Saturday, December 09, 2017

What Do YOU Do?

Raising a question of privacy on a seeming trivial things at my local bank

The story, best as I can retell it:

I had a check that I needed to cash so headed off to my local bank to cash it. The bank was bought out (is that the right term?) by another bank a short while ago. I’ve had account with both banks for a long time.

The teller took my check, and then said that she needed to ask me a few questions to update their system. She may have asked my phone number. I don’t recall.

She asked my address. About my address. I answered with my Post Office box, saying it was the same as always.

She asked me my place of employment. I asked why that was needed. She said to make sure that there was no funny stuff going on with direct deposit.

She asked what my occupation there was.

She said that she had to do this for everyone, and does her best to be polite about it.

She gave me my funds and I left.

Getting home, I felt I should speak to someone about the bank’s policy. I called the toll free number on my statement rather than the local number, as I wanted to reach the headquarter branch. When the person answered I asked for customer service or the bank manager. I gave more detail and she told me that I had not reached a bank branch, but a call center. It disappoints me that the bank uses a call center during business hours. She asked me which branch I wanted and connected me.

The person listened to my concerns and then asked if she could put me on hold to connect to the branch I was at. After a few minutes, the same teller who waited on me spoke to me on the phone. In the conversation most of the same was just repeated. She did also state that the reason that they ask for my occupation, was to be able to tell if everything is all right with the debit card use. Her example was a truck driver would use the debt card much more than an office worker, as they are on the road a lot.

My take on all this:

My address: I receive monthly statements from them. I think that should be enough for them, but I don’t see harm in occasionally double checking the accuracy just in case. Though one would think if I’m a responsible person, I would contact them if I stopped receiving statements after a while.

My Place of Employment: No I don’t feel that I should have to give this out. If I chose direct deposit from my employer then they receive paperwork with the detail for their records so they already have what they need. I could work and not use direct deposit, and I feel it is none of their business where I work, unless I have a loan from the bank, which I do not. If I wanted to give work contact info for urgent banking issues (such as an odd withdrawal on my account that they want to question), then that should be my choice.

My Occupation: No. Only if I have a loan with them, again, I do not. The reason I was given for the request is not adequate to me. I could be a trucker who rarely uses the debit card, or an office person who chooses to use the card frequently. My occupation is a required input on their screen. The teller said that if I opened a new account, the bank would ask the same question. I feel that this is unneeded. The biggest use I can see it serving if some company buys out my personal information, it is now more valuable as ads can be sent my way reflection my line of work. I wrong on all this?

It seems like my phone call rather than discussing if bank policy is proper, was just turned into an attempt to justify their policy to me, and no attempt to consider changes is allowed.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Sugar Cookies

I've baked cookies before, but these were cut out into festive shapes,
well, into the shape of snowmen.

I made these in advance of the season, as I wanted to test it out.  Here is
the recipe:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
2.In a small bowl, stir together:
   2-3/4 cups flour
   1 tsp baking soda
   1/2 tsp baking powder
3. In a large bowl cream together until smooth:
   1 cup softened butter
   1-1/2 cups sugar
4. Beat into large bowl mixture:
   1 egg
   1-1/2 teaspoon vanilla
5. Slowly take ingredients from the small bowl and blend them into the larger
6. Roll out dough to about 1/4 inch thick and cut out shapes as desired (or just
roll into rounded teaspoon size balls) and then place on ungreased cookie
7. Place in oven 8 to 10 minutes
8.Remove from oven and let them cool in cookie sheets for a couple minutes
9. Remove cookie and let them cool on wire racks

Icing or colored sugar could be added for decoration

info from:

Here are my results:

Sugar Cookies - MI00200
Sugar Cookies

Sunday, July 03, 2016


My first attempt ever to make meatballs

Here are the directions:

Preheat oven to 400
Chop small onion (around 1/4 cup volume) into tiny pieces and sauté

Combine the following ingredients in a large mixing bowl:
1 Pound Ground Beef
1 Egg
1/2 Cup Bread Crumbs
1/4 Cup Milk
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Pepper
Dash of Basil
Dash of Oregano
Onion that was previous sautéed

Mix well and roll into 2 inch balls.  Place in pan that is coated with non stick spray. 
Place in Oven for 20 minutes. You want all the pink color to be gone. If not, bake a bit longer.

Meatballs - MI00199

The pan pictured above was originally full, but I decided to sample before snapping the picture.  It wasn't bad for a first try.  I will probably fine tune things on future attempts.

Windows 10 Search Bar Issue Solved

A computer at work has had Windows 10 for a couple or weeks now and seemed to function fine until Thursday. The search bar located along the bottom of the screen to the right of the "window-start" button no longer worked.  Nothing could be typed into the search box..

Online searches offered several suggested that all failed for me.  I found an easy solution that happened to work for me.  I can't say that this will be the solution for you, but share what I did in case the information is helpful.  Apparently I had 'Background Apps' running by default.  Turning this option off got my search box operational again.  Here's how I did it:

1. Hit Window/start button in left bottom corner of screen
2. Select "settings"
3. Select "privacy"
4. Select "background apps"
5. Slide the sliders to "off" position

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Woodchuck

There have been woodchucks living under my shed for quite some time.  I never did much about it, thinking that any problems would be minimal or unnoticed.

It seems that they have been gnawing away at some of my shed. At first, I thought that the wood was just rotting away.  This may be true, but the damage seems to be in the vicinity of the active borrow entrances rather than throughout the entire area causing me to blame the woodchucks.

I don't want to harm the woodchucks but simply want them to go away.  A friend was kind enough to give me four bags of gravel.  I used it to fill the holes knowing that they can dig through it, but hoping that constantly refilling the hole will aggravate them enough to look for a new home away from me that will require less work on their part to maintain.  Been doing this for a while now, and it's down to just a single active tunnel.

Getting home today, I was surprised to see a visitor near my door:

Woodchuck - YD00173

I'm not sure if street noises were frightening it but it stayed backed into a corner.  Two and a half hours passed and it still remained.  I saw a fly whizzing around it and landing from time to time and then the thought occurred that the woodchuck could be a danger to any people that might stop by to visit.

How to get it to leave without hurting it?  I threw some water at it.  It ran and took cover under my car.  I noisily approached the car, and to my surprise  it stayed under there.  I hit the horn with still no result.  I started and moved the car to finally see him run for cover into some of the back yard brush.

I felt a bit of compassion for the critter, not knowing what it was feeling.  It may have an additionally trying time as before I saw him near my door, I had just refilled the tunnel entrance.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Skillet - Part Two

Continuing my exploration of cast iron skillets

An errand last weekend brought me close to a fairly large flea market.  The though occurred to me to try and find a larger frying pan than the one that I currently have. 

There were a several pans available from a few vendors.  Some had a smooth cooking surface, but it felt to me as if they were modern pans that were sanded down.  The others also looked modern and suffered from quite a bit of rust.  The prices ran from $18 to $49.

Later on, I bumped into someone who I knew (through a family member) who was running a booth there for a friend.  We chatted for awhile and I told him of my fry pan quest.  He said he thought he know just the person to see and led me to the far end of the flea market where there was a vendor with several pans to chose from. I selected the pan shown below for $25.

MI00197-Griswold Pan
Griswold Pan

The pan is a Griswold #6 pan.  There is a "6" on top of the handle and the bottom reads "NO 6, GRISWOLD, EIRE PA, 699"

MI00196 - Griswold Pan
another view

The cooking surface is fairy smooth, but there is a small bit of coarseness (if that the right word?) that can be felt though I wonder if it is from old build up rather than part of the pan.  It is suggested that I rub it down with salt and a damp cloth.  I don't see any signs of rust.

- Griswold Pan
pan bottom

I will most likely try to rub it all down with a damp cloth and salt and then season the pan again and then try to use it.

Sunday, March 27, 2016


An exploration of cast iron skillets

I remember how my grandmother used to spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen.   She was quite a cook! Perhaps some time I may go further and elaborate on all of the things that she would make, but for now I bring up the point of whenever she would fry up some eggs, or make crepes, or toast dore', she would use this big old cast iron fry pan.

My own fry pan experience started, best I can recall, was with just a stainless steel fry pan.  I later moved on to a Teflon coated pan as it was easier to clean up afterwards.  Over the past few months I have thought of trying out a cast iron fry pan to see how it goes for me.  I had only used them a few times in the past and don't really recall any good experiences, but my kitchen skills are somewhat improved now.

The first thing I wanted to do was to get an older pan.  The older pans seem to have a smoother cooking surface than the newer ones so it makes sense to me.  The older pans can be found on-line, but I am apprehensive as I worry about potential problems that I might not see until the delivery of the product.  Things like excessive rust, warping, or even cracking.  My goal is to keep watch at local thrift stores. Time passed with only the appearance of a few modern pans.

I recently had the good fortune to finally find a pan! The pan's underside faintly read Wagner Ware 105.    I wonder if the pan was once rusted and sanded down to cause the faintness.  I presume the date  of manufacture to be between 1914 and 1959. 

Wagner - MI00194
Wagner Pan

The pan has a diameter of about six inches.  Ideally I would prefer ten to twelve, so I will keep my eyes open for a larger one in the future.

I've seasoned the pan, and the cooking surface feels fairly smooth, but visually has some resinous looking globs.  A friend told me that I did a good job and that it would look better with use.

I will make a mention that I have two other larger pans, but they are modern.  One says Wagner 1891 on the underside.  I believe it was commemorating their one hundredth anniversary, but it is a modern pan.  The other says Lodge USA SK8. The two newer pans have a coarser feel to the cooking surface.  Some of
the deeper areas have a faint rust-brown color. Hopefully, the color  visible in the photo below.  Clicking on it should bring you to a more detailed photo.

Lodge - MI00193
 Modern Lodge Pan

I haven't begun any cooking with these pans yet.  I'm only holding off to get a bit more information before I start. I really would like to use a larger pan my question is: Until I buy an older style pan, are my large pans with the bit of rust color safe to use?  Will I be happy enough using them, or should I hold off until I can find older pans?

Saturday, November 07, 2015


A recap of raking the lawn

My yard is one that requires minimal raking to maintain the look it's had.  Typically, I don't rake at all.  The plants seemed to be different this year in a lot of ways.  Of course, now that I bring it up, I doubt that I can recall most of these ways, but do recall the gay feather seemed dormant just to have one shoot come up and it did not develop much this year.  Then there was the 'wild apple tree' that fell down.  There were several large tree branches that also came down on separate occasions.  The apple tree just did not look right this year.  It seemed overwhelmed by its fruit, the branches reminding me of a weeping willow.

This year, there were more leaves than ever.  Granted it did not rival any of the neighbors, but it was far more than I've been accustomed to.  The front yard looks much the same as any year, but the density of fallen leaves increased as you went further back.  "Smokey's stone" was totally covered.

The breeze was fragrant, and carried the scent of leaves and apples while I passed the rake.  Exposure of a small patch of grass yielded a bit  of a surprise.  There were some dainty looking mushrooms: 

Mushrooms - YD00168 
 View from the grass

Mushrooms - YD00170
View of the tops, looking down on them
 Mushrooms - YD00172
One on left is upside down

I filled two trash with compacted down leaves.  The yard is far from clear, but since more leaves will fall, the rest will wait for now.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Tiger-eye Project

Hoping to determine the approximate value of two pieces of tiger-eye.

Tiger-eye, tigereye, and tiger's eye are three of the variant spellings I've seen for this well know material.  Some time ago my father bought me two pieces of tiger-eye.  I'm wondering of anyone would have a reasonable guess as to their value separately or together.  Please also note that I am NOT looking to sell them, as they were a gift from my dad.

The first piece is approximately 12x7x2.5 cm.  It's rather hard to describe the dimensions of these pieces accurately due to their angles.  This piece weighs about 545 grams:
Tiger-eye - MIN00093
The second piece measures about 11/7/3 cm and weighs about 538 grams:

Tiger-eye - MIN00094
Below is a picture of both to see them from a different perspective.
Tiger-eye - MIN00095
Your comments are appreciated.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Timber !

A tree falling in my yard meant for even more things to do

Sometimes things get busy.  Maybe just a little too busy when I need to
have it pointed out to me that a tree fell down in my back yard.  We had a
heavy, windy, rainstorm the other day with tornado watches not too far away. 
I guess that is when it happened.  I've called it the wild apple tree. Not
really being well versed as to what the tree was formally called.  Crab
apple? Something else?  It would produce notable bright flowers in the

The tree was laden with small fruits.  This with the winds and rain must
have been too much for it.

I went out and started trimming away at some of the fallen branches and a
neighbor asked if I'd like for him to bring his chainsaw over and give a hand. 
I was elated!  He was back in minutes and cutaway at all the thicker parts of the tree.

I was happy to continue cutting away at the thinner branches of my now
drastically reduced work load.  A family member came and helped me haul all
of the cut branches into piles.


Another family member plans to help me haul the stuff away.  The nice thing
is that he has a friend that will use the thicker pieces for firewood.

I feel blessed to have such good family and neighbors.

And now for the final questions:  If this tree did in fact fall down and no one was
there to hear it did it make a noise?  If Berkeley were around would we
hear him groan?*

*due to my awful attempt at humor

Thursday, January 01, 2015

iTunes Answer

Found a solution to my iTunes Problem

 I searched through several online forums trying to find how to fix my iTunes issue (see my last blog post for details).  Some described my issue but none of their solutions were able to work for me.  I played around with my personal iTunes setting and found a solution:

 I found that each individual podcast can have different settings from the others.  Some how, that podcast's settings were different from the others so I needed to change it. 
 I highlighted the podcast's top line on the list, the line that shows the podcast name which is above the listing of any individual shows. 
 After highlighting, I clicked the "settings" button on the lower right of my screen.
 Saw the "Limit Episodes" option was set to "2 most recent".  Changed "Limit Episodes" to "Off"

 Everything seems to work fine now.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

iTunes Question

Running iTunes 12.  One of the podcasts I subscribe to sends off all their shows (about six) at one time, once a week.  When I update iTunes one show will download and the rest appear with an 'on the cloud' symbol.  I wind up having to manually download each if them.  How do I get iTunes to automatically download all of these new shows?

Any help or suggestions are much appreciated. My Current Podcast settings:
Refresh: Manually
Limit Episodes: Off
Down Load Episodes: On
Delete Played Episodes: Off

Friday, October 17, 2014

Food Friday - American Chop Suey

American Chop Suey is "comfort food" for some people.  My early memories of having served at the school cafeteria.  For me, it was an okay tasting item, but it was mid-range for me.  I liked it, but would not want to go out of my way for it.

Years later, friends and family have made it for me.  I liked what they had all made much more than the school's version,  but each person's dish tasted somewhat different than another's.  The thing is, it can be made with various ingredients in varying amounts.  I made some recently are liked the results.  What I did is described below (I did take photo, but was hurried and the picture did not come out well, so I've deleted it).

Brown 1 pound of ground beef in large pan
Occasionally stir the pan contents gently until all is done
Add in 1 1/2 tablespoon of dried minced onion or one small fresh onion
Add in 3/4 tablespoon of paprika
Add a few pinches of black pepper or 1 chopped green pepper
Mix in contents from 24 ounce pasta sauce jar
Let simmer and continue to occasionally stir contents.
Cook al dente 12 ounces of elbow macaroni in separate pot of water
Drain pasta when it is cooked and mix it into the pan of simmering items.
After the pasta is mixed in, the American Chop Suey is ready to serve.
Serves about 4.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

This Old Laptop Part 2

Some of my experience with installing Solydx on my laptop. 

I'll start with some background from my original November post and then tell you about this weekend.

I was fortunate enough to get a hold of a laptop this year for $49.  If you’re wondering it’s a Dell Latitude D600, 1.4 GHz, I GB memory, 40 gig hard drive, Wi0Fi, DVD/CD/RW and the AC adapter.  I was told that the battery most likely would not hold a charge.  I came loaded with windows XP.

My original thought was to replace XP with a different operating system.  I tried a few live cds, or should I say flash drives so could test run them first and noticed that many of them would not operate.  I’ve heard that sometimes certain distros will not work in certain machines but had no idea what the underlying reasons were here. My first successful launch was with Peppermint (version 2) which ran live without a hitch. I ran it live, without installing.  I later found out that I could run operating systems live as long as they did not require PAE.  I continued using the machine occasionally over the past several months, but only booted up and ran from live flash drives.

Yesterday I realized why I was dragging my feet to permanently replace XP with another system.  I was afraid that I'd lose something, as if there was some valuable and irreplaceable software on my forty- nine dollar machine.  Yeah, right.  
Windows XP - Tech00001

Original Windows XP Screen The insight of having nothing to lose hit me when I hit a wrong button by mistake, and saw that a program that I thought was on the machine only had a link to get you to where you could download it and many other similar items.  Microsoft office was not there either, instead being represented by Microsoft Works.  I still had a fear that the wireless would not work if I wiped out XP, so had to keep on reminding myself that if wireless ran off the live flash drives they should run on a new install.

I began to try to decide on a distro this time to install.  I looked at a few live versions again to try to decide:

Peppermint: I thought this would have been great on the laptop, but if I chose it, I'd have to use an old version.  The current versions required PAE

Mint Debian: This was going to be my choice, but when running live it seemed to take too much of the system resources.  This is most likely because I was trying to run a Cinnamon desktop.  Sadly as I am very comfortable with Mint and Cinnamon

Bohdi Linux: Seemed very light on resources. Their browser was new to me.

After the sampling above, I thought I'd prefer a desktop that I was familiar with.  I like Cinnamon, but with this machine believe I need something lighter, so thought of XFCE as a desktop.

I decided to install Solydx as it came with XFCE. The installation process surprised me, as there was a bit more than what I was accustomed to. It asked me where I wanted to install the system and where I wanted to install root (they suggest it is not the same as /home). Yikes, this was new to me. I thought my choice was simple,  GParted then opened at one point, and GParted is new to me too. I guessed and must have made bad choices as the installation continued for a while and then later froze. The hard drive no longer functioned and I got to see a "black screen of death". Pretty dramatic, huh?

I did not know what to do at this point, but thought that I might need to get the hard  drive functioning normally again first, so took out the Peppermint Stick (ooh I loved saying that) and easily installed Peppermint.
Peppermint - Tech00002

Peppermint Fired Up ! I tried to research and understand a bit and then tried again to install Solydx again.  This time I tried to assign partitions as root and /home.  My understanding of how to partition a hard drive is lacking, and I'm sure I will learn quickly.  If anyone has suggestions as better proportions, etc please feel free to contact me.  The current partitions are shown below:
Partition - Tech00004
Current Partitioning On New Solydx

I did not fully understand it all, but the install ran easily after that and the laptop is running fine.
Solydx Start Screen

Saturday, June 14, 2014

New Addition

It felt something like riding a bicycle when you haven't done so in years: The first few moments are awkward and clumsy as you push forward, not in as direct of a path that you envisioned, but weaving in and out a bit, adjusting to your desired course. Your fine as soon as you get the momentum going.

The feeling was similar to me as I did some thing that I haven't done in years. Years. The event was adding a mineral specimen into the collection.

A piece of fluorite struck my fancy at a mineral show last year. It is a piece of blue fluorite from Alben, France. The shade and color may be the reason I was drawn to it, reminding me somewhat of material that I've seen from New Mexico, although this piece was paler. The French locality did not hurt either.
Fluorite - MIN00086

It did not take me long to record everything into my system. I hand wrote a tag, placed the piece into a tray that was previously readied, and filled out three file cards, as I normally do. This was follow up by the newer things that I do, I enter some general data onto a spreadsheet, and also any pertinent bits of information into a written draft that is slowly becoming a book.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Food Friday - Deviled Eggs

I had never cooked deviled eggs before and decided to give it a try. 

First I needed to hard boil some eggs.  This is how I did it:
Place eggs pan that has a cover.
Add water to cover  two inches above the eggs
Add a bit of salt if desired.
Bring water to a boil.
Remove from heat, cover and let it sit for twelve minutes.
Remove eggs, cool down with cold water.

Next was making the eggs:
12 Hardboiled eggs
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
2 Teaspoons Mustard

Peel eggs then slice eggs lengthwise in half
Remove yolks.  Place in bowl.  Blend well with Mayonnaise and Mustard. 
Put blended material back into the sectioned egg white.
Sprinkle with paprika
Keep refrigerated until ready to eat

And this was the end result:

Deviled Eggs - MI00184

Not bad.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Super 8 Film Reels and Slides

Recording Super 8 Film Reels and Slides into a digital format

My mother was once an avid photographer.  I had inherited her Super 8 film reels all 37 of them. 
A short while ago I came across an article somewhere that mentioned old family films.  It stated that over time the film becomes brittle and that also the quality of the color can diminish.  My films had been sitting in rather poor storage conditions for quite some time.  I came to the decision that I should try to have them recorded digitally and now. 

I sent out a small reel to a professional transfer company to see what it would look like.  They immediately warned me before even doing the work that with the quality of the film I might not be happy with the results.  I had them proceed.  Yeah, you could tell it was an old home movie.  Shopped around around on line and found a company that I thought had a good balance of quality and economy.  If I would use the to go convert all the films it would cost me roughly eight hundred dollars.  At that cost I decided to experiment and try to do it myself.

I took out the small hand cranked viewer that I had, and tried recording the images with a digital camera.  It was pointless.  The two were no compatible.  Most everything came up on the camera as a bright blur.

 Next I decided to take out the old projector.  My sister had a projector screen, and let me borrow it for the project.  The projector, like the films were stored in the shed some time ago.  This was a bad decision on my part as they were exposed to excessive temperature extremes.  And then of course,  that was the shed that blew away (really it was. Find it in an older post).  I started up the projector.  The motor struggled sounding like an out of shape runner in a marathon.  The reels jolted with varying speeds and sometimes stood still.  This obviously just wouldn't work.

I had a friend that had a old projector and was nice enough to let me borrow it.  With borrowed projector and screen, I continued.  I play the films and recorded them with a digital camera.  The digital camera produced a Quicktime file.  I gave up on one of the reels, as it broke several times during the attempted play, and a second one later on, but the rest played adequately.

I downloaded two programs, DeVeDe and Brasero and used them to convert the files and then burn them onto DVDs that I can  watch them on my television.

My sister had slides and a slide projector.  The two of us worked together.  She worked the projector while I snapped the camera.  The work was in itself simple, but was an effort as there were about four thousand pictures.  When done, I burned all these images to DVD.  I think we picked a good time for the project as some of the slides were showing signs that the quality was degrading.

In hindsight, I learned more camera technique while going along with all this and could have done a bit better.  Overall, I think the results were of good quality considering the source materials, and the cost was minimal.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

This Old Lap Top

Resolving issues with an old laptop

I wanted a lap top.  I didn’t care if it was old and had minor wear, just to be easily portable and function so that I could take it to the few times that I meet with someone and might have need of such a thing while away.

I was fortunate enough to get a hold of a laptop this year for $49.  If you’re wondering it’s a Dell Latitude D600, 1.4 GHz, I GB memory, 40 gig hard drive, Wi0Fi, DVD/CD/RW and the AC adapter.  I was told that the battery most likely would not hold a charge.  I came loaded with windows XP.

My original thought was to replace XP with a different operating system.  I tried a few live cds, or should I say flash drives so could test run them first and noticed that many of them would not operate.  I’ve heard that sometimes certain distros will not work in certain machines but had no idea what the underlying reasons were here.  My first successful launch was with Peppermint (version 2) which ran live without a hitch.

I did not know what the cause was for the failure of so many other distros and the success of Peppermint2.  I tried another distro and got a couple lines of explanation on the screen:

“This kernel requires the following features not present on the CPU: PAE”

...So my Central Processing Unit (CPU) can not handle Physical Address Extension (PAE).
PAE is a feature to allow a 32-bit x86 unit to access a physical address space larger than 4 GB.  It looks like most  of the newer kernels are PAE enabled and they would need a CPU that can also support PAE.  
Okay I get it now.  That explains why Peppermint2 works on the machine, but newer Peppermint4 that is PAE enabled will not.

So my next step is to consider some of the distros out there that I believe will be compatible.  This is some I’ve come up with:

Peppermint 2 (which is not their current edition)
SolydK or SolydXK
Linux Mint Debian Edition
All of this may not matter much with the purchase of newer machines as 64 bit machines are much more common now, but this info may be helpful if you are trying to install on an older machine.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Checking In

Just wanted to shout out an update for those who were wondering, although it will be read by more who were not.  My posts have been infrequent for a reason.  It's not necessarily a bad reason, it's basically that life has been in the way.  Yeah, I've been that busy.  Work hours peaked awhile back, just in time as my water heater broke down, same time that a car repair was needed.  Financially it was one step forwards and two back. 

The work hours are now back down to the norm.  I've started some work about the house as the last post mentioned, but need to do a lot more catch up around here.  The house needs a deep clean, revamp, and reorganization.  I attend some group meetings, and I'm often doing addition things that spin off of that.  Family and friends...remember me?  I hope to see a lot more of you.

I want to clear the deck so to speak and get myself set up to tackle several new projects.  Problem is I need to also take care of some older uncompleted ones.  Everyday life just keeps on tackling me repeatedly.  Looks like my immediate future will be full of yak shaving. 
After this post is published.  I'll be continuing by looking at my email.  While reading I'll have some music on, and enjoying a coffee.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


As far as painting experience, I’d say mine is minimal. Basically I’ve done four projects to date.

A few years back I painted a furniture piece. I’m sure it was nothing elaborate for most people, but at the time it seemed like a major project as far as I was concerned. It was a storage unit of sorts with a couple long drawers and some cubby holes that was originally under a bed. The unit was mostly an open frame. I had taken some old paneling and covered the gaps to make it easier on the eyes and more practical. The paneling was cheap and aged, so I had decided to paint it and give it a facelift.

The second project was painting all the exposed masonry at the exterior of the house. It’s a small house, but the amount of painting that needed to be done might surprise you. My sister has a good amount of experience painting. She came over, gave me direction, and pitched in doing a good share of the work.

Number three is updating a room in the house. Took out the wallpaper and rug that had both seen better days and have repainted the ceiling and walls. My sister came and assisted again, and quite frankly, I would not have even attempted the project without her support. My second and third project have at least produced for me a crash instructional course on how to paint.

The overall work in the room is still not completed. Seasonal changes in temperature caused me to shift my attention over to the outside of the house.

Project four involved exterior painting. It may be true that I still had plenty of time to complete it at leisure, but was concerned that my schedule or the weather might hinder me until spring unless I did it now. Two items were tackled here, the first a window that that was missing much of its paint showing mostly just the bare wood. Secondly, a door. The door was far from pristine to begin with.

The work done with project four vastly improved the window and door, It also made two things happen: It got me more comfortable with painting. It also got me to see a myriad of mistakes made along the way. They are all minor and well over shadowed by the overall improvement. The only issue created is that I find fault with more things and want them changed. The window in the door had a plastic covering that was downright gruesome looking as it had not aged well and was deteriorating. I’ve since replaced it with a simple curtain.

There just so much to do and it all takes time. We’ll see where all goes.