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Old 01-06-2010, 07:56 PM   #3001
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...
Drove an hour and a half to the big city (Dover DE) to get some work done on the diesel Beetle. ....
Kettle Chips has a chip frying facility in Salem Oregon - and at least one veg oil converted new Beetle running around on fry oil. Darndest thing to smell that thing putting out lovely potato chip smells out the exhaust as its putt - putt - putting along.

O English! The motor boat was putting along. It was putting an oil slick in the water. Good thing I don't need to learn the language pronunciation, making purely native errors.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:14 PM   #3002
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It's supposed to snow tonight and all day tomorrow, so I ran a few errands, and went and got my prescriptions refilled....and stopped off for coffee! Then I picked up my Mom and went to the visitation for a friend of ours who passed away....and got to see a bunch of folks we hadn't seen in a long time.

After that we headed out to our Garden Club's Christmas Party.....it was originally scheduled for before Christmas, but due to impending ice/sleet/rain/snow storm on that night, it was rescheduled for tonight. And although the NWS has issued a 'winter storm warning' for tonight, it hasn't started snowing yet!

The dinner consisted duck, roast pork, cornish hen, a nice mixed-greens salad with cranberries & walnuts with a yummy vinaigrette dressing, plum pudding, glazed baby carrots, roast new 'taters, oyster dressing, buttermilk biscuits, mincemeat and blueberry pies, chocolate fruit cake, eggnog, and coffee. Great food...Great friends...and the weather cooperated!!!
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:28 AM   #3003
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Watched the DVD from Redbox, "It Might Get Loud" about guitarist Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White. Documentary really - interesting to this non-guitar playing, non-audiophile, but Pop/Rock listener.

IT MIGHT GET LOUD | Sony Pictures Classics

Ran 4 miles, lifted a few weights, did some crunches.

Listened to sportstalk radio in prep for tonight's big game and this weekend's NFL Wild Card games. Surfed the net.


Off to Starbucks for newpaper reading, coffee.

Beautiful weather down here in FLA - nice a crisp, blue skies.

What a deal.
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Old 01-07-2010, 06:39 PM   #3004
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Waited around all AM for the security system tech to show up to diagnose some weird error code.
Filled the bird feeder, watered the plants, did some emails, cooked up a pound of BACON for freezer storage.
It was exhausting, I tell ya!
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Old 01-07-2010, 07:13 PM   #3005
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I went to town to do a couple of errands and discovered I forgot my wallet. I brought my laptop & parked at Panera where I got free wifi for a couple hours. Got the laptop all updated & loaded a couple of programs. Then I went home, fed the cats & went back to do my errands.
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:08 PM   #3006
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Used the broom, shovel, and snowblower to clear the 4" of snow that fell overnight. Refilled the bird-feeders a couple of times. Enjoyed several hours of sunshine and watching the birds!!! Went for coffee late this afternoon, and stopped by the grocery store on the way home to pick up some candy!!!
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:13 AM   #3007
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I went to the gym for the last weigh in for the "No gain weight over the holidays " contest . It started Thanksgiving and we had a weekly weigh in for ten weeks and Yipee ,I lost two pounds and got a free tee shirt .
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:21 PM   #3008
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I've been mostly absent the last couple months. Call it discussion-board burnout and a personal lack of new material to write about-- coupled with a whole slew of family business and backlogged projects. But I was a bit surprised to find that I didn't miss ER discussions as much as I'd expected.

However this place still helps me clarify my thinking and make plans.

Been a few changes:
- Our kid has been accepted "early decision" to Rice University on an NROTC scholarship (tuition plus a stipend). She passed the military entrance physical. It took us over three years to get her to change her mind about USNA, but last month when she read Rice's e-mail it only took her about 10 seconds to make the transition.
- I've finished a rough cut on our tax returns to estimate the college FAFSA & PROFILE forms.
- FAFSA and PROFILE are done. Yay, only three of each left and I'm already tired of them. Luckily I don't have to get back to taxes for another 2-3 months.
- Our kid's continuing the scholarship search for room/board funding but she may just end up going through the motions without getting any merit awards.
- I visited my aging father. In the rural Rockies. In the middle of freakin' winter with snow on the ground and zero humidity. More on that visit in a separate thread.
- I've spent an extraordinarily painful amount of time working out, but I passed my 2nd-dan black belt qualifier tests (pushups, situps, & running). However our kid isn't as motivated this year (didn't need that résumé bullet on her college application anymore!) and she hasn't put in the time or the miles. It wouldn't feel right to take the test without her so I'll skip this year and do my 2nd dan next year while she's at college.
- Five days of surf camp on the North Shore. It was so totally and spectacularly awesome that we ran out of superlative modifiers. I'll add a post to the surfing thread.
- More query letters to book publishers. No response from Ten Speed Press, Military.com, or U.S. Naval Institute. Next up is Wiley, the "... For Dummies" publisher.
- Finished refinancing the rental property. 4.625% from Bank of America for non-owner-occupied real estate, and they didn't even do a real rental analysis. No wonder they're not making any money.
- The joys of landlording: we replaced the rental property's microwave oven and washing machine over the holidays. The microwave's control panel died just out of warranty; I'm still troubleshooting the card but it's a $100 replacement and I can't isolate it down to a particular component. (On the other hand they must have a heavy demand for this card because it's going to take three weeks to get it from Canada.) The 15-year-old washing machine finally wore out its tub thrust bearing. We found a brand-new replacement within 24 hours for $250-- Craigslist rocks.
- Repaired a friend's garage door sensor. We're still working on their bathroom shower door. This (and our landlord stuff) all happened only a couple weeks after we helped a neighbor replace her washer/dryer, so we're a bit burned out on handyman skills.
- Rebalancing our solar array's panels. We have two separate strings of photovoltaic panels feeding into our inverter, but they're not balanced to produce the same voltages. When I added more panels to one of the strings I didn't understand the inverter's maximum power point tracking (MPPT) feature, and I think the voltage difference between the two strings is dragging down overall conversion performance. We're going to balance the voltages by switching two panels from one string to the other and see what happens. Between rising production and our kid leaving for college, we may soon be generating 100% of consumption.
- Read way too much non-fiction, especially texts & research papers on writing covered call options. I'm already beginning to suspect that it's hours of boring, tedious minimum-wage analysis interspersed with periods of fear, panic, and unanticipated loss of asse(t)s. Oh, wait, I already did that for a career.
- Compensated by reading a lot of fiction, which probably consumed any spare time that I would otherwise have spent here. I've re-read most of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan novels, which 15-25 years later offer a offer a very interesting perspective on current events.
- Besides all the quality family togetherness we spent a lot of time with neighbors & friends. Best holiday season in years.

"Whaddya do all day" indeed...
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... guess I'll be catching up on my reading.
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Old 01-09-2010, 07:23 AM   #3009
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I've been mostly absent the last couple months.
Happy to hear from you. I missed your unique perspective on things.
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Old 01-09-2010, 07:30 AM   #3010
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Besides all the quality family togetherness we spent a lot of time with neighbors & friends. Best holiday season in years.
Good to hear from you Nords! I was assuming you were entertaining the Obamas!
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:19 AM   #3011
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Sitting here deciding which project I want to tackle...finish packing or do some research for my Veterans' Outreach Center volunteer project .
I finally got to have a meeting yesterday with the lady who is in charge of all the "paperwork". Just in time for me to go away for 2 weeks. We had a good laugh about that one.
She is beyond thrilled that I am taking on a grant writing project that was left unfinished by another volunteer last fall.
I've evaluated dozens of grant applications for the fed, but never written one. I have written proposals when I was in private sector, so the concept is not completely unfamiliar.
Piece of cake to do reverse engineering on this one.

If anyone here has ever written a grant, my ears are open for advice.
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Old 01-09-2010, 12:59 PM   #3012
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Good to hear from you Nords! I was assuming you were entertaining the Obamas!
Dodging his caravans was becoming quite the popular activity. Just about any movement out of the Kailua-Kaneohe area would paralyze traffic on parts of the island...
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:06 PM   #3013
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Always good to hear about the Nords family. Congrats to your daughter.
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Old 01-09-2010, 01:54 PM   #3014
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Always good to hear about the Nords family. Congrats to your daughter.
Thanks. I'm quietly relieved that we didn't emulate the Disher family... two USNA graduates with all their spawn living in Bancroft Hall...
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:07 PM   #3015
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Welcome back Nords & Congratulations to your daughter.
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:09 PM   #3016
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Aw Gumby, Gumby's creator died. I see you resurrected the Gumby avatar. Gumby animator Art Clokey dies at 88 in California - Yahoo! News
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:40 PM   #3017
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Aw Gumby, Gumby's creator died. I see you resurrected the Gumby avatar. Gumby animator Art Clokey dies at 88 in California - Yahoo! News
When I heard the news, I changed my avatar in Art's honor.
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Old 01-09-2010, 07:29 PM   #3018
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Went out this morning in 15F weather, gave blood, really like the attached garage.

BP: 134/76; Iron: 43.

Cat draped over my arm.
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Old 01-09-2010, 07:59 PM   #3019
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Got up, had an early breakfast, then took the dog for his morning walk. We are both trying to get in shape, so we are doing at least one long walk daily, if not two. Came back, surfed the net for a little bit, then got things organized to bottle wine. DW and I make homemade wine, and we've had 11 gallons of this Catawba grape wine waiting in the carboys for some time now, so today was bottling day. Got about 50+ bottles done and hauled down to the wine racks in the basement by about 11:30 am. Had lunch, took a little nap. Neighbor called asking for help getting their snowmobile trailer hooked up to the SUV. It seems the husband had gone snowmobiling and broken down, and needed her to come pick him up, but she didn't know how to hook up the trailer. No problem, took all of 10 minutes, glad to do it. Back home for dinner. Now some surfing the net, and listening to internet radio (Pandora, I love it). Good day! This was day #6 of retirement for me, and I must say, it is GREAT!!
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:55 PM   #3020
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Moemg-great job to lose weight over the holidays. Unfortunately my weight was more toward the high end of what it should be. I have cut out the junk, started walking on the treadmill 2 miles per day, playing on the Wii Fit Plus 40-50 minutes and lifting hand weights. I have lost a few pounds. I fly to FL 1/23 and leave for a cruise 1/24, so I know that I will gain again. I will start over again after I get home.

Nords-Wonderful having you back on the board. You have definitely been busy. It is hard to believe that you have been surfing, while I am shoveling snow in frigid temps. I had heard that the North shore was getting some spectacular waves. Congrats to your daughter.
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