Tuesday, April 25, 2017

It's A Small World

Yeah, I know it's been a while but here we are so let's move on...

Last summer I was walking Mocha, on her leash, in the field area between the townhouses in our development and the single family houses.  A family was about a hundred yards away with their dog - off leash.  The dog spots us and comes racing towards us.  No biggie - dogs do that.  He was much smaller than Mocha and after the customary sniffing, he suddenly jumped at her and started biting!  I was trying to pull Mocha away but it was on!  The owner ran up full of apologies and we went on our way.  The next week, we were back in the field - and so was the guy and his dog.  Again off leash.  He saw us coming and tried to grab his dog but it took off and was running our way.  This time, I gave Mocha lots of slack - she was going to defend herself.  Sure enough, after a few sniffs, that dog went nuts trying to bite Mocha's neck!  She is so big and hairy that he did no damage and pretty quickly, the owner was there pulling it off Mocha.  But I was mad!  One time is forgivable - two times and you have a pattern.  I told the guy he better get control of his dog and get it on a leash like the law requires.  He was full of apologies again and off we went.  I bought a container of pepper spray and keep it on the leash now and I talked to a friend who lives in the townhouses and knows the owner - I told him to tell the guy that next time, the dog is getting sprayed and I am calling the police.

When I got in the neighborhood yesterday, there were a lot of, "Lost Cat" posters put up on the light poles.  I did my daily review of the game cam footage and saw a cat strolling by that looked a lot like the cat in the posters.  So I called the number and got the owner's email address and sent him some pictures and videos from the cam.  He confirmed it was his cat.  He said he would come over with some cat food and I grabbed my live animal trap to set out.  We met in the driveway and headed out back.  As we were walking, he asked me if I was the guy that walked my dog in the field?  I said, yes I was and he said he was the guy with the "crazy dog."  Well, how about that?!  Of all people to have lost their cats...  It was awkward for a moment or two but we shook hands and went about our business of setting the trap while he called for it.   (The story has a happy ending - the cat showed up on camera again last night but avoided the trap and made its way home safe and sound.)

The older I get, the smaller the world becomes....

Sunday, September 11, 2016

I Shutter To Think About It

Yesterday, Lucie was at an all day scrap-booking event so I thought I would create a project and paint the faded house shutters.  Rather than going through the hassle of taking them down, painting them, and putting them back up, I thought I could just tape them off, put some paper around, and spray paint them in place.  Lesson learned...  It was WICKED humid but I was in the shade and it wasn't hard work.  I could reach the bottom windows on the step ladder but the upper windows required a lot of up and down climbing.  The smaller bathroom window was a story in and of itself - I couldn't reach it from the ladder so I wound up contorting myself out through it.  Plenty of neighbors out and about so they all got a good show.  Anyway, as the day went on, I could feel myself getting more and more tired.  I was drinking lots of water and taking breaks - but the only cold water from the garage fridge was carbonated.  And that came back to haunt me.  I finally got it done, but had to cancel dinner plans with friends because I was throwing up...  ha!  The heat, carbonated water, and twisting out the bathroom window all added up to a bit of a breakdown.  A cold shower helped a little but the bigger problem came later in the evening when the leg cramps literally kicked in.  That was rough.  Lucie came home and got me some Gatorade, Jell-O and chicken noodle soup.  I started feeling better pretty quick but those cramps were killer.  Feeling good today but my legs feel like I ran a marathon.  The shutters look great tho! (Left=before / right = after)

Friday, July 15, 2016

Doing Unto Others

I was in line at the grocery store today and the woman ahead of me realized, as she was paying, that she didn't have enough money in her account.  Just barely.  She had to put back a loaf of bread.  I told the cashier to put it with my stuff and I would buy it.  Of course the lady was very grateful but I told her I had been where she was and all was good.  Then I tried to lighten the moment by joking that I hoped that loaf of bread didn't cost $20!  She said it was just two dollars and the cashier finished ringing her up.  Oddly enough, for some "strange" reason, the cashier told her that she in fact had extra money on her account (I think it was an EBT card).  How much?  $2!  So the woman was able to buy her own bread, thanked me again, and went on her way.  When it was my turn to pay, the cashier said that because I was patient while she worked with the woman, she was giving me a $5 credit.  Not expected, not needed, and not my intention - but I felt God was smiling on me...

Monday, June 6, 2016

Mr. FixIt

It has been a busy few days fixing all sorts of stuff - or at least trying too.

Here we have the vacuum -

We never could get the replacement filter to fit properly.  But that didn't stop me from shoving one in and carrying on with the job.  We thought maybe it was generic filters not fitting right but after buying the name brand one, we found that one didn't fit either.  So off to Wal-Mart I went to look at their floor model.  Took it apart and took a picture and came home.  Eureka (pun intended) - the bottom of a previous filter was stuck in the housing.  Yanked that out with a pair of pliers and the new one popped right in.

The on-going issue, that may very well beat me, is air bubbles in the return jet to the pool - but only when the solar valve is open and only when the valve that diverts the water between the stairs and the wall jets is in a particular position.  I replaced O rings and swapped valves and tightened everything that could be tightened - still got the pesky bubbles.  They don't hurt anything but somewhere, somehow, air is getting sucked in.  On a positive, pool related note, I did manage to move the solar sensor to the top roof near the panels and that seems to really be helping in terms of valve opening and closing.  Season high of 81ยบ today and Mocha and spent some time in there together.

Today I was on the elliptical and noticed this wet spot on the floor coming from the AC unit:

Not good.  Called our AC guy and texted him a picture.  He called me right back and told me to check the condensation drain pipes that come off the unit and basically dump into a hole in the floor.  When I lifted them up, a big plug of dirt and debris blew out and condensation began flowing freely.  That was an easy one.

And finally, one of the solar powered driveway markers wouldn't light up anymore.  They are just basically a re-chargeable battery, solar panel and LED light.  So tonight I took that apart and found a tiny wire had become unsoldered.  That was another quick and easy (and free!) fix.

So it has been busy but overall everything has been either fixable or inconsequential.  And I can live with that...

Friday, June 3, 2016

Ashleigh Graduation 2016

It was a long and expensive time coming but Ashleigh graduated on May 19, 2016.  We were so proud.  She is on her way!