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Old 09-27-2011, 09:02 PM   #8581
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Helped a friend's son with a flat tire. The son can not figure out why the spare tire can't be mounted. It turned out that the compact spare tire is of the wrong size with different mounting holes. Lesson: Practice changing tire when you get a new car.

The tire to be replaced was damaged when they hit a big pothole (prevalent in Chicago Land) which damaged the rim and the tire. So, they are out one car until the rim and tires arrived. Cost = $200. Plus, cost to replace spare tire.
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:32 PM   #8582
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Found a walnut tree on our property so cleaned up about 3 dozen walnuts that had fell to the ground. Did some research and after cleaning off the husk, looks like they need a few weeks to dry before opening them to get to the meat. These are black walnuts and the meat is in smaller pieces than the "normal" English walnuts that are most available at the store. Will see if they turn out edible, left half the nuts on the ground for the animals and there are still a lot more on the tree.

I also put some grass seed down in the backyard only to have the biggest/heaviest rain in weeks this afternoon so sure I will have a nice stand of grass at the bottom of the hill.
Black walnuts are lovely, but are the very bitch to open. Have a mallet handy, and wear rubber gloves as they stain skin like crazy. DW's dad and his older brother drove their mom crazy by showing up covered in black walnut stain because they were "playing Indians." It was a couple weeks before the stain wore off.

Black walnuts are great in choc chip cookies and ice cream.
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:34 PM   #8583
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Black walnuts are great in choc chip cookies and ice cream.
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:40 PM   #8584
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I spent the whole day conducting meetings with actuaries, CFAs, CPAs, etc. I am somewhat ashamed to admit I enjoyed it, but I guess everyone has their little vices. I don't think my two colleagus understood a quarter of what was being dicussed, but its not a bad thing to keep the groundlings a bit in awe.

While I was poking people with letters after their names, the final inspections/shakedowns were completed on my NJ home. Everything you have heard about corruption in NJ is true, and then some. Now that the stress of marching this deal down the aisle is over with and the closing is scheduled for Thursday, I find myself mourning the loss of the home where we brought the kids home and the place where our old beagles breathed their their last. I hope the new owners have as good memories as we have of the place.

Had/drank dinner at a place with the unfortunate name of "Eat the Worm."
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:54 PM   #8585
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Brewer, I am delighted to hear that your NJ home is selling. That was a worry, I know. It's only natural to be nostalgic about memories. I hadn't thought you wre the sentimental type!

You also seem happier than you have been for a while.
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:41 PM   #8586
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Brewer, I am delighted to hear that your NJ home is selling. That was a worry, I know. It's only natural to be nostalgic about memories. I hadn't thought you wre the sentimental type!

You also seem happier than you have been for a while.
I have buyers who have been eager to close for two weeks. The local municipality could not be bothered to get off the dime and perform a bucnh of unnecessary shakedowns inspections until today.

That said, its still the place we lived for 9 years and we have lots of happy memories of the place. And letting go of it brings up sorrow over losing our two beagles all over again. We kept their ashes with us in the move because we could not bear the thought of leaving them behind in the move. Sigh... This would be easier to deal with if I were home tonight instead of being on the road. C'est la vie.
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:05 AM   #8587
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Had/drank dinner at a place with the unfortunate name of "Eat the Worm."
Bad memories of worst hangover of life.
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Old 09-28-2011, 10:51 AM   #8588
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Yesterday we yanked our photovoltaic array off the roof.

The new ceilings are up over the familyroom and back lanai, and the contractors are ready to start adding the foam and the reflective foil on top before next week's roofers show up.

What started out as "new familyroom and lanai roof" has now spread to "Might as well upgrade the roof over the kitchen & livingroom and wrap it all the way around to the garage". It'll be a huge improvement at keeping the home cool during the summer heat. Of course we're going to freeze during December-February when the overnight lows dip into the 60s-- but we can cope with long-sleeved t-shirts, jeans, socks, and blankets.

The good news is that I got to go shopping for new PV parts. This renovation has more than doubled our south-facing roof area, and if we really pushed the design then we'd be able to cram 10 kilowatts of panels onto the roof. (We only "need" about 3300 watts for our personal use.) The problem is that the investment doesn't really pencil out when you subtract HECO's monthly feed-in tariff and their 20-year fixed-price purchase agreement. It's not a bad idea, and it's very low on technical/operational risk, but it pays less than a good dividend stock.

So after spending an hour with two (other) major PV geeks, spouse and I decided to buy new roof mounts & racks & clamps for the original PV panels. (Our last set of racks were second-hand and home-brewed, and the new mounting tech is so much better.) The roof insulation improvements mean that we'll use less energy to run the ceiling fans, so we'll probably save an extra 10-20 KWHrs/month.

We'll have the panels back up in 3-4 weeks. It'll be a lot easier this time because we'll ask the roofers to install the mounts for the racks. Best of all, with these modular racks it'll be no problem to add another kilowatt or two down the road a few years when we buy a used electric vehicle.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:19 PM   #8589
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Hanging out in a motel in Rohnert Park, CA. Tomorrow we'll go in to meet Lena's parathyroid doc in San Fran, then go home. We'll have to schedule a pre-op appointment and then the actual surgery. I'm hoping we can avoid three separate trips.

But we're making the best of it, making it like a little "vacation." Had dinner at Outback Steakhouse, which was nothing special. We're staying at a Rodeway Inn that I got on priceline.com for only $38. It's not bad at all.
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:15 AM   #8590
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Had dinner tonight at Canlis, a very special Seattle restaurant. Son's MIL had her 70th birthday, and they gave her this outing as a present. I've been hearing about this place for 40 years, and I must say that it lives up to its reputation.

Canlis Restaurant

Ha
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Old 09-30-2011, 09:17 AM   #8591
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Today I made a new rule: Never ever order eggs scrambled, at least at a chain restaurant. The ones at Shari's were tasteless. The waitress admitted that they came from a box, and brought me some real eggs.
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Old 09-30-2011, 11:22 AM   #8592
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Recovering from sinus surgery on Monday. Darn anesthetic sure kicked my butt. I'm sure the procedure would have been very painful without though.

Hope to get back to kayaking, skating next week.
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Old 09-30-2011, 06:41 PM   #8593
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Finally took a day off from being a gym rat and went on a 4 mile hike around a lake. I had forgotten how nice it is to walk outdoors!

Spent the rest of the day cleaning, cooking, and trying to arrange Meetup outings.

Tonight will be a DVD (Season 5 of Dexter).
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Old 09-30-2011, 07:47 PM   #8594
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Bumped up to next level of reading glasses.
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Old 09-30-2011, 09:57 PM   #8595
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The contractors left a little early today, so we're getting set up for a rollickin' good weekend of painting. We should have both the familyroom and the lanai ceilings finished before Sunday.

We've also just about finished plotting the new layout for our photovoltaic panels.
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Old 10-01-2011, 10:07 AM   #8596
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Last day in Denver and last day of Great American Beer Festival. I've been here for nearly a week (judging started Tuesday). We had 167 judges this year, another new high, and we evaluated about 4,000 beers, another new high.

This was the best GABF week I can remember, because the weather has been so delightful.

Tomorrow I'll start for home, a relaxing two day drive.
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Old 10-01-2011, 10:08 AM   #8597
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Bumped up to next level of reading glasses.
Darn me too a week ago. now 1.5 for reading normal and 1.75 for fine work.
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Old 10-01-2011, 10:18 AM   #8598
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Yesterday we drove an hour into San Francisco, went for a long walk, saw Lena's doc, then drove 7 hour home. It was a very long day.
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Old 10-01-2011, 10:54 AM   #8599
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A friend flew me down to a military base on Mt.Misti (Arequipa) where we got to shoot a couple thousand rounds on 9mm pistols, Kalashnikov's and a big Heckler & Koch.
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Old 10-01-2011, 11:12 AM   #8600
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Pretty busy (and somewhat cultured) of late. Last week saw the SMU orchestra, and had a small dinner party and four bottles of wine with friends. Last night, saw a play, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Miser, also at SMU; tonight going to see Welcome to The One O'Clock! | The One O'Clock Lab Band.
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