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Old 08-25-2015, 04:22 PM   #18081
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Ordered a fill-up of propane to prepare for the heating season. Pleasantly surprised by the price this year... $0.64/gallon. Lowest price since March of 1999, sure beats the 2014 fiasco where it was literally cheaper to run electric heaters than to buy propane at $5/gallon.
Wow! 64 cents a gallon is outstanding. My neighbor paid twice that recently.
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Old 08-25-2015, 04:25 PM   #18082
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My advice is to avoid the delay. Find a good experienced surgeon you have confidence in and go for it.
Thanks brau. I'm gonna first need to find a good experienced surgeon to do a backbone implant.

Thankfully I have no problems at this point other than more glare than I would like when driving at night. Since I don't do much night driving I have plenty of time to do a thorough search for that back doc.
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Old 08-25-2015, 04:33 PM   #18083
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propane is about 2.50$ a gallon in Massachusetts, and that is with a prepayment discount
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Old 08-25-2015, 04:47 PM   #18084
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Your trepidation couldn't possibly be greater than mine.
I was utterly, abjectly, totally terrified. So I put it off even a little longer than I should have. It got to the point where I would only drive in bright daylight and I still insisted on DW going along to read the road signs to me.
Hmm. That is where I am. I am afraid to even be a passenger at night, much less try to drive, since I can't see much of anything and all those cars whizzing about confuse and terrify me. My long time optometrist told me this month that he can no longer correct my vision to 20/20, and 20/35 is as good as he can do.

Scared to death is putting it mildly, yet logic must triumph over terror. So, this week I am going to make an appointment with an ophthalmologist to find out if the problem is cataracts (as my optometrist suspects), or Type 2 diabetes (a mild case of which I was diagnosed with a month ago), or old age, or a neurological condition that sometimes affects me, or what. If it is cataracts, I'm going to do it. Er, I think.

The ophthalmologist is also a good, experienced cataract surgeon.
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Old 08-25-2015, 04:57 PM   #18085
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So, this week I am going to make an appointment with an ophthalmologist to find out if the problem is cataracts (as my optometrist suspects), or Type 2 diabetes (a mild case of which I was diagnosed with a month ago), or old age, or a neurological condition that sometimes affects me, or what.
Yes, exactly the right thing to do.

My case was easy, since the docs had diagnosed cataracts many years ago, and they just got worse very, very gradually. But all of a sudden they got much, much worse over the course of just a year or two, so I knew what the problem was.

Best of luck!
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Old 08-25-2015, 05:07 PM   #18086
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Yes, exactly the right thing to do.

My case was easy, since the docs had diagnosed cataracts many years ago, and they just got worse very, very gradually. But all of a sudden they got much, much worse over the course of just a year or two, so I knew what the problem was.

Best of luck!
+1

The optometrist I was seeing was the first to suggest it might be time to remove the cataracts, my last 2 prescription changes only lasted 6 months each and things were blurry again. I do all the night and distance driving so I needed to deal with it.

Even then I saw 4 ophthalmologist over a year before deciding. One even went as far as to say she thought I was imagining the decline in my vision, and the need to change prescriptions was probably due poorly done refractions. $450 for that.
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Old 08-25-2015, 05:44 PM   #18087
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Wow! 64 cents a gallon is outstanding. My neighbor paid twice that recently.
I bit the bullet and bought my own 1,000 gallon tank in 2003, and that has turned out to be a wise investment. Got away from being locked into a single supplier, although the one I've been using for 12 years now has been quite competitive on price, and is big enough to maintain steady availability. Pretty amazing customer service really, their phone number goes to a price quote 24x7, with "press 1" option during business hours if you want to place an order. And for orders > 300 gallons I always get a nickel off that initial quote, and a discount if paid in 10 days on top of that too.

But I'd still rather be on natural gas, can't have everything though..
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Old 08-26-2015, 08:55 AM   #18088
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Actually yesterday, but...

I've mentioned having a "home studio" before, sadly only sporadically used, though that should get better when I'm FIREd.

Anyway, due to computers going kaput, I upgraded to a fairly high-powered laptop, running Windows 8, which meant that my old DAW (digital workstation) software had to be replaced/upgraded. Decided to bite the bullet, and upgrade the software, buy a newer mixer, etc., so that I should be good for a long while, unless something breaks...

So I finally sat down to experiment with the software, the newer version being similar, but with a lot of extra features (that I may never use...), and thus a lot of clutter on the screen that I wasn't used to. My test drive was to write a short midi clip, mostly to check functionality (of the software AND the user). After a fair amount of head-scratching, I made a short clip, set it to loop, then hit "play".

Okay, that worked, but I had set the midi instrument to be "finger bass" to simulate, what else, a bass played with fingers, as opposed to a pick, but it still sounded like a piano... Over the course of three nights, I played around with the software, and had everything I could find, or think of, set to play the bass sound, but it still sounded like a piano! Many cuss words later, last night I opened the mixer console view, basically a software version faders for each channel. Channel one, where I had written my test track, said "finger bass", but still the effing piano sound. There was, however, a "test" button beneath each channel's fader, which would sound a test note for that channel. I pressed the thing several times, and out came a bass sound. Still scratching my head, I thought "WTF", but then it dawned on me that, when entering the notes in the editor screen, I had placed the notes in the C5/C6 octave. This is normally way out of the range of a bass guitar, thus the synthesizer was not acturately sounding bass-like. When I dropped the notes down to C2/C3, voila, bass guitar.

Once again, operator error! But, as least that mystery is solved...
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Old 08-26-2015, 09:14 AM   #18089
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Actually yesterday, but...

I've mentioned having a "home studio" before, sadly only sporadically used, though that should get better when I'm FIREd. ...
I've slowly started a bit of de-cluttering and consolidation, and started looking over my stack of keyboards and midi modules, mostly from late 80's early 90's. Haven't done much of anything with this stuff for many years.

So I ordered a USB to midi cable/converter, and I will try some of this stuff out sometime and see what kind of Linux software is out there. I'm assuming I can get rid of the midi sound modules and classic Alesis drum machine, that a computer will do all this internally now. We will see (if I stick to it).

Will keep my Yamaha 8-input mixer though.

-ERD50
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Old 08-26-2015, 09:23 AM   #18090
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I've slowly started a bit of de-cluttering and consolidation, and started looking over my stack of keyboards and midi modules, mostly from late 80's early 90's. Haven't done much of anything with this stuff for many years.

So I ordered a USB to midi cable/converter, and I will try some of this stuff out sometime and see what kind of Linux software is out there. I'm assuming I can get rid of the midi sound modules and classic Alesis drum machine, that a computer will do all this internally now. We will see (if I stick to it).

Will keep my Yamaha 8-input mixer though.

-ERD50
I still have two midi keyboards, and two sound modules, that I'll likely keep for now. But the Sonar software has several software synths, so I use those for recording/playback. My Fast Track interface has both 9-pin DIN and usb capability, so they're not totally obsolete yet, and could still be used for "live performance", not that I have any plans to do that...
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Old 08-26-2015, 05:43 PM   #18091
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Picked up a prescription for DW, (she had another appointment elsewhere) went to the gym, stopped by the library to return some books then remembered they are closed on Wednesday (budget cuts) when I got to the door. Went back home because I forgot the grocery list then to the grocery store. It is now 2:30 and I'm getting weak from hunger since all I had until then was a couple of celery sticks and ~2 tablespoons of cottage cheese.

Made a humongous salad in a serving bowl with some chopped ham, turkey, cheese, onions, and jalapeno peppers. It isn't "hot" unless it makes you sweat. Yum. DW thinks I'm nuts.
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Old 08-26-2015, 05:46 PM   #18092
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Today, we're picking out the new living room floor to replace the old laminate floor (now with divot!). It's over a decade old, and even with the best moisture barriers, the hardboard is getting soft.

Day 11 - Decisions, decisions...
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Old 08-26-2015, 06:49 PM   #18093
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My baby sister and her husband are our house guests this week, so today we rode the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat up the Connecticut River. We followed that up with lunch out on the the terrace at the Gelston House overlooking the river.

Essex Steam Train & Riverboat
Gelston House
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Old 08-26-2015, 07:45 PM   #18094
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Screwed up my courage and made an appointment with an ophthalmologist. Got to do it. The first opening he has is over a month away. That's ok with me.

After that I had lunch with F, ran errands, and then went to the gym and did a hard workout for an hour and a half; weights, stretching, elliptical. After that, just hanging out in my dream house and enjoying it thoroughly.
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Old 08-26-2015, 08:16 PM   #18095
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I'm back in my routine. Took the dog for early AM walks at the beach this morning (and the previous two). Then took the boys to the doctors for back-to-school checkups. Got some more info on the new FLL season. (I'm coaching robotics again.) Called 2 credit card places that my husband had called when he lost his wallet in Barcelona's airport. He'd successfully cancelled one card... but something got messed up when he called the other two... It's now properly done. (No activity on the accounts- so chances are it was turned in somewhere and never made it to lost and found).
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Old 08-26-2015, 09:24 PM   #18096
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Went to the county fair today.

https://youtu.be/rn-SplD6U7c

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Early Retirement Forum mobile app
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Old 08-27-2015, 01:32 PM   #18097
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[...]then went to the gym and did a hard workout for an hour and a half; weights, stretching, elliptical.
Note to self: No matter how much fun it is at the time, tomorrow you WILL regret it if you overdo. Ow.
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Old 08-27-2015, 05:01 PM   #18098
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Today I unblocked a stuck drain, scrubbed the floor/ cleaned the grout in the master bath, repaired a rocking chair, painted, and canned tomatoes. I think I'll take the evening off.
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Old 08-27-2015, 09:49 PM   #18099
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Went to see a Bridgeport Bluefish baseball game. Kept score. Enjoyed a beautiful summer evening.
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Old 08-28-2015, 01:50 PM   #18100
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Been gone all week on a long road trip.

Primary reason was to drive our oldest DS up to Humboldt State University to start the new year. I'm quite fond of the Arcata/HSU area - much cooler/mild climate, gorgeous country, scenic coasts, slower/earthier lifestyle, friendly people.

Went to the opening weekend of the Humboldt County Fair - mid-sized fair compared to say the Del Mar Fair in CA, but DW and I enjoyed ourselves from the rabbits, to the scarecrow contest, to the wool spinning demo!

Got DS all moved into his tiny campus apt, said our goodbyes and headed south again with a long leisurely detour of the redwoods along the scenic bypass, Ave of the Giants.

Then a couple of days in Sonoma Wine Country/Healdsburg to decompress and enjoy the country and wines.

Grueling 11 hr drive yesterday thru San Francisco - gotta be a different way back - and down the I-5 back home.

Unpacking now, cleaning up, and reviving the plants that youngest DS kinda sorta watered while we were away. House was in good shape (surprised!). Restocked the fridge for the weekend, going to start downloading the pics of our trip later.
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