April 29, 2012
Let's Talk About It
From an email from one of the SIL's:
Took the Jeep in for inspection yesterday. I waited until almost the last minute, just because I kept forgetting to make an appointment (remembering after the shops have closed, does not help a bit). Anyway, after 42k miles, in 2.25 years, it needed tires. I had figured I would need tires before the next snow season, so thought I would buy them in the fall. Alas, two of the tires were too far gone, and it is a front wheel drive vehicle, which means I had to replace all at the same time. And, of course, AT (all terrain) tires, even for my little vehicle, are not cheap.
Just trying to help out the economy in my own little way. I did have the foresight to have brought coupons that they had sent me several weeks ago, so in effect, the inspection (a normal $40 value) was free plus a little off the tires. Total cost, was $10 less than what just the tires were quoted at (including mounting and balancing). I had forgotten how much I hate the new tire highway whine until my drive home.
To add insult to injury, I'm pretty sure that I left my book in the waiting room, and I am not driving 32 miles just to get a book. On the plus side, WS works in the area, so maybe he can drop by and pick it up (if someone else didn't decide they really needed Larry Correia's book Spellbound: Part II of the Grimnoir Chronicles.)
Cop Car forwarded and email to me on Friday about Amazon having the Audubon Birds: A Field Guid to North American Birds app on sale for 99 cents. Unfortunately, that was their Deal of the Day, and the email had been sent to her on Thursday, so it wasn't applicable when I received it. However, I looked around, and finally checked the Google Play store, and sure enough, they had it for 99 cents (that sale is over as far as I can tell, but it is on sale at theiTunes store if you have an Apple product). I immediately downloaded it and found that it not only is a field guide, but provide samples of the birds' songs too. Way cool.
You are given the opportunity, after download, of actually downloading the entire content (downloading the app just gives you access to the content, so saves memory if you don't have much) so that night I did so. The only issue I've had with it so far is trying to create an account, which allows the saving of life lists and sightings, but that may be me. Also, not a huge deal, just a bit of an annoyance.
Anyway, just wanted to give Cop Car a shout out for pointing out this app to me!
Gardening Goes Apace
Last Sunday, I repotted all the tomato and pepper seedlings into pots that will be their homes for the next month. The weather was cold and misty, so I did the deed in the kitchen instead of on the deck, where I would normally do so. I managed to keep the mess down to a minimum somehow.
Meanwhile, WS put up the collapsible greenhouse so I would have a place to stash the newly filled pots. I got the pots installed in their new environs but didn't set up the space heater as it was supposed to be in the low 50's for the night. When I went to work the next morning, the thermometer read 42. Great, so I double streesed teh plants by transplanting them, then letting them get really cold.
When I got home from work, the first order of business was to set up the space heater. The plants had recovered from the cold morning okay, but I didn't think they would thrive thru the many more mornings of cold to come. It has been in the 30's, and now 20's every morning since then - in addition to being extremely windy the last 4 days. We have had the woodstove going in the evenings to keep the house warm.
We did get 2.5" of rain between Sunday and Monday, then another .5" on Thursday night, but that is not nearly enough. WS spread manure on the garden area yesterday, then rototilled it in, and there is no moisture in the ground - even after 3" of rain in the last week. Unfortunately all the weather systems are staying south because of the Jet STream - which is also why we are staying cold with the Canadian air. If this keeps up, I'm going to have to water for a week before planting the garden Memorial Day Weekend .
April 22, 2012
A guy at work made up a poster for me after I took a fork truck class to get my license. It was to tweak a specific someone at work - but really since my score was the highest, it really could have been aimed at anyone. I got the biggest kick out of it:
A Little Before a Lot
Yesterday we went to pick up WS's bike out of storage. He's been riding BIL's bike to work so he can put it out by the road with a For Sale sign on it. Decided it was time to get his home,even though it will be a pain to have all 3 in the shed.
We arranged to pick it up early in the morning, as later in the afternoon it was supposed to rain. We took my bike up, so we both got to ride some. It didn't rain in the afternoon, in fact was sunny, so he later he rode back up to Concord to get a case and targets for the BAG day acquisition. We had coupons that had to be used by yesterday - too bad we didn't remember the coupons when we went up to get the bike. But, with the nice weather, it worked out well for WS.
It did rain a little overnight, but it looks like only about 1/8" by the rain gauge. The ground will not be prepared at this rate - they have already called for flooding in MA, it wil be that way here too if the storm predictions are correct.
Last Sunday was BAG (buy a gun) day. Don't knwo why, but it has been so dubbed for the last couple of years. Usually we don't participate, but I managed to snag something we had been looking for.
If you remember, we went back to Kansas to visit family last November. While as WS's relatives, we did some shooting. His sister's boyfriend had brought a Hi Point 995 carbine and we all had fun shooting it. Her boyfriend had bought his used and when I looked up the new ones, I found that they had changed - and not for the better in my opinion. They had gone more "tacti-cool" in looks and in stuff that was added. I didn't want all that, so we started looking for used ones.
Well, those suckers aren't something you see every day. In fact, finding an older (a couple of years anyway), was nigh on impossible. The search waned and I hadn't looked for a while, when a conversation at work made me decide to look again. So I went to Gunbroker, and lo and behold, there was an older one for sale. After emailing the seller a couple of times with questions, I put in a bid. About a week later, I was high bidder (just a bit under what I was willing to pay too) so I got to pick up the gun that was descibed thusly:
Here is a Hi Point Model 995 Semi Auto Carbine in 9mm caliber with a 8 round mag that loads up through the pistol grip. The previous owner told me he purchased the gun new and never fired it and when I inspect the rifle it does look like it was never fired to me but I cant say for sure??? The barrel is 16.5" long and the bore is clean and bright with strong rifling. The gun has great open sights with the rear being a adjustable Peep sight and the front being a adjustable post that is circled buy a metal ring. The gun has some light marks and blemishes from a few years of storage and being moved in a gun safe. This carbine as the pictures will show is in super shape and it is ready to go!!!
Fortunately the seller was in Vermont, so we were able to drive over last Saturday and pick it up after the background check was run. That was a real bonus as it saved $30 in shipping charges and $25-50 in FFL charges (FFL's are the ones who run background checks and release to the buyer). Those charges would have effectively placed the cost of the gun way higher than I was willing to go, so it worked out. We were super pleased with the condition of the firearm - as stated by the seller, it doesn't look like it has ever been loaded, much less fired.
So, we managed to get a gun the day before BAG day - I count it towards participation in the event. Now we just have to get it to the range.
Tornado Hits in Kansas
You would think that with all the relatives that I have that are in the general vicinity of Boeing, that I would get word that Boeing and it's off-shoot Spirit got a bit of excitement from the recent tornado activity in Kansas. But no, I have to get the word from someone else.
I would post pics, but I'm not sure I'm allowed, so let's just say that from what I see, it was a good thing that Boeing and McConnel aFB sent some of it's planes to Grand Forks, North Dakota before the weather hit (that was all over the news a couple of days ago and I can't fine any mention on on Google for a link - what is up with that?). Okay, finally found mention of it, then another, on of all places, McConnells website.
In the pictures I see a 3 ton water tanker truck flipped on its side, as is a railroad car (a box car, not a flat-bed). Building siding, bay doors and roofs have been peeled up and, in some cases, torn completely off of buildings. The corner of one build looks pretty mangled, as do portions of other buildings. One picture was pretty strange and I can't really tell what it is unless it is the ferris wheel from an entertainment park a couple miles away (at first I thought it might be part of a turbine, but I don't think so).
This news report says that Spirit took a direct hit (it has a couple of pictures. Spirit has put some pictures out on Flickr. Boeing and McConnell Air Force Base also got hit (so it's a good thing they moved planes), but I can't find any pictures (not surprisingly).
I'll have to forgive my relatives for not mentioning this though, CC and HH are doing double or triple duty for the Red Cross right now, and I'm sure Wichi Dude and Dudette are helping out in some manner too (as well as working at their regular jobs).
April 21, 2012
It seems there is a theme about people beating traffic tickets going around.
First, the Weekend Pundit put up a piece about a radar technician beating a speeding ticket. I dont' know if the piece is true as it seems odd that he would be able to notice the radar registering speeds of vehicles while he, himself was stopped and having a discussion with the officer. I have never been stopped and then been able to place myself in such a position as to be able to read the read out of the radar gun. However, I don't see that well anyway, so maybe I just haven't noticed it being possible.
Then there is a piece in the news about a physicist who beat a ticket for failure to stop. I looked at his paper tried to look at his paper (link on the original, but IE 8 has decided not to show me the last 3 links I have clicked on. Maybe someone smarter than me (Stu, Cop Car) can take a look and see if it looks reasonable.
Are there any other recent entreis for ticket busting that I've missed?
April 20, 2012
Rain, Rain, Come to Play
Heard on the news yesterday that in 47 days, we have had lless than .5" of rain. Normally we would have a bit over 5". Add that to the non-snowy winter and we are just a bit low on the moisture content of the soil.
At work the other day, there was a bit of excitement as a passing train threw some sparks and set the brush on fire. The fire department responded and all was put out before it hit any of the business buildings on either side of the tracks. The fire was to the side, and in between our two buildings (which has two parking lots and a break of trees/grass between), almost to the edge of the parking lot. The first picture is taken from my building, looking toward the corner of the other building.
We are finally supposed to get some decent rain. Starting Saturday late afternoon, we should get a bit of rain, but then on Monday, we will probably get walloped. They are forecasting a Nor'easter, which may dump as much as 5" of rain in some spots. Hopefully the top soil gets a decent soaking from the first rains before the monsoon hits. If we can get the soil used to soaking up water, it will be able to handle a lot more than if the top layer is bone dry; then it will just shed the water and massive flooding will occur.
At least the phlox will finally have a reason to bloom - right now only a few plants have bothered when usually I have a whole carpet of phlox blooms in front of the fence. Some of the daffodils are blooming, but even they don't seem too enthusiastic. Maybe the next 3-4 days will change all that.