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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Happy Forthcoming Independence Day!


Watching The Crowd
Koshka was watching all of us walk around in the yard after giving her a little bit of attention.
As it's unlikely I'll get around to posting anything before Friday's holiday, I'll just say it now. :) Happy Independence Day!

I had great intentions tonight to write something complex and insightful, but then got caught up in another project and reading the local paper. So that kinda put a damper on my writing activity tonight.

I will, however, share a few random bits about the last few days. Amongst other things, I made my first ever presentable Flash 'presentation' today. It's part of a 'virtual tour' thing I'm working on, and I have to say that as I'm getting more familiar with the application, it's getting a bit easier to work with. Due to how it is going to function ultimately, I had a bit of a time getting the layer and timeline thing through my head (I'm used to application development, where things are layered, but not layered and linear. Or something like that.

At any rate, there's a lot of work to be done with it (and it will likely evolve over time), but it shows promise and should be pretty cool when 'complete.'

I had to 'fix' the washing machine tonight. I noticed the other day when Beth did a load of laundry that it seemed to always be 'running' and not making any progress. When I checked into it further, I noticed that it was 'stuck' in the rinse cycle, and always draining while filling. I figured it to be a fluke, forced the machine into spin, and the problem went away.

Until this evening. It wouldn't fill. Well, it would try to fill, but then would start emptying and never get to the point of triggering the pressure switch to shut off the water.

Long story short, after taking the control panel off and making sure everything looked right (and also referencing the control wiring diagram to see how I could bypass the pressure switch if necessary), I discovered the problem. The washer wasn't pumping out water; it was simply flowing out on its own accord.

It turns out that the drain hose wasn't up high enough after I'd moved the washer back last weekend after painting. Due to where I was working and how I was cleaning up things, I removed the old duct tape fastener that held the drain hose in the right position. I didn't put it back in the same exact position and, as it turned out, only had to raise it about two inches to make everything work just fine again.

So I fashioned a new (temporary) mechanism to hold the drain hose in the right position. I'd intended (once this painting business is done) to make a nice, clean-looking drain mechanism for everything in that area (water softener, washer, etc.), which is why I didn't re-create the old fastener when I moved the washer back to its position. C'est la vie, I guess. At least I know I don't need to buy a new washing machine.

And in other random bits, I read this little tidbit of information about an experiment done to see what happens when all of those spam messages and pop-ups are clicked on and responded to. It's not really all that surprising to me, but it's a good and fairly general read (for non-techie consumption) illustrating the sort of issues that really do pop up if one's not careful on the big bad Internet.

So I'll leave it at that. Until next time...
"Whenever I climb I am followed by a dog called 'Ego'."
- Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

--MZ

Monday, June 30, 2008

A Long Weekend Comes To A Close


Pelicans!
I was stoked to see several flocks of pelicans as I drove home from town this morning. It was so cool, so I went to get my camera quickly. Unfortunately, when I stopped to take pictures, the closest ones (a hundred feet or so from my location) decided to fly off...
So I had today (Monday) off in addition to the regular weekend. Or really, I just took today off on one of those 'use it or lose it' days.

I don't intend to ramble too much tonight, but just as a teaser...I do have some pretty hot (in my mind, anyway) topics about which I intend to share an opinion one of these days. It'll be great!

At any rate, the weekend was pretty uneventful, really. Saturday I spent time in the basement removing some shelving from a wall I needed to paint, scrubbing (with bleach water) said wall(s), and otherwise hanging out. It was a good day.

Sunday, I got a coat of paint on the walls mentioned from Saturday's activity, and also put a second coat of paint on two sections of basement wall that were devoid of a second coat. We went to a picnic event in town on Sunday afternoon/evening, and that was really nice (I wished I'd brought the camera). And today was the day of work...

It started out simply enough. I slept in (which was nice), made a quick trip to town to do a few errands, and on my way back as I drove by the WPA, I noticed pelicans. Very near to the road.

Of course, I didn't have the camera.

So I drove the remainder of the way home (less than a mile), grabbed the camera and 75-300mm lens, and headed back to the pelicans. It was so very cool -- I'd been wanting to get pelican pictures for some time and, while they didn't all turn out as cool as I'd hoped (namely since the pelicans closest to me weren't interested in hanging around), I was still successful in my quest.

So that was cool. And made my day look brighter. :)

I went back home and decided to start working on projects. First off was to do as much basement painting as I could get accomplished before running completely out of paint. I still have a little paint left (if I scrape out the 5-gallon pail), but I did just enough scraping of paint from the pail to get my main work area completed. I need to pick up a gallon or two to complete the basement, but it's really down to the last stuff now. And that's a good thing.

After I cleaned up from the painting thing, I decided to go outside and do a little work. Even though it was in the mid-80's at the time. I managed to get two trailer loads of river rock removed from the eastern landscaping bed on the front of the house. I also removed the edging. After having to fix the tire on the trailer on the second load of rock removal (always a fun time), I decided I'd done enough hard and hot manual labor for the day and called it good. But at least that area now looks a little better -- it's not quite as ghetto-looking as it was (with a pile of rocks sitting there). I still have at least two more loads of rock to remove from that side, but that's all behind the bushes and next to the house, so it'll be a little more complicated to remove (and a project for another day).

Amongst other things, I decided it was then time to work on some side jobs earlier in the day/evening than later, so I got some semi-substantial work completed on those, which is always a good thing. After some ice cream (with fresh peaches) and the 10pm news, I'm brought to the current time where I find myself idly typing this.

So, that was my weekend in a nutshell. This will be a very short week for me since I have Friday off, so I've got a whopping three days to sit at the office this week. It'll be weird, really. But I've got plenty of things to tinker with there that are different from what I find myself doing at home...so that makes life more enjoyable.

Anyway, I'm going to leave it at that and call it a night. So until next time...
"Everybody pities the weak; jealousy you have to earn."
- Arnold Schwarzenegger (1947-)

--MZ

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Miscellaneous Bits

  • One Gorgeous Daughter (Kirstin)
  • An Incredible Wife (Beth)
  • Two Cats (George/Felix)
  • Two Dogs (Koshka/Kurva)
  • My birthday is at the 48851th place in Pi
  • Frank Oz and I share birthdays (Go Fozzie Bear)!
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