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Old 04-28-2010, 02:41 PM   #4221
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Pretty day, no wind? in Chicago. Thanks, Ronstar.

Rainy again here.
yes - a rare sunny day in Chicago, but it was very windy (maybe 20-25 mph) and about 40 degrees in the morning
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Old 04-28-2010, 04:37 PM   #4222
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Looks good, here's some fixup on the photo:

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Old 04-28-2010, 06:09 PM   #4223
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Wow, Al, you are really good at that. You could make money doing that (if you weren't retired, that is).
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Old 04-28-2010, 07:14 PM   #4224
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Weird day. I was doing volunteer work at the local state park, fixing a pump at the boy scout camp with a friend. We went back to the HQ to pick up a few parts and the superintendent came running out of the office, jumped into the back of the truck and said "get to the horse stables now!" It was just a short ride, and we soon found a jogger collapsed (I assume from a heart attack). The park employees did CPR on him for a few minutes until EMS showed up. They hooked up the defibrillator to him, but it is automated and kept recommending that they continue CPR and not jolt him. Eventually they put him on a stretcher and took him away. I hope he made it, but it didn't look good.

All the time they were working on him I was pretty dispassionate, but later it hit me how tragic it was. This is the second time I've been involved with a heart attack victim - makes ya feel kinda mortal.
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Old 04-28-2010, 08:11 PM   #4225
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Looks good, here's some fixup on the photo:
Thanks, Al, it looks great!

Today was something that I needed plenty of patience for-- fixing a microwave oven. It's a Kenmore and part of a matched set of microwave-over-gas-range/oven appliance. When the tenants called in the broke report last December, spouse and I decided to just buy a new one and fix the old one on our time. (18 months old, just six months out of warranty.) That way I could troubleshoot at my leisure (on the comfort of our lanai) without someone peering over our shoulders asking "Is it fixed yet?"

It's completely dead; not even a display. At first I thought it was the circuit card controlling the display (plus everything else) and I ordered a new card. Our local parts store paid no attention to its "backlogged" status for four months, so I finally paid the big bucks to Sears and got the card. Ooops... the card wasn't the problem.

I spent a long time on the Appliance Samurai's website, including posting the circuit schematics and diagrams, and another poster pointed out that AC voltage had to get to the card's low-voltage transformer before anything else could happen. Before it got to the card the AC voltage went through a fuse block (which was fine), a noise filter/transformer circuit (also fine), and two temperature-cutout relays that monitored both the oven cavity and the magnetron.

After a couple hours of tracing wires and checking voltages, but not being able to actually see the TCO relays (let alone check voltages), I finally got the courage to pull off the microwave's metal top & sides. The photo shows the cavity TCO lying next to the scorched/melted plastic lug cover with the TCO's retaining bracket in the background to the right. Oh, and the magnetron TCO looks fine.

This seems to be one of those situations where the troubleshooting ends when the charring is found. I'm surprised it didn't trip a breaker or even start an electrical fire.
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Old 04-29-2010, 04:23 PM   #4226
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Had a conversation with DH that went like this...

DH..."If you had a pet pig, what would you name it?"

Me..."Hamlet"

DH..."If you had a pet cow, what would you name it?"

Me..."Holy"

DH..."If you had a pet donkey, what would you name it?"

Me..."Cheeky"

Yep...that's what I did today...
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:50 AM   #4227
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Yesterday went for a motorcycle ride to look for a tank bag to put the camera in for those "Wow, that'd be a great shot" moments and found a possible candidate. Or might just buy a cheap shirt-pocket camera for that purpose.

Came back home, finished the trim work on the yard that I mowed yesterday, took a two-hour nap, went for another motorcycle ride. Came back home and played with Photoshop Elements for a while. I'm going to have to get a drawing tablet, the mousing in Photshop is causing pain in my hand and I know that's not something to ignore.
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Old 04-30-2010, 07:35 PM   #4228
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I signed on tonight just to add my "what I did today". I had to work at it a bit but I did it. Daughter and I want on a 6 mile bike ride. I know it's not far for most of you bike riding athletes, but, it was an accomplishment for me. I'm still wobbly but getting a little better. We have nice bike trails here but the nice flat ones are a few miles from my house. I'll probably have to buy a bike rack now for the car.
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Old 05-01-2010, 06:33 AM   #4229
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Stayed overnight Thursday and spent part of Friday in West Virginia where the house is being built. Beautiful morning, about 40 degrees, so had my coffee outside about 5:30 am, listened to the turkeys in the nearby hills and then startled a herd of deer on a quick walk. Started working on some paths through the property but had a tractor tire problem so had to quit early. Hope is to have a couple of miles of walking trails in place over the next year or two but will be slow going in the shale rock that covers most of the land.



First layer of the roof is on the house and is covered by a weather membrane- work next week will continue to get the rigid foam insulation and sheeting in place. Lot of progress this week. Added a shot of the inside as well, it's tongue and groove white pine like the logs of the house.





Blog on the house build is here if anyone wants more information.

Romney West Virginia Log House Build

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Old 05-01-2010, 07:06 AM   #4230
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Spent more time on friend's John Deere model "B". Discovered a broken rocker arm and a stuck valve. Located a replacement arm about two hours drive from here. We don't want to disassemble the engine so soaked everything with penetrating oil and will wait a day or two to see what happens.
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Old 05-01-2010, 09:19 AM   #4231
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I signed on tonight just to add my "what I did today". I had to work at it a bit but I did it. Daughter and I want on a 6 mile bike ride. I know it's not far for most of you bike riding athletes, but, it was an accomplishment for me. I'm still wobbly but getting a little better. We have nice bike trails here but the nice flat ones are a few miles from my house. I'll probably have to buy a bike rack now for the car.
I did 10 miles on the C&O Canal yesterday that was wonderful. But my toes & balls of my feet were tingly and hurt like h*ll the rest of the day. I'm wondering what I should be shod with. I had a good pair of sneakers but ...
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Old 05-01-2010, 10:06 AM   #4232
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But my toes & balls of my feet were tingly and hurt like h*ll the rest of the day. I'm wondering what I should be shod with. I had a good pair of sneakers but ...
Good question I'd like to know too. Yesterday I wore Keen sandals and they were fine for peddling but not so fine for sand entrapment.
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Old 05-01-2010, 07:40 PM   #4233
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Gave blood today.
Garden was tilled yesterday.
For last two days, folks have been tearing down a nearby house.
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Old 05-01-2010, 10:32 PM   #4234
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Went to a bachelorette party tonight. The majority of people at the party were in their 20's. The party started at a place where we ate and drank and then they were going downtown to really party. Needless to say, I did not go with them downtown. They had not even left for downtown, by the time I left. They were all dressed up and had these super high heels on and they looked so cute. They were having such a good time. It is easy to forget how much energy and aliveness there is in youth. It left me wondering where time has went. It also made me think that I need to get out more and have some fun.
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:27 PM   #4235
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It's been absolutely pouring down rain all day today. Every 30 minutes or so the rotating cell overhead dumps another half-inch on ground that's already saturated from April. It's not supposed to rain again until November!

But from having spent the majority of the day at my keyboard, I've noticed that the red-vented bulbuls have built a nest in one of the palm trees. I haven't actually seen the nest, but I've been hearing baby birdies cheeping every five minutes or so all day. I've enjoyed watching the parents carry out their operationally deceptive maneuvers, too, to confuse & distract the other predators.

We have a brown quail who's been lording it over the cul-de-sac for the last couple months. He's almost impossible to spot, let alone photograph. He sneaks into our yard, gets right up against a lava-rock wall, and lets out a piercing triumphant cry that sounds like he's sitting in your lap. I don't see how he can move that much air across his vocal cords to produce such volume. I'm getting used to it now but at first it'd make me leap for the ceiling.

He's been announcing to the neighborhood that he's looking for a hot quail chick, but he's taking a break now. We just got a visit from the proud parents and their six baby quail, and they've been using the rock wall to teach the little ones how to fly. Hilarious.

The mongoose have stayed well clear this month...
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:44 PM   #4236
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I drove in to Pittsburgh today for the opera: Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro". I loved it. It is a farcical romp set to wonderful music and true love prevails in the end. I particularly liked the movements featuring the harpsichord. Well worth battling the off and on rain and the traffic created by the Pittsburgh Marathon and a Penguins home game to get in town.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:09 PM   #4237
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I'm drying out my tent and other backpacking stuff after a great overnight trip into the Pigeon River Forest in northern Michigan. We had loons on the lake where we camped, calling all night as well as toads and peepers that were in hyper mode. Also had a beaver lodge with two resident beavers just off shore. Except for the rain overnight, the weather was perfect, with no bugs. I went with friends from the Sierra Club.
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Old 05-03-2010, 01:26 PM   #4238
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I'm going to go for a walk in a few minutes, and play disc golf with a friend later this afternoon. Life is tough
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:40 PM   #4239
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Landlording. We were going to mow the grass but we've had a couple inches of rain, so we'll try again next week.

The good news is that the ground was nice and soft for cutting down four banana trees (the easy part) and removing their roots (ugh). My mattock was sharp and my aim was good but I still needed 800 mg of ibuprofen by the time it was all bagged up. We're probably still going to have a half-dozen banana shoots popping up when we check the area next week.

Tenant noted that the stove's left-hand burners weren't igniting. Clicking and sparking, sure, but no flaming. After a little research on FixItNow.com I decided that the burner heads were probably dirty, but it took another 10 minutes of poking & prodding to verify that the wiring & connections were good. A little isopropyl alcohol and toothbrush scrubbing cleared their vent holes ("Hunh, whaddyaknow, they have vent holes") and put them back in business.

But the tenants have signed another year's lease, so life is good...
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Old 05-04-2010, 05:13 PM   #4240
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Voted today. They had a sign-up sheet for poll workers and I was interested, but it requires 12 hours of attendance.
Who would I ask to change this?

Went to laundromat (do so once or twice a year); some rough looking people there (you might want to consider what those tattoos will look like in 20 years).
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