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Old 07-22-2020, 06:09 PM   #1341
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The young wife cut my hair. I feel much better now.


I know the feeling. I got a haircut yesterday - first one since mid February. It felt great.
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Old 07-22-2020, 06:32 PM   #1342
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Forgot to mention. Yesterday we went to Seattle. I got a CIMT scan and DW got a red 2009 Pontiac Vibe (to match our white 2009 Vibe). Now I have to dispose of my garden truck.
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Old 07-23-2020, 04:49 PM   #1343
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The young wife cut my hair. I feel much better now.
Lots of that going on. DW cut mine yesterday after the new trimmer from Amazon arrived. Okay, she never went to barber school and if you look close it shows. But she's much more critical of the job than I would ever think to be. And since I hadn't had a haircut since last March I was in desperate need of one. Much better now.

Rather than the back porch where it was 90+ we decided the shop in the basement would be much more comfortable and just as easy to clean up with a concrete floor and a nice 12 gallon shop vac right there. Somehow vacuuming myself off reminded me of vacuuming the dog after brushing. He liked it, me not so much.

Today the project was trying a new video of flying an R/C airplane around in the back yard, but this time much closer to the ground and when possible below treetop level. I came within about a foot of hitting the back porch, but it makes for a kinda neat shot in the video. A snag was fitting several still photos of the setup in the video - the edited still from Adobe Photoshop is supposed to fit easily in the video edited with Adobe's Premiere Elements, but it showed up greatly enlarged and only a small portion fit in the frame. I "fixed it" by making the still photos the same size as the video frames (640 x 480) but that's a kludge and isn't really supposed to be needed. Research continues.

One of the objects (besides just doing it for the heck of it) is to illustrate that one doesn't need to spend gobs of money to shoot a FPV (First Person View) video from an R/C airplane. The airplane retails for $100 ($140 with a cheapo radio) the el cheapo 25mW video camera/TV transmitter was $17 from Amazon, and the video monitor with a DVR was $80.
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File Type: jpg Sport Cub S Still images (2 of 3).jpg (129.1 KB, 49 views)
File Type: jpg Sport Cub S Still images (3 of 3).jpg (121.9 KB, 44 views)
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Old 07-23-2020, 04:52 PM   #1344
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Replaced the kitchen faucet with one of those new-fangled "touchless" designs. I've had it since December but just now got around to the install. Been busy.
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Old 07-23-2020, 05:32 PM   #1345
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Shopped online for a new flip phone for my mom. Hers doesn't hold a charge anymore, and anyways Verizon is shutting down their CDMA network at the end of the year, so her phone won't work at all then. She wants another Verizon flip phone that has voice-activated dialing and is not a prepaid phone. I haven't been able to find exactly that, so she may have to settle for an LG Exalt 4G LTE VN220 or an Alcatel GO FLIP V 4051S, neither of which has voice dialing. But the screens are larger than what she has so selecting numbers off the screen should be easier.

DH is going through the rolled coins we found at the bottom of the safe after the burglary in her storage unit. There are rolls and rolls of silver dimes, quarters, and half-dollars, plus several rolls of Indian head pennies. DH calculated face value of the coins at around $273, so there may be 2-3k worth when considering the value of silver coins. Now he's looking at the Indian head pennies for any that might be particularly valuable.

Found a junk hauler that will take the ruined safes away for around $130. That's less that we'd figured, so that's some good news for mom.
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Old 07-23-2020, 06:06 PM   #1346
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Put the second coat of varnish on the barbee table. Only the best for our new patio.
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Old 07-23-2020, 06:11 PM   #1347
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I'm at the kids' place. I spent time holding grandson while DD power washed the deck and washed the deck while DD held grandson. I preferred holding grandson.
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Old 07-23-2020, 06:52 PM   #1348
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We rented a pontoon on a perfect summer day here. We tooled around the scenic and clean St. Croix River between Minnesota and Wisconsin, swimming, eating and sightseeing. It was a nice physically-distanced way to get out. 4 hours for $310 on a spotless boat that was just one week old!
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Old 07-23-2020, 08:16 PM   #1349
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I had a 9:30 appointment for bloodwork. When I arrived I watched the tech nasal swab a person in their vehicle and then ask how they could help me? A few minutes later she removed blood from my vein. I really didn't feel good about the protocol but what do I know?

Went to Durango for an eye appointment with one of the three eye doctors I had appointments with pre-pandemic, she agreed my dry eye was much improved and the other two specialists would be better suited to care for anything forseen.

I drove the Model Y there and it was fun! I mostly let it drive until someone needed passing. It's everything I wanted and more; the ability to overtake other vehicles in this area is amazing.
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Old 07-23-2020, 10:42 PM   #1350
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We met up with one of our kids for a hike and picnic dinner at a regional park with some pretty views.
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Old 07-24-2020, 06:50 PM   #1351
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Got my electric bill for July. $79 for 605 kWh usage. That's pretty darn good for several days with 110+ temperature.

The July bill used to be close to $400, for around 3000 kWh usage.

The off-grid solar power system certainly helps, plus running the two mini-split ACs instead of the central air.

It will take only about 10-15 years to pay back. And that's for a DIY system assembled from components bought at discount prices on the surplus market, and no labor cost. No tax credit claimed though. Going "green" is not cheap.

PS. The payback period does not include the cost of the two mini-splits. These count as "home improvements". However, without them, the savings in electric bills would not be realized, as it takes a lot more hardware to run the big central A/C off a solar system.
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Old 07-24-2020, 07:03 PM   #1352
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I put the last coat of spar varnish on my barbee table;

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Old 07-24-2020, 07:16 PM   #1353
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DW took things under control and took me to our patio and demanded I take my shirt off. She said I looked like Sasquatch and went to work with the electric clippers.

She commented that my back looked a silver back gorilla complete with a DA down the center of my back. After her handiwork, with the hair removal, things may improve in the romance department. She dictated this whole post to me, so do not blame me but blame her.
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Old 07-24-2020, 07:31 PM   #1354
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Played golf early in the morning, to make it another week of golf Monday-Friday. There was a threat of rain/thunderstorms that never materialized, so few other golfers were out. After walking a round in less than 2.5 hours my friend (we are both members) decided what the heck, it is just 9:30, lets play another round but use carts. We were done by 11:40 so I still got home not much after noon.

I did some minor projects this afternoon, and talked with a contact via FamilyTreeDNA to figure out how we might be related, and got some good leads. Now preparing to Zoom with a few friends before a "game date night" with DW.
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Old 07-24-2020, 07:52 PM   #1355
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Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
Got my electric bill for July. $79 for 605 kWh usage. That's pretty darn good for several days with 110+ temperature.

The July bill used to be close to $400, for around 3000 kWh usage.

The off-grid solar power system certainly helps, plus running the two mini-split ACs instead of the central air.

It will take only about 10-15 years to pay back. And that's for a DIY system assembled from components bought at discount prices on the surplus market, and no labor cost. No tax credit claimed though. Going "green" is not cheap.

PS. The payback period does not include the cost of the two mini-splits. These count as "home improvements". However, without them, the savings in electric bills would not be realized, as it takes a lot more hardware to run the big central A/C off a solar system.
Nice work! It's always nice to see the fruits of your labor!
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Old 07-24-2020, 08:31 PM   #1356
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We recently bought a townhouse in a new development, and as usual they planted the wrong plants in the wrong place. We have a 10' maple tree about 8' from our front porch, so in about 15 years we'll have a 50' tree dropping helicopter seeds in our gutters and roots will be tearing up our driveway and porch. Dumbasses. By the way, DW has a degree in landscape design, so all this knowledge comes from her. I just dig holes where I'm told. But over the decades I've picked up some knowledge too.

So we went out and bought a nice crape myrtle. Multiple trunks, and really pretty dark pink blossoms. It will get to be about 20', so there will still be some leaf issues, but that's pretty much unavoidable near woods, which we are. But you try to minimize the issues.

We also decided to move it much further out into the front yard, in a much more reasonable location. So I dug out a 44" circle of sod from the new location, dug out the maple, filled the hole, and covered it with the sod. That looks pretty good, and wasn't too incredibly difficult.

By the way, this is VA, and the ground is hard red clay (unformed brick, really) and rocks bigger than softballs. When they laid the sod they didn't put a bit of fill dirt down, just packed down the clay and rock.

So I started digging the hole. The plan is for 44" across and about 30" down, twice the width and depth of the root ball. Man, that was a PITA. I couldn't use a shovel to dig, it wouldn't go into the ground more than an inch at a time. So I got out my 36" crowbar and my 3 lb mallet, and started driving the crowbar into the ground. If I hit it 25 times I might get down about 4-6 inches, then I would lever the clay and rock out. Do that a few times and you get a shovel full or two.

I've gotten down about 2 feet. Tomorrow I'll finish the hole, then I'll get the tree in the ground. I've gotten old, and while I still do some hard work sometimes (hauling 40-50 lb bags of dirt, digging holes in real dirt, moving furniture, whatever), this has been the hardest I've worked in a long time. My hands are so sore that typing this post hurts. I think when we replace the (eventually 75-100') oak tree they planted in the tiny back yard, I'll reuse the hole they dug with the backhoe. At least it's in the right place. And I did save the $200 that the nursery would have charged me to plant it. I'm not sure that was my best financial decision ever. But as they say, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. The jury is still out on that.
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Old 07-24-2020, 08:40 PM   #1357
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Harley, go rent an electric jackhammer for the day. We use those to dig fence post holes here where we have a lot of clay.
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Old 07-24-2020, 08:44 PM   #1358
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Harley, go rent an electric jackhammer for the day. We use those to dig fence post holes here where we have a lot of clay.
+1. We had a gas powered jackhammer at work for digging up old survey points that were several feet deep. Harley would have had his hole dug in minutes with that thing.
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Old 07-24-2020, 08:46 PM   #1359
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Don't forget to fill the hole back up with real topsoil.
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Old 07-24-2020, 09:05 PM   #1360
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The jackhammer is an excellent suggestion. I wasn't expecting the job to be as hard as it was, and once I get started I'm pretty stubborn. But great idea! SWMBO was talking about putting a few smaller (4') crape myrtles down the side yard, and I'm sure there are more ideas where those came from. An electric jackhammer would make me a much more effective manual laborer. Thanks.

And the reason the hole has to be so big is we need to make a 50/50 mix of planting soil and the mess we dug out of the hole and surround it with something relatively easy to get the roots going in. When the builders put the maple in they just pulled out a shovelful of dirt with a backhoe and dropped the maple in. No soil prep, nothing. About 10% of the trees they planted in the community are dead or dying, in less than a year. They build a nice house, but they didn't spend any extra money on landscaping. Plus it's been a hot dry summer, which is never good for newly installed plants. So we're going to do ours up right, splurging on dirt and fertilizer. Blow that dough!
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