All posts for the month April, 2007

Yesterday was my birthday. I am now 1000000 years old (in binary), that’s an even 100 years in octal, 64 years in plain old decimal and only 40 years in hexadecimal. Regardless of the number system used, it was a fine birthday and I now have many new toys to play with. So here, in the order I opened them, is a tally of the loot.

Click to enlargeA neat little ornament for out by our pond. This little dragon will really look cool out there. It was from good friends Janet and Bruce. Thanks guys!

Click to enlargeNext was something rather geeky but something I really wanted. Luckily, Jan doesn’t mind buying me geeky gifts. It’s a small equatorial mount and tripod that will allow me to take better astronomical photographs. It has a clock drive to allow longer exposures. In the picture I have my Nikon D80 on the mount.

Click to enlargeThe next package opened was from son Steev. He got me this really cool T-shirt, one that I had seen on-line and been coveting for a while.

Click to enlargeSon Allan and daughter-in-law Jeannette, who live in Germany, sent me this really great Easter basket filled with European dark chocolate – YUM! I’m trying to make it last rather than gobble it down in one day as is my inclination!

Click to enlargeThe final gift was another from Jan. She really went overboard on me this year. It was a new lens for my camera. Not just any lens either. It’s the Nikkor VR 70-300mm zoom lens. This will be great for wildlife photography and also for candid shots. I’ve already taken some pretty neat (IMHO) pictures with it so expect a post about them soon.

I hope this doesn’t sound too much like bragging. It was such a great birthday that I can’t help talking about it. Everyone should be so lucky.

I don’t want this blog to deteriorate into just bitching about the weather but things are getting ridiculous! Here it is, the day before my birthday, and what are we getting? Snow, sleet, ice and wind! This hasn’t happened since 1973! Look at this. Notice the nice green grass under the trees. Hope the plants still are able to bloom.

The power has been flickering occasionally but so far it has stayed up. Below is a picture of the ice on a guy wire of my ham radio antenna tower. Overall the ice is about 3/4 inch in diameter. So far, no problem but I wouldn’t want to be walking under it when the ice starts dropping off!

I promise I’ll post something positive once good weather finally arrives.

Jinxing Spring

  • First, we had the lawn tractor converted from its winter configuration to the summer mode. This is complicated and strenuous enough that I’ve given up trying to do it myself and hire it out.
  • Pruning flowers, cleaning flower beds and picking up the winter debris in the yard. This seems to be a never-ending job but worse in this spring.
  • Then, tricked by temporary warm weather, we got all the deck furniture out and scrubbed up. All ready for warm spring days and starry nights.
  • Finally we got the pond opened up. This is another big job involving draining, cleaning out leaves and dirt, reinstalling the pump and refilling. Again, I would rather pay someone to do this rather than ruin my back while doing a half-assed job myself.

Of course, all of these preparations caused the weather deities to chuckle and chant “Not so fast, Mortal!“, accompanied with lightning bolts, thunder, rain and wind.

So spring has fizzled out. We had some nice days a few weeks ago. Now, because of our hubris – WHAMMO! Hazardous weather, dropping temperatures and a forecast of snow this week. Sorry,- mea culpa. Still, all of you in the midwest should be grateful that we have not yet gotten our Miata out of winter storage. Had we done that, there would be snow and ice covered roads in all the states surrounding Iowa. I’ll post a warning before we take that perilous step.

Updating a friends web site

Once it got too nasty to do stuff outside I decided I would work on some long overdue updating to a friends web site. This should not have been that much of a job, only needing new text for half a dozen pages. But as all easy jobs go, little things crept in. There were links to update, out-of-date references to remove (without breaking the navigation) and fixing the “Oops” discoveries. I had to resist the urge to completely rewrite the CSS for the site, though that will have to be done sometime soon.

And just in case my friend drops by, I have to say I really don’t mind doing this. It keeps me involved in coding and lets me try out new things when I feel like it. Still it does take time.

Preventing office avalanches

Then there is the never ending battle with keeping my office from being listed as a hazardous area. I tend to pile things up and if not careful small children and pets could be lost in the clutter. Sometimes I just have to shut down the computer and get out the shovel. Unfortunately I seem to be able to create clutter faster than I can deal with it.