my last post, or even better, Joolie's illustrated guide
Jack pulled through with only minimum impact. He lost some leaves, and instead of leaning to the east (from wind gusts) he now leans to the south (from the ice weight stress on his trunk). The folks at Natural Gardener told us we wouldn't need to get supports for him, so I'm still holding off. Tough love!
Tomorrow, we head out to Junction. TxDOT has a new per diem policy. Rather than just giving us $36 a day to do with as we will, we now have to turn in itemized receipts for our meals/food. In theory, we're still getting the same amount of money. In reality, I ussed to be able to save a good $20 a day from my per diem. Now, if I don't figure out how to spend $36 a day on food, I'm losing money. Even worse, they won't reimburse for tips, so if I go out for a nice $20 dinner (no alcoholic beverages, either), the $4 tip comes out of my pocket.
The worst part of all is that Junction isn't exactly a thriving metropolis or cuisine destination. They have a barbeque place which isn't very good (but it is overpriced, which works for the new rules). They have a decent Mexican place, from what I've heard. I think they have a diner. Of course, they have a Dairy Queen, and there's a Sonic and a gas-station Subway. As you can see, spending $36 a day on food isn't going to be easy, or good for my stomach and GI tract. The grocery store is a Super S, which is like a little bitty Fiesta. Fortunately, Kerrville is about 40 minutes away, and they have a couple of really good restaurants, and a big HEB (actually, it's the original HEB). So we'll be putting some miles on the rentals.