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Friday, October 5, 2007

Lazy Friday?


Not Sure About Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut is perhaps not her favorite food (yet), but she was open to repeated attempts at tasting the juice. :)
Not really. I did 'take the day off' from work, however. It was gloomy, so I knew I wouldn't likely be out in the field at all...so I figured it was a good time to stay at home and attempt to get a few projects taken care of.

I did indeed manage that. It started this late morning/early afternoon when I replaced and re-routed the dryer vent pipe. After the basement window was replaced above the dryer, the old pipe routing was going to have to go. It simply was no longer acceptable. So I changed it to not only be more aesthetically pleasing, but also to function better (I got rid of the four-foot section of flexible pipe) and be more efficient. The parts I didn't replace (namely the actual vent through the side of the house) got a thorough cleaning.

I also mixed up some concrete and set the first layer down around the sump basin tonight. There's about a two-and-a-half-inch gap that needs to be filled and sloped, and I got about two inches complete. It's currently 'level' with the top of the sump basin, so I've got another layer to put down sometime in the next few days to complete the job. For ease of use, I actually had it mixed a little thin, so I wasn't able to get a good slope created without the whole conglomeration moving on me. So I left it at roughly level and will finish it off later.

In the meantime, it looks much better than with just rocks sitting there. Shouldn't take much work to get the rest of it completed -- that will be another Good Project to have completed. Then it'll be a matter of plumbing in the sump pump and all that fun stuff. But that's for another day.

This evening, I finally insulated the majority of the hot water pipes running through the basement. I'd had the insulation for some time and just hadn't done it. So I got that pretty much as done as it's going to be. There are a few sections where the hot water lines are uninsulated, but they're at the ends of the lines and in low-draw areas, so there shouldn't be much heat loss there to justify the additional (considerable) pain and trouble to get insulation added.

And that's pretty much how my day went. If it stays nice tomorrow, I would like to get my insulation box for the old wall air conditioner built so I can [permanently] install it over the exterior portion of the old air conditioner since it's no longer in use.

Anyway, with that said, I'm heading to bed soon. Until next time...
"Everyone is a genius at least once a year; a real genius has his original ideas closer together."
- Georg Lichtenberg (1742-1799)

--MZ

Thursday, October 4, 2007

4,000 Core Views


A Cute Felix
This is probably my most favorite picture of Felix. Ever. For some reason it turned out pretty much perfect. He's usually not quite this photogenic. His upward-looking glance is what I like best about the picture.
Okay, this is a short post. Really.

I just checked, and partially due to the numerous cat pictures I uploaded tonight, my core Flickr photostream views (people who go to my main page and not just to see individual pictures) reached 4,000. Awesome.

I'll have to see if I can dig up some neat statistics about my photostream here over the weekend.

--MZ

I Made DeBlog!


Stop It, Dad!
I was tickling her and getting pictures at the same time. Quite a feat. She has the cutest little laugh, and this is probably my favorite picture of the bunch.
So I'm going to shamelessly brag about my fifteen seconds of newfound Internet fame.

A long story short (as possible), I read Jason DeRusha's "DeBlog" pretty religiously. There's some good stuff in there. Last evening there was a post about new fashions that he and the big Shelby were sporting. This led me to his Flickr photostream, and I encountered several interesting and newer pictures (including the scary one of Darcy holding a real or very real looking gun on live TV).

Needless to say, I also ran into the pictures to shortly thereafter be featured as a mini-contest of sorts. Being the avid Flickrite that I've recently become, I added a comment to the after picture (if you click the after picture on the blog entry you can see it) about his funky looking hair during a live shot the night before.

I also then ended up sending him an email about the situation as it were. I got a reply pretty shortly thereafter, which was nice. :)

So tonight I see that he'd actually turned the whole before/after thing into a blog post (and not just a Flickr thing as I originally thought). So I studied the pictures and figured out that it was an eyebrow wax job. Of course, I send an email about it with my official guess.

Literally, a minute later, I get a reply from him telling me that I indeed guessed correctly and that he'd just posted the answer a few minutes prior to my guess.

To my surprise, it was my comment about the hair volume thing that was first to be listed of inaccurate guesses. I feel honored. :) I made DeBlog!

So that's kinda random and cool. At least if you ask me. Makes me feel worthy of the 132 I scored on the Simple-IQ test I took the other night. :)

In other business, I managed to get some outdoor painting done this afternoon. I did some touch-up scraping (as necessary) on some of the storm windows which haven't been touched now for two years and repainted. There were some places where the old paint didn't come off during the last scraping that were now coming loose. I will need to do a final topcoat on all of them (not just the touch-up spots as I did tonight), but they are protected from the elements for the time being with two coats of paint.

I also painted the exposed wood around the new basement windows. They'd been caulked up, but there was still a little bit of exposed wood on either side of each new window that needed to be addressed. I then turned my attention to the side door to the garage. I ended up ripping off the old door trim and replaced it with the unused bits I found in the garage some time ago. Those need to be painted blue (which I didn't get to do tonight), but I did finally paint the exterior of the side door (which had been bare plywood for on the order of a year), so that's all taken care of.

So the majority of my outdoor painting projects were completed (or at least started), even though I still have some more work to do. It's good to have it started and in some cases finished. Makes me feel productive!

And that's about all that's new tonight. Tomorrow's Friday, so that means another weekend...and since it's likely to be somewhat inclement weather-wise, I will likely be at home and able to complete a few indoor projects around here. That'll be nice.

Until next time...
"Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it"
- Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

--MZ

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

One Episode Left


Talking To Me
She was a bit on the chatty order when she woke up after coming home.
So as of this morning, I have recorded the entire set of Ken Burns' The War, with one exception -- episode #5 -- which I'm set to record on Saturday afternoon.

I'm excited to watch it all, but I have no idea when that will be. There will be something like 22 hours of video when it's all said and done (each of the seven episodes are three or three-and-a-half hours long)...so it's not marathon type material.

Not much new in the world today. I drove home a different way from the office today, which was kind of fun. I was looking for new towers that may have been erected recently (long story), but didn't really see anything that stuck out. In somewhat but unrelated news, I seem to have misplaced my platbook. I was going to look for something this afternoon related to the search for new towers and I was unable to find it. Not really sure where it might be, but I'm sure it's still in the house.

Another mystery to solve.

Anyway, short of that, there's not much new in the world to discuss here. I have some projects I want to start around the house here while it's still relatively nice outside...so we'll see how that goes. Mostly simple stuff, but just moderately time consuming.

As a random ending note, I really like how the basement windows have turned out. They look nice and work very well. Now for a little touch-up paint (to seal up what's still exposed of the 'shim' boards) and everything will be good to go.

So until next time...
"Where are we going, and why am I in this handbasket?"
- Bumper Sticker

--MZ

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Twenty-Four Hundred!


Felix Is Gonna Get It!
Felix plays like a normal cat, and this was no exception. Only big difference here is that Kirstin was on the other end of the toy.
I'll keep this brief. As of tonight's picture uploading, my Flickr account stands at 2,400 pictures. Exactly. Crazy.

Kirstin is also on day #203, which is strange to think about. That's quite some time already. And she's been particularly cute as of late. Not really sure why...perhaps it's because she's either feeling well or very not well, presumably due to more teeth coming in. Thus, when she's in a good mood it makes everyone feel good. :)

I got the opportunity to kinda take it easy this afternoon and tonight. I made banana bread, which has little to do with taking it easy, but I bought old bananas with the intention of making bread. And it turned out very well.

I managed to get caught up a bit around my desk at home. If nothing else, I went through and finally read a bunch of emails and the like that I'd been putting off. So that sort of stuff, ridiculous as it might be, is nice to have 'out of the way' -- makes me feel ever so productive. :)

But that doesn't mean I'm not tired. And as I'm heading for bed very shortly, I am going to cut this off for the night and sign off.

Until next time...
"God, please save me from your followers!"
- Bumper Sticker

--MZ

Monday, October 1, 2007

Short Post Tonight


No, No Picture!
She was actually just rubbing her eyes from being tired, but I think this looks so cute, almost like she's trying to block the camera picture.
I spent more time out in the field this afternoon and evening, so I've been trying to get caught up with other things around here. So I'm a bit on the tired order and bed is very soon calling.

The switch to corn has been made, so that was nice. Little more occupied and busy than unloading beans (simply due to significantly higher yield), so that's fun. It went well today, and we had to quit when the bin got full...so that's a good problem to have. :)

I even managed to get a little TV watching in tonight. And I'm recording part six of the Ken Burns documentary (The War). Part five didn't fully record because I was a fool and didn't clear enough disk space. So I'll have to catch that at another time (I believe Saturday is the next showing of that segment)...but it's going well overall. I'm still looking forward to a time when I can sit and watch it all.

Anyway, that's about all for now. It's been busy (and that's a good problem to have as well)...so I will sign off once again.

Until next time...
"Fill what's empty, empty what's full, and scratch where it itches."
- the Duchess of Windsor, when asked what is the secret of a long and happy life

--MZ

Sunday, September 30, 2007

So I Skipped A Few Days Again


Like Daylight, Except Night
I really like how the light sensor in the camera gets screwy with manual settings and the right angle. It makes the orange (High-Pressure Sodium) yard light look almost like daylight. The colors really pop out...unfortunately the dogs didn't sit still and it was windy (so I wasn't exactly still myself).
Yeah, it's been a busy few days. I've ended up helping out with the neighbors' soybean and (shortly) corn harvest. So when I'd normally be at home, I've instead been out and about in the field.

I have to say that it's been kinda fun to be 'back in the swing' of things with regards to farming again. I wouldn't want to do it for a living, but there's something kinda intriguing about the whole process. Being outside (or at least in open territory), seeing wildlife, watching traffic go by, and so forth. The last time I spent any serious time in a tractor was nearly ten years ago now, so it's been fun.

And the processes themselves are like riding a bike -- one doesn't really forget. Might take a few minutes to get back into it, but it's just like there was never any gap. So that's been fun, but it's taken up some of my normal time as of the last few days... So I usually get home, work on some pictures, and then seem to forget about the blog bit by the time I wind down a bit. So tiredness has won the last few nights.

Short of that, there's not much new to report. Today was the big 'border battle' between the Vikings and Packers. Since it's the NFL, I honestly don't care at all about the game, but it was cute to dress up Kirstin in Henry's old Vikings outfit -- just for grins.

I didn't get much done around the house this weekend. I wanted to, but it just didn't happen. I also didn't get to adding the abandoned house pictures, but those things are still on my list. I also intend to do some more participation in the Flickr community, but the time just hasn't been there recently.

I did, however, get the computer set to capture the remaining episodes of 'The War' documentary on PBS. I previewed about five minutes of the episodes I captured so far, and I look forward to watching the entire thing. Ken Burns again would seem to have done a fine job. So that should be fun.

And seeing as how it's now past 11PM and I have a haircut in the morning, I'm going to 'cut' this short (yes, I intended that) and sign off. Until next time...
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."
- Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

--MZ

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Matt
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  • One Gorgeous Daughter (Kirstin)
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