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Old 08-15-2012, 05:06 PM   #10901
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DH is preparing Moussaka and Dolmas as I type this.

I separated the grape leaves and washed them.

Got out of the kitchen in the nick of time...didn't want to get hit with flying elbows.
Wow kind of impressive! Sounds like you got a chef on your hands
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:12 PM   #10902
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Went to probate court for a hearing where I was appointed guardian for my great aunt who is in a nursing home and suffers from dementia. Then went to the AT&T store and got a new goPhone for my mother. I had a lunch with some friends but was still running early so I went to the car wash and washed the car and vacuumed it out so I could pick them up in a clean car.

Then drove home, read the paper and took a nap. I love ER!
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:39 PM   #10903
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Rode bikeshares downtown to the theater and saw The Bourne Legacy. It was fun but I would only give it one star since it is basically the same move as all the Bourne movies. Sets up for a followup with Matt Damon and this guy.
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:42 PM   #10904
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Had a crappy day at w*rk. Roll on 2014!
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:47 PM   #10905
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Best surfing lesson ever.

A friend has been trying to overcome her fears of paddling out onto the water and having the occasional wave smack her in the face. We first tried this 15 months ago in Waikiki and it didn't go so well. But she said she wanted to try again, so a few months ago we went to White Plains Beach. (It's a longer drive but a much shorter paddle out to the break.) That went a little bit better, but she said she wanted to try again.

This morning instead of repeating the whole cowabunga board-launching routine into the impact zone and then paddling out, we just lazed around in the shorebreak and talked story. White Plains has some old coral heads but most of it is sandy bottom and pretty safe for walking around. After about 20 minutes of that we took a food/water break and then strolled back in to the break. I brought the board along and just kept it nearby. She worked herself out into deeper water (all of four feet) and then hung on to the board. We kept slowly moving out toward the inner break.

By coincidence, a lifeguard took four young soldiers out for a lesson. That gave her a front-row seat to what she'd been trying before, and their antics helped her get into it. Eventually she got onto the board and we leisurely walked it out to the launch point.

When she said she was ready, I pushed her into a two-footer and she rode it to the beach. Then she got off the board and hauled it onto shore. She didn't stand up for this ride, but it's the best surfing lesson she's ever had. She was totally in control of the board and the ride, and she was handling it all just fine.

She says she wants to try again! A little progress each time, and pretty soon we'll have her standing up.
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:31 AM   #10906
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We rode around Mt. Rainier again today. Also a side trip to Sunrise Point. We walked up to Sourdough Ridge, where on a clear day you can see Seattle. Today wasn't that day. Had blackberry pie in Ashford to make up for it.
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Old 08-16-2012, 06:37 PM   #10907
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Our neighbor called for help on her sprinklers. She has two zones and neither one was working right, so she was hand-watering every night.

The old irrigation valves had been leaking, so she'd had them replaced. The handyman had turned the water back on, but he left the isolation valve mostly shut. The resulting water pressure was so low that the vacuum breakers on the irrigation valves weren't seating promptly, so water was spraying all over the irrigation valves and then trickling out during operation. We fully opened the valve, which fixed that right away. The irrigation valves worked fine manually using the little lever on the solenoids.

I tried programming the controller (an obsolete Rainbird model) but one of the zones wouldn't respond to the controller's signal. I fixed a loose wiring connection and it worked. I tried programming the controller again-- with just a summary card, because the owner's manual had been lost. We got all the times & settings correct but she called back later to say that it was cycling endlessly through the two settings I'd programmed.

So last night I got on the Internet and found the owner's manual. I printed out all 44 pages. I unplugged the controller and its battery backup and let the RAM lose all the info it had previously stored. Then I put the battery back in, plugged it back in, and programmed it from the manual. Whaddya know, it worked.

Flush with success, we started walking home. The route takes us by the house of the neighbors who moved out last month-- the ones who've been feeding the feral cats. We've heard that their house will be vacant until October. They have a row of eight-foot-tall bushes at the edge of their lot, and over the last 20 years the bushes have taken over the sidewalk. You have to leave the sidewalk and practically walk in the street to get by their house.

We nukes have a reputation for being anal-retentive control freaks, but I'm pretty sure I'm not THAT bad. Yet these bushes have really annoyed me and the neighbors have been too messy & disorganized to care. As I brushed by the bushes for the thousandth time it occurred to me... the neighbors are no longer living there. So I went back home, got out my long-handled loppers, and quietly went to work. It took about 30 minutes and I broke a sweat, but I cut off over two 65-gallon cans worth of green waste. The bushes were very straggly on the outside with lots of dead branches on the inside, but now they're away from the sidewalk. The exposed branches will pop out new blossoms in a couple weeks to fill in the deadwood (literally) that we removed.

I don't expect the neighborhood's thanks, but I get a tremendous sense of self-satisfaction from seeing the clean sidewalk as I drive by...
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Old 08-16-2012, 06:45 PM   #10908
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Went to the Atlantic City Air Show, or actually the practice run of the show held Friday. The show was as great as the wonderful weather. Going today beats joining the million attendees expected Friday !!
Free parking, brought our eats & drinks, One Great Day.
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Old 08-16-2012, 10:45 PM   #10909
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Golfed with a group of guys that I have been golfing with for the last few weeks on Thursdays. I have won the pot the last two weeks in a row, but by coincidence, last week was my third best round of the year and today was my best round of the year.

Unfortunately once I post these scores my handicap will begin creeping down and I have a big family tournament in about 3 weeks.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:17 AM   #10910
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Spent the day on Harrison Lake in our new boat. Found a deserted beach and lunched there, did a little fly fishing from shore. Then down the Harrison River, more fishing, lost my hat when DH tested the top speed and an anchor that refused to let go of some rocks but it was still a fabulous day with salmon leaping in the river and an eagle fishing along side us.
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Old 08-17-2012, 11:08 AM   #10911
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Went to get an overdue haircut, then OfficeMax to get photo printer cartridges that are on sale. Meeting in about an hour with DW at FIL's house with a real estate agent about selling his house.
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:20 PM   #10912
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Watched a program on the travel channel and discovered I can rent a monkey or kangaroo while I'm in Vegas.

Think I'll rent a monkey and a limo. Won't let the monkey drive tho....
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:11 PM   #10913
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Spent the day on Harrison Lake in our new boat. Found a deserted beach and lunched there, did a little fly fishing from shore. Then down the Harrison River, more fishing, lost my hat when DH tested the top speed and an anchor that refused to let go of some rocks but it was still a fabulous day with salmon leaping in the river and an eagle fishing along side us.
Cool looking boat!!! Looks like the power to weight ratio is pretty high - it must be quick out of the hole. How many mph does your hat fly off at?

Stinks to lose an anchor so soon.
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:29 PM   #10914
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Crossed one thing off my "gotta do" list - cleaned out the clogged downspout on the kitchen side of the house. Last time it rained (back in July) the whole gutter overflowed - and DS had just cleaned the gutters so I knew the problem was downstream. Tried first with a jet attachment for the hose - nothing budged. Went rummaging in the utility closet and found a springy-grabber-thingy about 18 inches long. Climbed up on the ladder to attack it from above and managed to dislodge some leaf goop enough to flush it out the bottom with the jet hose - but the spout was still clogged further down. DH thought that going tool hunting at Home Depot would be a cheap afternoon date so off we went. We settled on a steel sink cleaning tape - basically a zip tape for threading stuff through walls but with a wire spring on the end to help with the cleaning action. Back up the ladder, and to make a long hot story short, after several back and forths of water jet and steel tape, the downspout now runs clear. I'm pretty proud of myself for doing it on my own - it only cost $7.50 for the tape and no scars other than a few fire ant bites from walking through the grass to get the hose.

Today was DS's last day of his internship - he's got a week to relax before going back for his senior year. Hard to believe it - seems like he just graduated HS. Grilling stuffed pork chops tonight to celebrate.

Tonight I'll start knitting a new prayer shawl - picked up yarn last night and I think I'll even come up with my own pattern (combining a few I have seen into something different).
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:24 PM   #10915
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What makes a prayer shawl different from a regular shawl, if you don't mind my asking?
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Old 08-18-2012, 09:19 AM   #10916
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Yesterday was meeting with a real estate agent - actually a small-town husband/wife team - to discuss listing FIL's house. We went through and they didn't see any major issues but a number of small items need to be addressed.

I took the camera bag with me and shot some flower photos in the back yard - the lighting was perfect with a high overcast.
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File Type: jpg Backyard_flowers_(2_of_19).jpg (62.3 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg Backyard_flowers_(4_of_19).jpg (48.9 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg Backyard_flowers_(5_of_19).jpg (56.1 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg Backyard_flowers_(11_of_19).jpg (44.9 KB, 6 views)
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Old 08-18-2012, 10:28 AM   #10917
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If you keep posting photos like this, I may just have to spend a lot of money. I will hold you 100% responsible, Walt!
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Old 08-19-2012, 06:32 AM   #10918
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If you keep posting photos like this, I may just have to spend a lot of money. I will hold you 100% responsible, Walt!
That can happen! Photography is one of those hobbies that has no upper limit on what one can spend. The camera is a Nikon D7000 and the lens is a Nikon 85mm DX (APC format, not full-frame) macro. So a bit over $1,500 right there, and that's not even high-end stuff.

In one of the classes I took I asked a pro who ran a studio if the high-end gear makes a significant difference. He said that one does get to a point of diminishing returns - yes, it does make a difference and gives you more options, but the closer one gets to the top the fewer the returns. So I'm happy with this and it's better than anything I've ever used before.

I shoot raw and processing is done in Lightroom 4.1 and if needed Photoshop CS6 (bought on sale).

Saw this clinging to the screen on the back porch all day yesterday. I guess it was drying out since luna moths only live a week as adults.
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File Type: jpg Butterfly-2.jpg (99.7 KB, 4 views)
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Old 08-19-2012, 01:36 PM   #10919
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Cool looking boat!!! Looks like the power to weight ratio is pretty high - it must be quick out of the hole. How many mph does your hat fly off at?

Stinks to lose an anchor so soon.
The empty boat weight is listed @ 450lbs. We have a 90hp Honda but the boat specs call for no greater than 75 so we probably won't ever open it up to the max. We did 35mph on the lake and it is such a smooth ride - feels like we are flying just above the surface. My hat flew off on the river going a lot slower but into a wind. No monetary loss as it was a freebie hat but I was sorry to lose it as it was a blue ball cap and from a distance in our type of boat I could be taken to be a Fisheries inspector which can command a lot of respect from other boaters - as in they suddenly decide to keep their distance from us!!!!
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Old 08-19-2012, 02:02 PM   #10920
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I am very impressed with what the $1500 camera equipment can do. Anything better would be a waste for someone like me. My last serious camera was a Canon A1, which I paid $500 for in 1983. I found that I never took photography seriously, and my photos always had the same quality as if they came from point-and-shoot cameras, which are all I have used since.

I took a lot of photos in my travel, mainly to remind myself of places that I have been to. Not too many are worthy of sharing, so I wonder if I would enjoy photography enough to give up the convenience of my pocket Canon. But it is something to try again, if and when I want to get away from my existing hobby of electronics.

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Watched a program on the travel channel and discovered I can rent a monkey or kangaroo while I'm in Vegas.

Think I'll rent a monkey and a limo.
When renting your monkey, be sure to pay extra and get a high-quality top-notch monkey and not the bargain 3rd-class one that can inflict the following to you. Skip forward to 2:30 to save time.



A few months ago, there was a story of an American woman who got her face literally ripped off by a chimp home-raised by her friend. The victim recently received a face transplant.
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