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Old 02-22-2012, 01:03 PM   #9821
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I took MIL to the ER early this morning. I spent the morning there and I just finished booking a pet sitter to look after her pets while she is in the hospital. Now getting ready to eat lunch and then it's back to the ER.
Oh, no! I hope she is all right.
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:19 PM   #9822
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Not good. Hope all turns out well.
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:42 PM   #9823
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Caught you landing a double Salchow, eh?
I can do a "triple klutz"...

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I did nothing, but DW made love to me ...

Heck, I'm not as good as I once was, but I'm good once as I ever was...

Priceless...
Useless without pics...

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Hey, that looks like my high-school graduation party!

No, wait. The date's right, but it's the wrong kind of smokes and not enough beers...
+1, only the date is wrong, too...

1977, now there was a good year. 1978, not so much...
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:50 PM   #9824
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You just didn't drink enough to get happy!
Doh! Yer right!

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I took MIL to the ER early this morning. I spent the morning there and I just finished booking a pet sitter to look after her pets while she is in the hospital. Now getting ready to eat lunch and then it's back to the ER.
Wishing the best for y'all.
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:35 PM   #9825
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Just came back from a road trip to fit one of our dogs new leg brace. She has a torn ACL, and we decided a $800 brace would fix her better than surgery. It should give her the proper support needed to let the ligament mend on it's own. We went through all the Old West towns, Tombstone, Bisbee, Willcox, and Benson.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:12 PM   #9826
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Lots of us are facing dental problems as we age. I looked for a good dentist, it took a couple of years, but we finally found one that looks like she can help us deal with this, without excessive $$ or discomfort.
He is a very good dentist and has done very good work over the years.
(If you're near Dayton OH, I'll recommend).

I do wish I could record all this stuff and post online.
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:46 PM   #9827
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Caught up on a lot of paperwork today, and the data entry is 90% done. Now it's just a matter of making sure the reports are correct.

Pruned the heck out of one of our backyard mango trees. It's down from 28 feet to about 15 feet. The "trimmings" will fill four 65-gallon cans (for green waste pickup & mulching) and we'll probably have enough left over for a second pickup. I'm just happy that I didn't fall out of the tree or cut off the wrong "limb".

About four months ago our tangerine tree popped a bunch of blossoms on just one branch. Those pollinated and fruited, and now they're dragging down that side of the tree. It must be attempting to self-correct the situation because it just popped a bunch of blossoms on an opposite branch. So this tree has fruit at all stages from blossoms to windfall.

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Going to my dentist today. DW and I invested an estimated $200-$250K on dental "insurance", over the course of the last 20 years. Our DS is a practicing dentist 30 minutes from us. (The investment figure is the estimated cost of raising a child through undergraduate school (the internet has amazing resources)).
That's one heck of a student loan!

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Just came back from a road trip to fit one of our dogs new leg brace. She has a torn ACL, and we decided a $800 brace would fix her better than surgery. It should give her the proper support needed to let the ligament mend on it's own.
Heh-- that's what my ACL brace cost, and it's probably a lot cheaper than the canine version of the surgery too.

I'm skeptical that a ligament will "mend", especially if it's torn all the way across. But as the swelling goes down, and with exercise and joint supplements like glucosamine & chondroiton (which work a lot better in dogs than in humans) the surrounding muscles will strengthen to support the joint. I've avoided the surgery for several years and although one knee is definitely weaker than the other, I can do everything I want to do.

You'll have to train her to do more squats & lunges, but I don't know how you'll get her to hold the barbell...
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:24 PM   #9828
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Went to the dentist for my regular 6-month cleaning, got a clean report card. Then my weekly yoga class.

Stopped at home center to buy a yard cart of some kind as I have a bunch of landscaping work to do. They had one I have never seen before - a garden dump cart. Sort of an overgrown kids' wagon but plastic, and when you pull a handle on the end, it tips for easy dumping. Way easier to maneuver than a wheelbarrow, and I was even able to get it in the back of my Prius!

Met someone at the local Panera Bread for coffee (Starbucks is just too crowded) and bumped into several other friends. That's always a nice surprise. It was 86 degrees when I came out to the car, way too warm for February!

Took a quick nap when I got home before heading out for our church's "Fat Wednesday" pancake dinner before the Ash Wednesday service. Then choir practice. Catching up on e-mail, etc. now before settling down to watch Top Chef.
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:39 AM   #9829
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Best of luck with that Walt. I have CS2 here, but when one day it gets too long in the tooth and I have to get something else, I'll most likely be moving over to Lightroom. Photoshop is now too expensive and Lightroom seems to do a very good job for photographers. Let us know how it goes please.
Just the new tablet driver seems to have addressed the issue. I played with Lightroom for several hours last night and no problems with the software. The problem now is between my ears. It's a steep learning curve but it does really neat stuff.

I'll have to read through the books I ordered before I even begin to appreciate this package. Got it on a one-day sale for $70 even though I know LR4 is in beta but I'd been fence-sitting on it for a year.

An now I have on my desk an offer for Photoshop CS5 for $400 off and I might go for it. It has it's detractors but it is the 800-lb gorilla for image editing.

Yesterday was also a good day for a 140-mile motorcycle ride.

Got all these neat toys to play with and it's hard to decide what to do first.
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:36 AM   #9830
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I just looked and they're offering LR3 for US$149 now, which is still a good deal, but you practically stole it Walt.

When I started out, there was no LR, so I got PS. I never got anywhere near close to knowing it really well, but I figured out how to do most of the things I want to do without having to look it up in a book every time. I have Scott Kelby's book "The Photoshop CS2 Book For Digital Photographers" and found it a useful reference for how to do a lot of things with PS. There's an updated version for CS5.

The key to Photoshop is knowing how to do things in layers. It's all about layers. I never got that good at doing things with layers (layer masks etc) so next time round might see if I can just be satisfied with LR instead.

It's a good one though - you could spend years learning just half the stuff in PS.

Have fun and try not to spend too much time in front of the computer (look who's talking )
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:11 PM   #9831
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After just a week of using my weight machine everyday, I can feel my body starting to tone up. Thankfully thus far, no body parts have broken off. Just minor soreness...I stop a particular exercise when I start to feel the burn.

I previewed my exercise videos...I do believe they will kill me...but just a little bit. By watching the videos, I probably burned 10 calories.
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Old 02-23-2012, 02:30 PM   #9832
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More mango green waste. Four cans at the curb, ready for Friday morning pickup.

6:30 PM today I'm giving a "The Military Guide" retirement seminar at Kailua Library. Free books or pocket guides for the first 15 attendees, but it's near the Kaneohe Marine Corps base so you might have to show up early...
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Old 02-23-2012, 04:53 PM   #9833
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Spent time working on the barn/shed for the alpacas- pasture is starting to come together. The area in the picture was full of 10-15" trees. Took most of them out, stumps and all but left some of the pines and a few of the larger oaks for shade for the animals. Need to complete the trim on the barn, finish up the fence gates, and run a couple of strands of electric fence on the outside to discourage any predators (coyotes/stray dogs/etc.).

Picture is from about 3/4 of the way down the hill looking back at the barn and house.
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:14 PM   #9834
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I ordered a new rubber gasket for my Oster blender the other day since I chopped up my old one. (be sure to really center those rubber gaskets) I decided to splurge on a new glass jar to replace my old plastic one while I was ordering. My package came today - 1 glass jar and 1 plastic jar, with no gasket.

Tomorrow's outing will be to the UPS Store to return half of my order. I think I would have been better off tossing my entire blender and getting a brand new one.
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:32 PM   #9835
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I purchased a new gadget: Amazon.com: HM Digital TDS-EZ Meter/Tester, Water/ppm/Purity/Filter: Home & Kitchen

Some of you may have heard that Texas has been in a drought. One side effect of very limited rainfall is the fact the water in our underground aquifer - located in a limestone karst formation - gets progressively harder over time. With almost no new inflow to the aquifer, calcium carbonate levels in the water become increasingly concentrated and the hardness level goes up - way up.

I replaced our water softener just prior to retiring seven years ago. It has done a good job for us until this year when water drying on the kitchen counter or in the dish drainer began leaving a distinct white residue. I went though the softener's troubleshooting and maintenance manual and cleaned out all the gunk in the controls and valves, but no improvement. The water doesn't feel super hard when I shower, but I know something isn't working like it should.

As a frame of reference, I had the well water tested after we moved in and it showed 750 ppm. I believe the EPA considers over 500 ppm "contaminated". This is why we don't drink our well water.

Tests of three different water samples with my new toy:

16 ppm - "Fill it yourself" bottled Culligan water
137 ppm - tap water after passing through the softener
910 ppm - untreated well water

Question answered - the softener is definitely working, but the level of dissolved solids is beyond the capability of the softener. The solution is to either buy a higher capacity softener or wait for rain.

I'm a patient man...
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Old 02-23-2012, 05:39 PM   #9836
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OMG! You probably can stand a spoon in a glass of that hard water!
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:22 PM   #9837
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We have a leak in our fiberglass pool . After much calling around we finally found a company that deals with this . We are having the whole pool resurfaced and remodeled . The online estimates for this were almost $20,000 . This company which has been in business for many years and are highly recommended are doing it for $3,000. I wonder what you get for the extra $17,000 ? Maybe a butler to serve cocktails at happy hour and a cabana boy ?
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Old 02-23-2012, 06:58 PM   #9838
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That well water is really hard, REWahoo! Whew.

Today F. and I assembled my new metal bed frame, and put it in place. Well, actually he did it and I handed him things, read the instructions out loud, and that sort of thing. He is so talented in mechanical matters (and I'm not) that it only made sense for him to actually put it together. Then we put the box springs and mattress on it, and put a new rubberized rug pad under the mattress which hopefuly will keep it from sliding around as it always has.

The results? Who would have known that a $59 metal bed frame could make such a difference? I am happy/ecstatic with how my bed feels now. It is higher and nice and flat and more comfortable, just like I wanted it to be. I had seriously contemplated throwing money at the uncomfortable bed problem until it capitulated, which I determined would have cost me at least $6,500+ for new bedroom furniture and Tempurpedic mattresss and foundation. This solution only cost $59 for the bed frame plus another $25 for the rug pad.

The old bed frame was in bad shape, with one leg/wheel broken completely off and no center rail. Still, someone took it from the trash I put out for pickup, within ten minutes. I hope they like it.....

If there's one thing a retiree needs, it's a comfortable bed....
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:06 AM   #9839
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Question answered - the softener is definitely working, but the level of dissolved solids is beyond the capability of the softener.
We just bit the bullet and replaced the water softener a couple of months ago. I talked with a couple of plumbers and the opinion was universal that in this area one is doing well to get 9 years out of one. It is possible to replace the beads but the DIY cost is half the price of a new softener and for me at least it would be an all day very messy job.
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:19 AM   #9840
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The key to Photoshop is knowing how to do things in layers. It's all about layers. I never got that good at doing things with layers (layer masks etc) so next time round might see if I can just be satisfied with LR instead.

Have fun and try not to spend too much time in front of the computer (look who's talking )
It took a while to get my head wrapped around the layers concept and I finally "got it" in PS Elements. Scott Kelby writes good books - his was the first I ordered for LR and his book is terrific for a PS Elements beginner. The light bulb came on after repeatedly going through a 15-step process for skin softening for portraits in Elements. Sounds complicated but it's easy after a few times.

So lessee - I spend $70 on LR and then $99 on three books to learn the software. Does something seem out of balance there?

DW said "Okay" on ordering PS CS5 for $300 and I didn't give her a chance to reconsider. It was done in five minutes. I hope the "software price-to-books price" ratio does not hold for this one!
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