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Saturday, October 30, 2004

October 30, 2004

Happy Pre-Halloween (or something like that)

As I'm sure I'll not really have anything to write about tomorrow, I'll say it now -- Happy Halloween!

Sadly, due to cloud cover, we weren't able to see the recent lunar eclipse on Wednesday. For that matter, the weather hasn't let up much either (it's still been fairly wet)... But, there is a fairly full moon this week according to my I guess Halloween has that going for it. smile

Weekend Project

Since it's not overly nice being outside today (about 39F, overcast, misty & rainy), I believe I'm going to attempt tackling a few projects this weekend. One of which is the replacement of some more light switches and receptacles. Fortunately, that's a project which is fairly straightforward, helped by my neat wire tracker (so I know which breaker to turn off without question). Chances are, that'll be a project I handle today.

Another project I'd like to start or continue is the removal of the cistern fill pipe or removal of the old outside faucet water line. The cistern fill pipe hasn't been used for a long time, and the entry points to the house have been sealed off with concrete for some time. All traces of it outside are gone, and for that matter, the only trace of it inside (aside from the room in the basement) is the fill pipe. This is a sawzall project and will undoubtedly be done in small pieces. It just happens that one of those pieces is somewhat in my way related to the bathroom project in particular, so I'd like to get that section removed soon. The removal of more copper water line (for the old covered up outside water faucet) is really straightforward -- only a pipe cutter needed. I probably won't get that completed (as best I can anyway) until after the fill pipe has been completely removed, though.

The Forthcoming Election

Well, in approximately 80 hours from now, we'll begin to have an idea of what the election results will be. I don't use this medium (or really any medium) to discuss my political or religious views (and this is no exception), but I have an interesting bit of insight into the human psyche to share. Now, for some background -- in my day-to-day operations, I run into and have the opportunity to listen in and/or participate in several small discussions with a variety of people with varying views on a many subjects. Obviously with the upcoming election the talk has been primarily political in nature.

Recently I was involved in a quite laid-back discussion of the above nature. Now, I won't mention names or affiliations, because this story isn't about that part at all. An individual candidly made a comment akin to 'I'm going to vote for candidate L, because I believe in candidate S's views but I really don't want candidate Q to win the election!'

Now, to each their own is my own personal thought when it generally comes to comments like this, but this particular comment struck me as somewhat disturbing. I'm not stating that any particular party would push this view or encourage this behavior -- BUT it seems like a giant lie to me. A lie not only to your own beliefs, but also to yourself and to the entire process in general. This leads to the entire 'electoral vote' issue -- the thought that one's vote doesn't count at all when it comes to choosing a candidate, but can count when selecting a candidate that will change the odds enough to push a particular 'mainstream' (if you will) candidate out of the race when it comes to electoral votes.

I obviously disagree with this maneuver, and it's my hope that this particular individual doesn't choose this route when entering the polling place. But it really says something (to me) about the system and the election in general when an individual makes a statement which places election importance essentially no more important than a $1.00 game of foosball or air hockey -- where cheap moves at the right time can mean the difference of the game.

Anyway, enough of the soapbox. I understand the purpose of the electoral college, but I also personally believe that it takes away from the idea that each and every vote counts. And that's another topic for another election year. smile

In the time since I've been able to vote, I have only missed a few primary elections. People, go vote -- and vote for the candidates with whom you agree -- no matter what that vote may be.

I'll leave it at this and end this portion of the post -- May God Bless America.

That's about it...

...for now, so I think I'll go do something productive now. smile

Until next time...

This post was upgraded to the MZ Online Blog on 8/29/07

Sunday, October 24, 2004

October 24, 2004

Yikes! Over a Month!

Well, I've managed to get really behind in these posts over the last...umm...MONTH. Much has happened in the last month, and time really hasn't been on my side. Although, I will mention that things are going well in general.

It's been rainy!

One thing I can say about the last month without question is that it's been quite wet -- wet enough to cause a headache for everyone I can think of in the area. For starters, while the soybeans and corn are ready for harvest (and in some instances much past ready), there are many, many acres which can't ben touched due to the super-saturated soil conditions. In fact, there's still water standing in some places around here. Of course, just when it starts to dry out, we get hit with another inch of rain or so. In many instances, there are fields which have large sections of un-harvested crops, and in others entire fields haven't been touched at all. For the worst case scenario, there are some who are just going to have to wait until after a hard frost in order to even reach the lower spots.

Such is the case in the land around our property -- it's just plain wet. With that said, it's not looking too promising for me to obtain some dirt from our little section of soybeans (at least prior to hard ground frost) in order to do some backfilling around the backyard and house. The plan was initially to (after the beans had been taken out) to go get a couple dozen cubic feet of dirt or better and do some backfilling...and get that all done before the ground froze. At the rate it's going, that's not going to be possible. While it's not that big a deal, it is a bit of a pain in my ass... smile

But, related to the abundant amount of water around as of late, we did have some basement 'issues' (not really a problem) after one particularly heavy week of rain (the week-long total I guesstimate to be around 7 inches). The ground is so saturated that we had small amounts of water coming into the basement not through the walls, but through a few of the cracks in the floor. The water was never a major problem (meaning that it never covered the whole floor and was never more than 1/16-1/8" deep), but it was still there nonetheless. It just meant lots of dehumidification, fans, and shop-vac work. The cats were probably most put out by the water, as their litter box was in one of the affected areas.

Fall Preparations

Hopefully this week it'll dry out a little bit and I'll have a chance to do some last yard work. I want to run over the lawn a last time to mulch up some of the leaves on the ground and also just trim up the lawn around the house. It'll also allow me to get the lawnmowers warmed up so I can then change the oil in them prior to storage this winter. At that time I'll do the last of the tool shed organization. I've put the storm windows back on the house and that's helped for the heat retention...which is important now that the furnace has been running (ahh, tis the season).

Far as the garage goes, I've got most things set in place. There's not a whole lot of room in there, so it's not a huge collector of junk!

Story of The Tubes!

Well, within about two weeks of the last post (in the first week of October), I drew out the plan and determined how much conduit I was going to need for the Satellite Project. Now, as a quick recap -- at the time I did this we only had one satellite dish on the garage -- for the Internet connection. This goes to the backside of the house and more or less directly into our office (where it's needed). The soon-to-be-ordered satellite for TV was also to be placed on the garage, but its point of entry to the house is in a different spot, on a different face. This meant that two runs of conduit had to be made, both originating from the same spot.

Well, we took the better part of a Saturday midday and did lots of digging, cleaning, cutting, and gluing. We now have all the capabilities for underground cable runs. smile The Internet one we were able to do as we went, but the TV one was only in preparation for the next week. Anyway, it all went well and it finally got that Internet cable off the ground where it was liable to get either cut, stretched, or have something else odd happen to it eventually.

It also happens to look a hell of a lot better than random cable running across the ground, and it allowed us to do the satellite TV installation (at least the outdoor portion) quite quickly and without issue.

Speaking of TV, it's been one of those things which has been nice to have back in place. While the cable run to our bedroom upstairs was a little less than, umm, trivial (as were the ones downstairs), it went quite well and has been working (which is the important part). I haven't missed the TV stuff much...and in some cases (e.g. the forthcoming election and therefore all the political ads (mini-rant: I know who I'm voting for -- let it be!)) it's been a Bad Thing...but overall it's good to have the vegetative thing back in place.

We're not in Kansas anymore!

One of the reasons I've been less than available to write these things is that due to a business trip, I was in Kansas/Nebraska for two nights in Mid-October. The trip went relatively well (it had its ups and downs), but it was a good time -- after all, I'd never been to either Kansas or Nebraska before, so it was an experience. Of course the worst part was the length of drive time (from here to Topeka, Kansas is about 9-10 hours, depending upon the number and length of stops)...but I had good company. smile

Theatrical Preparations

Yes, it's that time of year again in which to start thinking of One-Act Plays. In just over a month I really need to have a pretty concrete idea of what production I'm going to pursue with One-Act. At this time I haven't really decided at all what sort of 'mood' I'm in as related to production genre. I've also sent out some initial interest emails regarding the larger show (Three-Act), which will most likely be done (assuming that the appropriate funding is there...which is something I haven't heard back definitively on at this point) in the spring. I've heard back from a few people as to that production, and it seems as though spring is a better time for them this year. No production ideas for that one, though.

More work needs to be done on that front, but it's in the works now...and that's the important part.

More Projects

Well, in our trip to Alexandria yesterday, I did some competitive pricing of copper water pipe, PVC drain pipe, and so on as pertains to the forthcoming bathroom project. Off hand, it doesn't look as though it's going to be terribly bad to complete; the problem is finding an appropriate amount of time. We're in great fortune that in regards to this project we're really not going to be without any 'mission critical' facilities (e.g. bathroom sink and toilet) during the transition. This is because the toilet isn't changing at all and the sink is moving to a different location (so it can stay in place until the new one is functioning properly). As far as the bathtub goes (it's not changing), we don't use it as-is and won't until after the new shower is in place (which comes with the new sink and other plumbing)...because we currently use the shower in the basement which works just fine.

So, I'm in the process of drawing up the plan for execution...which will hopefully mean that we can reasonably tackle chunks of the project as we go and not the whole thing at once...and also minimize the mess.

Aside from that...

I've spent around an hour writing this now, so I think I'm going to let it go at that. Until next time...

This post was upgraded to the MZ Online Blog on 8/29/07

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