Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Had 2 Bags But Needed Much More

As an afterthought on my way home I bought two packages of miniature Snickers bars. I thought that would take care of the few stray Trick-or-Treaters who might come along.

Boy, was I wrong!

The crowd was just building when I ran out.

I actually turned the lights out and went into Scrooge mode.

The number of kids goes up and down from year to year and this was really an up year.

It is really fun.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


I do some surveys online because I find some of them to be thought provoking or just generally interesting.

There is very little money involved but the little bit I do get is nice too.

Today and yesterday are examples of the feeling of rejection involved at times though. I have been saving the count of survey email invitations and completions.

For yesterday and today the count so far is 38 received and the count that  I have qualified for and completed is 2. Yes, just two. Not exactly a great income producer.

Oh well. It is Sunday morning so there is plenty of time for improvement.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Holiday Weekend

Columbus Day (Monday) will come at just a good time for me. I think having a day off is just the thing for me.

I have not noticed any criticisms of Columbus this year. It seems to bring all the rights pushers out of the woodwork when tributes to Columbus are planned but they are not as obvious so far.

So the Vikings were here before him and maybe even some Chinese from way, way back. It was with Columbus and the other explorers of his era who are responsible for the settlement of this hemisphere.

Trash Day

With my high usage of items and disposal of the refuse I usually only take the trash to the curb once a month or so. Tonight was a nice night so I decided to take things out a little sooner than required.

I have a huge tote the village gave me a couple of years ago and did manage to get it half full. I also have a good sized  plastic container for things like newspapers and  plastic bottles that can be recycled. If I say so myself, I am pretty conscientious about this stuff.

There is a clear sky with about 2/3 of the moon shining down. I even took a little extra time to prune a couple of low hanging branches from the tree in front of the house. I did restrain myself from getting too enthusiastic because I was concerned about what the neighbors would think about this strange person doing gardening at night.

All-in-all though a very successful garbage night.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Neat Hearing Aid Things

I have a pretty up-to-date digital hearing aid. One of the interesting things is it has a built in capability to warn you when the battery is just about to run out.

About ten or fifteen minutes before the battery is going to die you get a special tone, like a chime. This is meant to give you enough time to change the battery. It doesn't always work that way because sometimes it goes off when you are driving or otherwise occupied. You do know as sure as anything though that you are soon to be much more deficient in the hearing department.

Thinking about it though, it is quite a capability to be able to go for a week or so and then be capable of measuring the output of the battery so you know within a few minutes when it will stop being capable of operating the hearing aid. This is my idea of one of the wonders of modern technology. It really is repeatable.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pedometer RIP

I have finally quit using the pedometer for counting my steps.

I have a very good one that saves the data for a couple of weeks if you want. Then you can, at your convenience, download the data to the computer. Great system because you do not have to type in anything or do anything else that may be difficult or time consuming.

Unfortunately though the weakness in the system has finally gotten me down - the batteries. Wanting to download about two weeks data I was greeted by a blank screen. The battery ran out and all the data was lost. Plus, if you install new batteries in this condition you have to enter the entire setup routine.

If this was the only time this happened I would just pass it off as a bad experience. Unfortunately though it has happened several times in the past.

My hearing aid  has a distinctive tone that it sounds off with about 15 minutes before going dead but the pedometer does not have any battery warning indication. Maybe some day I will get something like this built into another pedometer but for now the frustration is a little too great.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Quiet Night

I actually have all my work caught up and have a quiet period. No tv, no reading, no phone calls.

I am actually feeling pretty good right at the moment although from things I have gone through I still have sympathy for those in discomfort. May everyone's problems vanish for even a little while.

October is an interesting month in that it often is a mixture of the whole year's weather: very wet, very dry, very hot, very cold and a burst of growth from the lawn and hedges before the snows of November.

We are currently saturated from all the rain and the lawn needs mowing due to the growth spurt. So what's to do. Right hand for the mower and the left hand for the umbrella? As long as we do not have to shovel off the white stuff to mow the grass underneath. It is October and anything is possible weatherwise.

The heat is on again. The Halloween decorations are up or going up all over.

Food tastes great in the cooler weather and the sleeping is at its best.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Computer Problems

Last Sunday with just a little warning my computer decided it was time to go on vacation.

It has on infrequent occasions taken up shutting itself off. I did the normal thing and tried to ignore it. After all, it always started up right away afterwards.

Sunday was different - no pretty lighted button lighting. All was darkness.

I do have an older computer also but they are not synchronized. I could still work on my surveys and stuff. But I could not access my Verizon email accounts.

Turns out it was the power supply. Got it in Monday late. Got it back today (Wednesday). Also asked them to check the machine out completely and they found some viruses - malware and ad ware. Very frustrating because I am almost religious in my zeal to keep up to date antivirus software running.

All-in-all it was a not so good start to the week.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Go Figure - Hearing Test

I have been getting aggravated recently by the difficulty understanding conversations so I decided that after over 3 years it might be useful to get things checked out with the audiologist.

I have a digital hearing aid. She checked it out pretty well, got all the wax out and changed a little filter I often forget to check. She also adjusted it using the computer to change the audio filtering to blank out more of the background noise and amplify the foreground a little.

This really did seem to help somewhat but it was decided that due to the length of time since the last one that I should get my hearing test updated. This requires a prescription from a doctor and so we scheduled another appointment.

Today I went in for the test. She did have to remove some wax from my ear. I then repeated all the words I could hear and pressed the button when I heard the various tones in the earphones. After this was all finished, she smiled and told me my high frequency hearing actually tested better than the last time.

I did not know you could actually improve. I thought you were sort of doomed to reduced capability as time goes by. My problems that I was concerned about were probably wax related in the ear and the hearing aid. Maybe the tuneup helped or maybe I really am better than before.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

One of my favorites over the years.

"Solitude," by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850 - 1919).

Laugh, and the world laughs with you:
Weep, and you weep alone;
For the sad old earth
Must borrow its mirth,
It has trouble enough of its own.

Sing, and the hills will answer;
Sigh, it is lost on the air;
The echoes bound
To a joyful sound,
But shrink from voicing care.

Rejoice, and men will seek you;
Grieve, and they turn and go;
They want full measure
Of all your pleasure,
But they do not want your woe.

Be glad, and your friends are many;
Be sad, and you lose them all;
There are none to decline
Your nectared wine,
But alone you must drink life's gall.

Feast, and your halls are crowded;
Fast, and the world goes by;
Succeed and give,
And it helps you live,
But it cannot help you die.

There is room in the halls of pleasure
For a long and lordly train;
But one by one
We must all file on
Through the narrow aisles of pain.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Street Photography

I thought this may be too long but as I watched it I grew more fascinated.

I got this from the Observer VeryShortList.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

What Were You Doing in 1965?

USS General J. C. Breckinridge (AP-176)

I was taking a boat ride!

In June to August of 1965 LBJ decided to put 50,000 troops into Vietnam and I was available. After all this time I am a little fuzzy on details but we might have arrived in June.

Just happened across this picture a little while ago of my 'cruise ship' for my trip from Oakland to Pearl Harbor and Yokohama and finally Cam Ranh Bay.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Nice Saturday Night

Just a nice Saturday night. Temperature is dropping a little to help the sleeping. I really do not want to overdo it too much but weather like this could actually get me liking the summer a little.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Quick Cellphone Photos of the Niagara

It was not sunny but it was very warm so I took a quick ride to the foot of Ferry St. on the west side of Buffalo. The breezes off the lake are just the medicine I needed for heat-funk.

This is a look down river using my cheapest model low resolution cell phone camera. The water is moving sort of fast around here.

This is a look straight across the river toward Ft.Erie Ontario. The ferryboat back in the good old days of long ago used to run from here to the buildings you see on the other side of the river.

This is the Peace Bridge upriver. Behind it is Lake Erie, the source of the cooling breezes I was enjoying.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Who is This?

Sandor Petofi was known as the poet of Hungary. He was a very popular poet around the revolutionary times 1848. This statue is located in Riverside Park in Buffalo, NY.

The Britannica article above shows he probably lived much longer than was believed.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lean Year for Lilacs

It has been sort of a wet spring. Everything is growing like crazy. I have even mowed the lawn twice already.
For some reason my lilacs seemed to come out early this year and are not as numerous as I remember them in the past.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Laundry Adventures

Today is one of those days when given the choice it is best to not go through the door. It is chilly, rainy, and dreary.

I am quite wise in the ways of these things so am taking advantage of my isolation by doing all sorts of things I should have done long ago.

I have had setbacks though. One involves the laundry and my use of the nifty new washer and dryer.

Since my heart surgery back in 2000 I have been carrying nitroglycerin pills in case of angina. Fine, never used the things but carry them faithfully. Paramedic said to take one in December for a pain in my chest just as a precaution but that turned out to be pneumonia.

I threw a load of laundry in this morning and proceeded to do other things. Some time or other I reached for my keys and noticed the pill container was missing. Sure enough it was in the pocket of the pants that had gone through the washer.

This medication does concern me somewhat because it really is THAT nitroglycerin that makes explosives. I suppose it is so diluted down that it is relatively harmless but I still could picture a small bomb going off in the dryer.

That washer really gets into everything. Even though the cover was on tight the pills were ruined. Swelled right up to fill the bottle. Oh well. The pharmacy has fast delivery.

Isn't it interesting the things that can happen to brighten a dreary day?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Little Jimmy Brown

This song - originally from the French was named 'The Three Bells'. It has been sung from the 1940s by many including Edith Piaf both in French and English.

The Brown's version has generally been called 'Little Jimmy Brown' and was No 1 for a while.

I think it is a beautiful story of life. I particularly like this plain version by the Browns.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ball Juggling

Quadricopter ball juggling from Zurich.

I did not want to lose this one so here it is. Enjoy:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Thoughts at Night

I am a very sound sleeper --- usually.

Every once in a while though I forget myself and have a little bit too much to eat before I go to bed. Cereal is my downfall of choice - with lots of milk. Throw in a few cookies that I did not want to see get stale along with even more milk and you may see a possibility of a couple trips in the middle of the night.

To say I will never do it again somehow does not ring true. To say I like being up at 1am does not ring true either.

Maybe I can save someone else from my fate by giving them a firm warning about the dangers of late night eating. Do as I say, not as I do!

Good night.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Dodged the Bullet Again

This has been an interesting winter weatherwise. There have been predictions of storms. Stories of the east coast getting inundated. South Buffalo and the south towns have been getting snow measured in feet.

Not here though.

Just this week - Tuesday night - we (north Buffalo and the Tonawandas) were supposed to get 8 to 14 inches. Everybody else did. Not us though. Just some freezing rain and about 5 inches of snow. Same for the other storms.

Probably will not last much longer though. We usually do get more than our share.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Visitor at Lunchtime

When I opened the front door today at lunchtime I heard sort of flopping sound coming from the kitchen.

I live alone so my first thought was that this may present a problem. I couldn't imagine what happened. Could it be something fell off of a shelf just as I walked in?

So I gathered up my courage and I walked in and as I approached the kitchen something went flying past me into the living room. Whoops! This is not right! It was a pretty good sized bird.

I went back in the living room and the bird went back in the kitchen. Again I went into the kitchen and bird went into to the dining room this time. I took a few seconds to think this over and decided to open the side door so the bird could get out. No luck, the bird would not go downstairs. There was a snow shovel by the side door that I grabbed thinking maybe I could scare the bird out the door. Poor thing was so panic stricken by this jerk running into his living room with a snow shovel that it would not listen to reason.

I did open the front door and locked the storm door open. I then headed into the kitchen again with my trusty shovel.

The bird headed back into the living room and spotted the open front door. It never slowed down as it flew in a straight line away from the house.

It looked sort of like a starling or even a small crow but it could have been a soot covered anything.

I had my chimney repaired a couple of years ago but forgot to get a screen to cover it. The bird may have become dizzy and fallen into the chimney and gotten into the heat ducts somehow. There was a loose register grating it could have gone through to get into the house. I am just guessing but this seems to make sense.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Sentiments for January 1

It's raining, it's pouring;
The old man is snoring.
Bumped his head
And he went to bed
And he couldn't get up in the morning.

Rain, rain, go away;
Come again another day;
Little Johnny wants to play.

Old, probably English nursery rhymes of uncertain authorship. Really seem to fit the weather today.