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Old 02-24-2012, 12:05 PM   #9841
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Hosted a "The Military Guide" retirement seminar last night at Kailua Library. It was a small crowd, but as usual the attendees really really needed to be there.

One of them found out about it from the Kaneohe Marine Corps Base Transition Assistance Program staff, so maybe it's time for me to visit the TAP office to hand out some free copies.

How do you tell when a regenerating water conditioner isn't working any more? I'm asking because our rental's conditioner is is 15 years old and the resin still looks like... resin.
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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, 12:12 PM   #9842
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To test water hardness before/after the water softener, one just buys the tester that REW just told us about.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:46 PM   #9843
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This morning I packed our luggage in the car, went to the coffee shop for a bagel and coffee, and then hit the road to head out on our annual Florida trip to Ormond Beach!!! After 358 miles, I'm kicked back in our hotel in Paducah, KY sipping coffee and watching the NASCAR truck race from Daytona!!!

As a side note....I'm loving having satellite radio in this car!!! No need to play hunt & search for radio stations along the route, or to be messing with CDs or an iPod. Listened to Bluegrass for a couple of hours, then went over to the Sinatra channel and listened to Ol' Blue Eyes for the rest of the journey!!!

Good weather, good music, and light traffic made for an enjoyable drive!
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:23 PM   #9844
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Have fun, Goonie!
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:29 PM   #9845
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Thanks, W2R!!!
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Old 02-25-2012, 03:34 PM   #9846
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I made a lot of mistakes at a gig last night. I hate when that happens. I just start thinking about which notes to play, and as a result, play the wrong ones. Every time I'd think "Well, at least this song is going well..." I'd hit a clunker. I sure hope this isn't related to getting old.
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Old 02-25-2012, 05:52 PM   #9847
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Al, we all have days like that. I wouldn't worry about it.

Today after lunch we thought about going to a pet store to pet a puppy. We are both certain that we don't want the responsibility of owning one, but I was thinking we could just play with and pet a puppy in a pet store and then leave. F. wisely suggested that would be a BAD idea, because we would risk wanting to buy it.

Then Guitar Center, Academy, and the grocery store. That's enough. I'm tired.
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:12 PM   #9848
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Today after lunch we thought about going to a pet store to pet a puppy. We are both certain that we don't want the responsibility of owning one, but I was thinking we could just play with and pet a puppy in a pet store and then leave. F. wisely suggested that would be a BAD idea, because we would risk wanting to buy it.
In my younger days I used that same logic to talk myself out of going to strip clubs...
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:13 PM   #9849
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W2R, we went to a big dog show in Chicago today to get a chance to pet some puppies as we're looking for a dog later this spring. Fortunately the owners do not allow the viewers to walk away with a dog, as the dogs were all such sweeties and we would have been so tempted. All of the breeders we talked to are involved in rescuing dogs, too, so we have a couple of ways to go.
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:20 PM   #9850
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W2R, we went to a big dog show in Chicago today to get a chance to pet some puppies as we're looking for a dog later this spring. Fortunately the owners do not allow the viewers to walk away with a dog, as the dogs were all such sweeties and we would have been so tempted. All of the breeders we talked to are involved in rescuing dogs, too, so we have a couple of ways to go.
That dog show sounds like fun! I'm glad you got a chance to pet some puppies there. Good luck in finding just the right dog this spring.

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In my younger days I used that same logic to talk myself out of going to strip clubs...
Good thinking!
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Old 02-26-2012, 08:47 AM   #9851
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How do you tell when a regenerating water conditioner isn't working any more? I'm asking because our rental's conditioner is is 15 years old and the resin still looks like... resin.
For us it was simply that although it was going through the motions - cycling on schedule and so on - it wasn't using any salt and while the water wasn't as hard as without any softening at all we were starting to see mineral residue on the inside of the dishwasher, cloudy-looking glassware, and some beginnings of mineral deposits on shower heads.

Upon replacing the water softener the residue on the dishwasher (stainless steel inside so it shows easily) and the slight cloudiness on the glass ware was gone within two cycles. And hand soap foams up noticeably much more than it did.
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:58 AM   #9852
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Today after lunch we thought about going to a pet store to pet a puppy. We are both certain that we don't want the responsibility of owning one, but I was thinking we could just play with and pet a puppy in a pet store and then leave. F. wisely suggested that would be a BAD idea, because we would risk wanting to buy it.
When our daughter was seven years old she wanted to volunteer at the Humane Society as a dog walker.

What a setup. A young girl playing with a dog. It seemed as if every dog she walked went home with a new family that afternoon.

Luckily it's also hard, messy work so she tired of it after the six-month commitment and moved on to other activities. But I can see how volunteers there end up being pet owners.

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For us it was simply that although it was going through the motions - cycling on schedule and so on - it wasn't using any salt and while the water wasn't as hard as without any softening at all we were starting to see mineral residue on the inside of the dishwasher, cloudy-looking glassware, and some beginnings of mineral deposits on shower heads.
Thanks. Whether it was the control valve or the resin bed, either way the repair can be almost as expensive as the replacement.
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:02 PM   #9853
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Hi everyone
Just making my usual cameo appearance again.

Things are going very well for Mr B and I. I am spending a lot of time assisting him with that math based management science course. He is getting more used to the equation symbology and algebraic manipulations as time goes on. I feel great sharing my knowedge, being used in a positive way.

I'm doing more and more volunteer w*rk, with Mr B right by my side. Last week we helped out at an Ash Wednesday fish fry, then a pizza/hot dog/steak sandwich night, then the usual Friday night fish fry, then just a few hours helping out at a post funeral dinner event. Whew!!!!!!
He sells raffle tickets, I do kitchen duty and table bussing. Or he cooks with the guys and I w*rk the order counter and cash box. Or I cook too.

My indoor garden continues to flourish. I'll post pics at the Container Gardening thread.

This has been the oddest winter on record. I still think we will get clobbered by a storm system with winds from the NW causing that lake effect snow dump. It's kinda like watching over your shoulder for someone(or thing) to sneak up on you.

Hope all is well with everyone.
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:21 PM   #9854
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In my younger days I used that same logic to talk myself out of going to strip clubs...
Does the above mean that now, you are able to exert better self-control? Or does that mean the hazard of unanticipated "ownership" has gone away?
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:29 PM   #9855
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For us it was simply that although it was going through the motions - cycling on schedule and so on - it wasn't using any salt and while the water wasn't as hard as without any softening at all we were starting to see mineral residue on the inside of the dishwasher, cloudy-looking glassware, and some beginnings of mineral deposits on shower heads...
The fact that it did not use any salt meant that the venturi, whose job was to create suction of the brine solution, was clogged.

My water softener venturi nozzle tended to clog quite often from impurities in the salt pellets. Thanks goodness, the design allowed for easy removal of that part for cleaning and re-installing.
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:39 PM   #9856
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Drove the last 90 miles of our trip to Ormond Beach, FL. Stopped and visited with the folks at one of the hobby manufacturers that I do a lot of business with. Then we went for a great seafood lunch at one of our favorite restaurants down here.

Still had a little time to kill before we could check-in to the hotel, so we took a ride to find the ALDI store. It's a few miles from our hotel, but we frequent that general area anyway.

Since NASCAR's Daytona 500 got rained out yesterday and last night (1st time in it's 54 year history) they rescheduled it for today. That being the case, we avoided the area around the speedway like the plague!
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Old 02-29-2012, 05:44 AM   #9857
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Went to Miami yesterday. My best friend flew down from NYC to hang out for the day, then went back. We talk, email and Skype frequently, but nothing beats face to face.
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Old 02-29-2012, 06:29 AM   #9858
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The fact that it did not use any salt meant that the venturi, whose job was to create suction of the brine solution, was clogged.

My water softener venturi nozzle tended to clog quite often from impurities in the salt pellets. Thanks goodness, the design allowed for easy removal of that part for cleaning and re-installing.
Ah. I'll keep that in mind then. As for fixing the old one, well it's a little late for that now. I'm pretty sure that the lifespan of the beads was exhausted anyway. At least I'll tell myself that so I don't think I just threw away the cost of a new water softener.

Still learning Lightroom 3 photo workflow software. The underlying principle is that it does not alter the original image, instead applying all changes to a separate catalog which are then viewed with the image. In either Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, "destructive" changes such as cropping are not reversible once the file is saved. In Lightroom, cropping is an entry in the catalog that essentially says "only display or print this part of the image". But any editing is restricted to catalog entries and not changes to the original image file. And if you've got the image into a total mess just click "revert" and you've got your untouched original back.

And it makes it very easy to cull the throwaways from those that need some work or are definite keepers.

Lightroom won't do the heavy-duty image editing that Photoshop can but I'm reading that for many people Lightroom is sufficient for 70-80% of photo editing they want. Pretty neat software.
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:03 AM   #9859
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To test water hardness before/after the water softener, one just buys the tester that REW just told us about.
I have to confess one of the readings I posted here was incorrect. Turns out the post water softener 137 display had a small blinking "x10" in the upper corner of the display that I didn't see. Yep, the unsoftened water read 910 ppm and the 'softened' water read 1,370 ppm.

After a little googling I learned the ion exchange process results in an increase in particulate matter by approximately 20%. Why were my readings 50% higher? Turns out something in the softener was malfunctioning and the 'softened' water contained dissolved salt (not enough to taste, but when evaporated the water left a powdery residue with a salty taste). My earlier diagnosis that the softener was working correctly was wrong.

I went through all the troubleshooting procedures in the manual, cleaned out the venturi, made sure the drain lines weren't clogged, and checked out all the other "user serviceable" components without success. It suspected the final rinse in the regen cycle wasn't working properly, but any salt left in the resin tank should wash out after a short period of use. Since the 1,370 reading didn't decrease after a day of normal use, that ruled out a failed rinse cycle. I gave up.

Like Walt, I bought and installed a new softener. The old one, like my previous unit, lasted seven years.

If anyone is still reading, the test of the water coming out of the new softener is 190 ppm lower. I suppose that was the salt level the old softener was leaving (injecting?) in the water.

I hate plumbing work...
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:44 PM   #9860
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Went out to lunch with one of my friends from the police department.

Celebrated our new addition...a new lawnmower! The old one was 23 years old, it was time to say bye bye.

Relaxed my fanny muscles.
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