Jun. 21st, 2010 07:42 pm
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Maggs and I just got back from Bloomington IN. She had been thinking about taking a class at ABR, and Ross (the owner) gave her a great deal when she talked to him about it at Bead & Button.

Tuesday we decided to go, and then we decided to go down on Thursday so that we could do touristy stuff on Friday (otherwise I get to do touristy stuff while she's in class, and she doesn't get to see anything). We decided to visit Marengo Cave in the morning on Friday. It was interesting, and it certainly beat doing anything outside (~95F and a little humid outside, vs 54F in the cave).

We went to Blue Springs Cavern after lunch, as the cave tour sounded interesting - it's an hour-long boat ride. Because of the last three days' rain, the water in the cavern was up about a foot and a half, so they weren't doing the tours - too many spots where people would hit the ceiling, at that point. They expected the water level to rise to about 4' above normal, but since it's still raining down there (they're currently under a flash flood advisory) it'll probably go higher.

I wasn't planning on a cave trip when we packed, so I only had the little camera with me, and it doesn't have enough flash to get good cave pictures. Eventually I'll post some of the ones that did turn out.

Sunday we checked out of the hotel at about 10, and I hung out at Borders for a while, as there really isn't anything to do in Bloomington on a Sunday.

When we got home there were several MG&E trucks in the street putting in temporary power at one of the houses across the street where they had a tree come down.
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This week I've been practicing my drywall taping skills. They need work. I've got the basics down, but now need to work on the details, especially inside corners. The first joint I taped bubbled (and I've since peeled the tape off and mudded it over sans tape), the second one is ok, and the first inside corner needs some sanding and then will be done.

I've got another inside corner on the wall, and a pair of small butt joints (that I may skip as they'll eventually be covered with door frame trim), and will have more joints once I start in on enclosing the stairs.

The garden beds are cleaned out, tilled, and replanted with tomatoes, onions, and radishes. I need to screw down the screen frames over them yet (we took them off to work on the spading/tilling).

Today I decided that the flag in the front yard needed replacing, so I got a new one at Meikle's, along with some yard stuff and charcoal.

We're cooking meat for the week today. There's a beef brisket in the smoker (cherry smoke, Smoky Jon's Flavor Magic seasonings, and brown sugar and other seasoning in the water, which we're basing the meat with occasionally), boneless pork rib ends in the crock pot (dried cranberries, ginger, other spices), and we might also do brats later (Johnsonville original). I've also got a recipe for fried peach pies that I might try later.


May. 17th, 2010 08:03 pm
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We did the Janesville Renaissance Faire this weekend. The weather was great, but Sunday got a bit windy (people buy less on windy days, or we'd probably have broken our sales record this year). The truck is mostly unpacked, and we haven't started on the trailer yet.

We don't have the best luck with the trailer at Janesville. Last year I put the two small oxygen tanks in the trailer at the last minute, and, of course, stuck them in by the back door because that's where the empty space was. Most of the route to Janesville on I94 is just the right bump frequency to make the trailer sway all over the road if it's loaded wrong (we did most of the trip at about 45-50mph to keep the trailer stable). This year I had it loaded better, but we didn't get over 55. On the way home I loaded the trailer full (i.e. - heavier) and it was more stable, but then it bounced - and the truck resonates with the bouncing - at anything over about 60.

Today I unloaded most of the truck (mainly so that I could get the cooler out of it and put away the rest of the snacks) and then Jim from Steinhafels came over to fix the sofa. Most furniture manufacturers no longer use screws, only smooth-wire staples, which means that the joints can work loose, because many of them also no longer worry too much about whether the joints are glued together, either. Jim opened up the back of the sofa, clipped off all of the out-of-place staples, added some glue to every joint he worked on, and then screwed everything back together and added some extra reinforcement anywhere he felt it'd help. The sofa is still in the original warranty, but we bought the extended (5 year) warranty because neither of us is petite, and we knew something like this would eventually happen.

After lunch I got out the trimmer and did the whole yard. Then, having decided from the amount of yard splattered all over me that I wasn't going to be allergic to the yard this year (last year I ran into something that had me breaking out after trimming), I mowed. I did the first two thirds of the yard, took a break, and then finished the mowing. While I was finishing [profile] teeka cut circles out of paper grocery back that I then put around all the little trees before I mulched around them. The bag should kill the grass around the tree and then degrade allowing water to go through the mulch without problems. Tomorrow I'm going to do the shrubs by the driveway, and then we may work on other yard stuff, or we might start in on painting in the guest room.


Mar. 7th, 2010 05:37 pm
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The kitchen sink plugged up today.

Not unexpected, or difficult to fix. However, it's pointed out a problem in my home plumbing that may need to be remedied.

I tried plungering the clog, but that didn't work, so when I ran out for groceries, I got some liquid plumber and a drain snake to try to clear it.

After the snake ran the full 20' into the drain, and the clog didn't break, I figured something weird was up, since the dishwasher drains correctly, and it enters the drain snake right at basement ceiling height, about 2' below where the sink drain enters.

I pulled the snake out and ran it in again, this time spinning it with the drill instead of by hand, to see if the extra motion would help. All the way in, still clogged. On a hunch, I went outside and looked at the roof, and the snake is coming out of the vent. I pulled the snake and poured in an entire bottle of Liquid Plumr max gel, and am waiting to see if it does anything.
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So far, today's been an outside projects day.

I went to work and borrowed an 8' ladder, and then finished cleaning all the gutters (I had done about 1/3 of the driveway side gutter last weekend) out to get rid of the ice/sticks/leaves they were filled with. This round of gutter cleaning went much better, because I noticed that PDQ was selling rubberized gloves, which meant my hands stayed warmer because my gloves weren't always wet.

Then I knocked back the ice in both roof valleys as far as I can reach, and went to the sand pile at the end of School road where dumped the waste oil jug that's been on the steps since we brought it back from the in-laws' (there's also an oil recycling drop-off point there), and refilled all of the sand buckets.

Now we're cleaning up the guest room because we're renting it to one of [ profile] teeka's friends (P) until she finds an apartment of her own, and we're trying to decide if it makes sense to move Snuffy from the guest room to my office so that P doesn't have to work around whether he's locked in his room or not. My office is one of the places the cats like to hang out because I'm in there a lot, the treats are in there, and the emergency food bowl's in there, too.
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A female police officer arrests a man for drunk driving.

She tells the man, "Sir, you have the right to remain silent. Anything you
say can and will be held against you..."

The drunk says "Tits."
revchris: (Default)
We headed for the northlands on Wednesday, as we had planned on Thanksgiving with [ profile] teeka' parents. We left early afternoon, leaving all three cats loose in the house, with [ profile] snakewyfe checking up on them - Snuffy seems to be doing ok with the other cats, so we're hoping things go well while we're gone.

The trip was long, but uneventful. Thursday we cut some wood, had Thanksgiving lunch, cut more wood, split some wood, had dinner, and then played cards and generally hung out for the rest of the evening.

Friday we cut some wood, split some more wood, and then hung out for the evening. Saturday my R (Maggs' dad) had to work, so we only cut wood (we're trying to keep ahead of him so that he can split wood whenever he has free time, but doesn't need to cut any). We put about a cord of split wood into the woodshed, and cut and stacked another cord by the splitter, as one of the neighbors is going to help with the splitting (they traded time - wood splitting for computer help). I need to sharpen the chainsaw again, but that can wait for a while, as we're probably done with it for the weekend (I also need to mix more gas and buy more chain oil, too).

In between the lumberjacking, we also drained the waterbed so that the headboard could be attached (and then we moved it back into position, reset all the legs, and filled it back up), installed a new drive on B's computer (Maggs' mom has a faster computer than I do), fixed R's computer so that the Add/Remove programs control panel wouldn't crash it, and now I'm working on figuring out why R's printer only prints part of a page (I think it's a driver issue).

We also may have broken the four-wheeler - it may have backfired, the muffler may have died, we're not sure, but it got really loud as we were pulling up to the woodshed, so we're leaving it for R to check. Everybody up north has at least one four-wheeler, and they get used for everything.
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Later today I'm going to kill my web file archive.

CAE is doing some upgrades, but, at least in the short term, they'll mean that I have to get rid of my current webspace.

They may not bring back web hosting because there are so many other alternatives (when they started 20 years ago, there wasn't much else for options).

I'm currently archiving all my stuff in preparation for deleting everything.
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I came in this morning, and my computer is showing a large mass of error messages, all related to "Dude, your D: drive is hosed."

A quick trip to DoIT for a new 1TB drive (which is going to take ~3 hours to format), and I'm back up and running.

I plugged the old drive (a 2yr old WD) and it started clicking, so it's in the fridge cooling down, and when the new drive is done formatting, I'll pull it out and see if anything is recoverable.
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Last weekend we did the Stronghold Olde English Faire. It rained on Friday, so when we got there, all we did was put up the tent roof and unload the tables, because more than that was likely to have everything be completely wet in the morning. Saturday we went to set up, only to find that the tent had sagged just enough that it was retaining water. We dumped it, and then started setting up in the mud hole that was our booth space (we weren't the only ones, it'd been raining for several days, and, fortunately, we were near the top of the hill).

We sacrificed the big tarp as flooring for the booth so that we weren't standing ankle-deep in the mud, as not only was there rain, but they have a mole problem, and right behind our back table was a large set of tunnels which only made the mud deeper there. It rained on and off all day Saturday, but since the site is basically a clearing in the woods, there wasn't much wind, and we didn't put up any of the sidewalls (except the back one, which was mostly to control the water dripping off the roof). [ profile] teeka did demos all day (under a patio umbrella). There were a reasonable number of people there enjoying what I kept explaining to everyone as a "realistic recreation of an English country faire."

Sunday it rained briefly in the morning, but then the sun came out. This, and the large amount of hay they were spreading all over the muddy spots both days kept everyone from sliding around too much, but didn't really help keep anything clean. It did, however, let most of the tent and booth stuff dry off enough that we could pack up without too much mess. Overall, business was similar to last year, but we did a lot more sales on Sunday than usual (Saturday was down by almost half but Sunday was more than double of last year). We loaded everything up Sunday night, but started packing earlier, so we did it all when it was still light enough to see, which was good, as I need to fix the lantern, since it seems to have a plugged fuel feed line.

Monday morning I backed the camper into the driveway (it's easier to leave it on the street Sunday night and then put it away the next morning when it's light enough to see), and I drove in with Maggs since she had a doctor appointment just off campus. I finally finished with all the laundry yesterday. Now everything needs to be sorted back into the right bins (tent and booth, as opposed to the current clean&dry vs wet&dirty), and I still need to wash tent ropes.

Yesterday I put another light up in the basement so that there's more light on the finished side of the wall I'm still working on. I also removed three light switches from upstairs. When the house was wired last, they took one outlet in each bedroom and put it on a switch, but instead of putting one socket on the switch, they put both, and, on the one I checked, didn't leave enough wire to make it easy to fix. One is the outlet that has the clock in the guest room, and another is the outlet or the phone base station in the office, and the third is behind my dresser, and doesn't get used. I pulled the switches and spliced the two switch legs together so that the outlets are now always on, since I had been occasionally accidentally turning off the power to the phone. Then, after picking Maggs up from the Market, I mowed the lawn.

Today we did the Northside Farmer's Market, and then stopped at the hardware store because Maggs was looking for skeleton keys (if you have any that are iron or steel, and don't need them, send them to her). They had just put the leaf blowers I had been looking at on sale ($40 instead of $60), and we had a $10 rewards coupon and a $10 birthday coupon, so we bought it (for $20). I tested it out on the ground around the two trees that are currently dropping leaves, and while it's not as quiet or as neat as a rake, it's a lot faster, and easier on my back.

Maggs is currently taking her second nap of the day (the first one was while she was out at the Market), and I'm off to work on dishes.


Sep. 16th, 2009 12:30 pm
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I just got a new cell phone (same number as the old one).

There's nothing wrong with my old one - it still functions properly and has a good battery.

It does, however, have a "feature" that I dislike.

The Nokia 1112 (and, from what I've seen online) has the ability to dial emergency numbers even when the keypad is locked. It's got 5-8 preset code numbers installed (it apparently depends on the service provider).

Yesterday I pocket-dialed 911, and, as that's not the first time that's happened, I decided it was time for a new phone. The new one is a flip-phone, so that shouldn't be a problem again.
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We're in the general vicinity of Fredericksbug, VA today.

Thursday we left home and drove to Dayton, OH, and stayed overnight with M&J. Friday we drove to [ profile] slave2tehtink's house, getting there late enough that we all crashed for the night. Google says the stop in Dayton added an hour to our drive time, but it also splits the drive in half and lets us visit friends we hadn't seen since last weekend (we normally don't see them that often, but M was in town for a class reunion).

Today we went to Fredericksburg and wandered around town, mostly window shopping, but we also stopped in at the Fredericksburg Area Museum, where, from the number of helpful people who were happy to see us, we were probably the only people in the museum.

Tomorrow we're heading farther north into Virginia to [ profile] teeka aunt's, where we're going to stay for a few days while we wander around D.C.
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I'm at work still (it's almost 8:30).

Why am I still at work? Well, it started out as a plan to do some side work, but after the third time that the sample I was grinding grabbed wrong and flew across the lab I gave up on that plan and decided to take a break.

Called a friend, and went out for chinese, and then went back to try it again. Two hours later, three computers are fixed, one minor flood has been contained, two people have been told that they should be wearing safety glasses, and I still really haven't gotten anything done on the side project.


Aug. 18th, 2009 08:23 pm
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I'm at work still (it's almost 8:30).

Why am I still at work? Well, it started out as a plan to do some side work, but after the third time that the sample I was grinding grabbed wrong and flew across the lab I gave up on that plan and decided to take a break.

Called a friend, and went out for chinese, and then went back to try it again. Two hours later, three computers are fixed, one minor flood has been contained, two people have been told that they should be wearing safety glasses, and I still really haven't gotten anything done on the side project.
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I was out shopping today, and stopped at Mounds for cat food.

The cats normally eat Nutro Natural Choice, and they get Eukanuba as treats (they think it's a treat, it's not that expensive, and it's probably better for them than real treats are).

I picked up a bag of Mound's Purrfectly Natural to try it out, since it was on sale. Eukanuba Indoor hairball (what they're currently eating as treats), as their "highest quality ingredients" lists Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Grits, Dried Beet Pulp, Powdered Cellulose as the first five ingredients. Mound's lists Duck, Chicken Meal, Pearled Barley, Rice, Salmon Meal and lists no by-products meal at all, so it's probably better for them, too.

The real question, of course, is will they eat it?

Marley says it's really good and she'd like more (she does, however, say this about most things, including gravel, if you put gravy on it). Jackie says it's OK, but the brand new catnip toy that Marley just dropped is better, so the jury is still out on that one.


Aug. 8th, 2009 09:32 am
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I got up this morning, and it was raining and thundering, but went about getting things ready for market (turned the truck around so I could hook up the trailer, packed Maggs lunch, etc.).

Maggs decided that the weather was too crappy, and she was tired from this weeks' conference at The Vinery, so we didn't go.

It was probably a good thing. Here's the radar from 7:30 this morning, when we would have been starting setup (if it hadn't been actually pouring rain at the time):


Jul. 29th, 2009 06:47 pm
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Why is it that as soon as the cat doesn't feel well, she heads to the top of my monitor before starting to throw up?

And then, when I grab her before she makes a mess, and put her down in the middle of the vinyl floor protector, she makes a beeline for the white carpet to throw up there, anyway?
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The garden is going well so far this year. We weeded yesterday, so that's done for a while.

We also just bought a flag for the house. Then I discovered that the bracket from the previous owners is screwed into the corner trim, and one of the screws is completely stripped, and another is mostly stripped. The question, then, is Where do I have something solid enough to put up the flag?

If you attach the flag bracket to the frame that holds the screen up around one of the planting beds, do you then have a Victory Garden? ([ profile] teeka gets all the credit for this question)

(here is a closeup of how the frames are built)


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