Sunday, June 14, 2015

Photo Op

We had a visitor to the bird bath the other day; a young hawk.  Needless to say there weren't a lot of other birds hanging around!  He didn't stay long but did hang around for one portrait.
The birdbath is attracting attention these days.  It's getting warm outside and everyone needs a little water.  We even had a crow stop by one day.  (No photo, he was shy and quick.)  Plenty of the ordinary birds:  pigeons, doves, sparrows and finches are the most common.  Once in a while we spot a newbie but this isn't exactly on the way to anywhere!

I mentioned the fun with the septic tank.  Found a photo that gives one an idea of the job.
This big old tanker truck with a tractor on a trailer was just the thing.  The top of the tank is about four feet down (1.2M) so we were all glad the guy had a tractor.  No one knew exactly where the openings were so he used a tool to probe around in the ground then proceded to dig in exactly the right place.  You've gotta say it might be a stinky job but he sure knew what he was doing.  Yes, the black thing in the photo is the 'straw' they use to suck up the sewage.

I said it's getting warm.  Here's the latest from the Fox news in Las Vegas.
That's 39C-41C for our highs and around 27C for lows.  Needless to say we are running the a/c a lot.  It is basically 24/7 now for a while.  We like to walk around our neighborhood but when it is this warm we either go really early or not at all.  A new alternative is for us (wifey needs exercise too) go to the gym.  Yes, I said  gym.  It's not a word you've heard from my mouth (keyboard) before but there it is.  As part of my medical care under Medicare (health plan for oldies here in the states) I have a gym membership.  I haven't used it much but these days a treadmill in an airconditioned building is better than walking in the neighborhood at 05:30 or so.  I tried out a stationary cycle; found muscles I didn't know I had in 2 miles.  I tried out an eliptical stepper thing; yep, more muscles I didn't know I had.  Finally tried the treadmill; at least I can do that!  I strained my foot back when we were in Ireland and 15 minutes on the treadmill make it quite painful.  There is something about the surface that is harder on my foot than ordinary walking.  Still, gotta move it or lose it.  They also have strength-training machines.  These are weird machines I've never seen and can hardly figure out how to use even when I'm reading the directions!  I tried two of them:  one for your chest and one for your abs.  I guess they are ok but it's another episode of 'old dog, new tricks'.  As though the new pc wasn't enough.

That's it for today.  My spouse wants to go to the gym again.  Stock market hint:  buy Advil!  Have a good one.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

More Life in the Fast Lane

We are spending most of our time inside these days since the triple digit days are here.  Actually we are hovering in the high 90's most days but we have seen 101F (38C).  To bring some excitement to my life I have just purchased a new computer:  an HP Envy 17" laptop.  Wow is that some learning curve!  My old machine is from 2008 and had a pretty basic version of Windows Vista.  I know some people had a lot of trouble with Vista but actually I was fairly happy.  The new machine is Windows 8.1; it has lots more screen (!) and it's a touchscreen to boot.  So far it's acceptable but from time to time it decides to cancel what I've typed or delete an email without consulting me.  It's just learning curve I keep telling myself!

 One thing that has me going is the amount of software that I'm needing to download to make this thing work.  I forgot how many extra pieces of software are on the old machine.  Of course the stuff HP put on here is not my style at all.  It's a good thing we have a decent internet connection because I'm going to be using it!

Otherwise we did exciting stuff like having our septic tank pumped out.  That was a thrill!  We didn't know where the tank was; there is a pipe coming out of the ground but as it turns out the pipe is 2 feet west of the actual tank opening and 5 feet south.  Happily the guy who did it knows what he is doing and found the tank relatively quickly.  Then he had to dig down about three feet to the tank, remove both the caps and empty both chambers.  Two and a half hours and $500 later; we should be good for another 8-10 years. 

Anyway, that's it for today.  I'd post a photo or two but haven't resized them.  Maybe there is something on the machine that would do it but I don't recognize it if it is here.  Grrr!  Later