Recently in Administrivia Category

Good dinner, meeting, beers

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Back home for the night. Surf for a bit and then YouTube

Well... I gave it 40 minutes

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And that car is not unpacking itself. Heading downstairs to unpack, feed the pups and get ready to head out for dinner and the meeting - back in a few hours...

Sweetening the pot - auction

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Drove down to pick up the printers - with tax and buyer's premium, the two were $41 each. Compare to their current list price of $305. Factor in two trips of just under 100 miles each and I still made out like a bandit. I use the one I have a lot and already have several thousand blank labels of various sizes from when I had my office services business in Maple Falls so I am all set there.

What really sweetened the pot was that they were tossing a bunch of stuff into some dumpsters. Picked up some nice electronics, about 20 "brick style" power supplies (use them a lot) as well as some other fun geek doo-dads.

Mitigated the driving by stopping at WinCo on my way back. Picked up some poke, some dried beans and some Portuguese Linguiça Sausage. I am going to cut it up, saute it with some more garlic as well as some tomato paste and add it to the feijoada. Just have ham and bacon in there now - this will add a nice dimension. Also picked up some par-boiled (Minute) rice so serve it with. Have that for dinner tomorrow. Meeting later so going out for a bowl of pasta tonight.

It's time for coffee

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Out for a bit. Heading down to pick up my printers from the auction. Meeting later this evening.

Off to YouTube

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See what the internet faeries have brought for my enjoyment this evening.

Meeting tomorrow.

And back home again

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Quiet day. Got a lot accomplished for a day spent idle.

Saw the first Snow Goose of the season - they migrate from Alaska and Russia and spend the winters down in the Puget Sound area. Very photogenic so time for some more wild goose chases.

The auction closed and the only thing I won was the label printers. Was hoping to get the power supply but was outbid by someone who paid more than what it was worth - much older unit and one of the terminals was loose and rattling - not able to test it so pig in a poke.

I was hoping to get the two office printers but someone sniped me on it. The label printers will be great as I am starting to sell stuff on eBay. I already have a shipping label printer but they are expensive ($370 each) and do wear out and break. Good to have a backup unit especially since I am only paying $40 for it. Also great for labelling bulk food containers, storage boxes, etc... at home. Be picking them up tomorrow.

Unusually quiet out there

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Nothing on the internet catches my eye.

Very odd for the middle of the week - usually, there are people running around with their hair on fire for some cause or another... I understand a quiet weekend - slow news cycle. Middle of the week?

Yawn - impeachment

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So the House is holding a public impeachment hearing today.

They got nothing - wake me up when it is over. What is next? The Meuller Report was nothing. Now this. What's next?

Bright and early

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Whatever was affecting my sleep seems to have passed. Woke up at my usual time this morning feeling refreshed.

Checked the auction - outbid on a few items but still winning the label printers and the power supply. Four more hours.

Nuke some oatmeal and frozen bluueberries for breakfast, finish the laundry and then out for coffee and the day.

And that is it for tonight - video time

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Nothing much happening out there to catch my eye.

Couple of videos and bed. Doing nothing tomorrow - meeting Thursday.

And I am outbid again

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The laser printers and some packaging materials are now listed for almost what they cost new. Bunch of amateurs out there. Still have the winning bid on the two label printers. Also bidding on a power supply for my ham radio equipment.

Running a couple loads of laundry. Meeting in 90 minutes.

Well crap

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I was outbid on everything. No tears though as my top limit was what I felt these items were worth. They are someone else's cost overrun now.

Uneventful drive back - fixing the last of the minestrone soup and half of a Walmart par-baked baguette - they are really good - cheap too.

Today's preview was "interesting" to say the least. The place was pretty well stripped out and nothing but junk left behind. There were a couple of printers that I am putting bids on as well as some office stuff and a nice small five-drawer rolling tool chest.

The site looked like the warehouse in the last scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark except filled with a crap-ton of junk and not Ark of the Covenant.


This went on for two more rooms.

And back to what passes for normal

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Got a good night's sleep finally.

So far, I have been outbid on three lots (out of seven). Going to let these go as my maximum bid was what I feel these were worth. Not going to get sucked up in the hype. See what happens with the other four.

Out for coffee and then to the second auction preview. Meeting tonight at 6:00PM so get a bite to eat on the road.

And that is it for me

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Quick trot around the web and nothing. Quiet news day.

Surf some videos for a bit and then an early bedtime - today was busy. Tomorrow is even busier.

A fun day - but I hate cities

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Drove down to see the auction preview in Kenmore on the north end of Lake Washington. That area has grown up a lot - tons of housing developments. Remember when it was all farmland. Reminds me of why I do not like big cities.

Some good stuff - a really wonderful Starrett machinist's level. I have a Taiwanese one from Grizzly that is OK but not perfect. The Starrett is perfect. Unfortunately, there is already a bid of $70 for it. These sell on eBay for about $100 so I will be letting this one pass. For the work I do, the Grizzly is fine - the Starrett would have been wonderful to own but not in my budget.

I am bidding $30-$50 for some assortments of machine tools - reamers. Very handy to have. There is a Harig Surface Grinder in immaculate shape - perfect for knife making so I am bidding some money on that.

There were also two CNC machines. Anything CNC is at the apex of my lust-list. Alas, these had been rode hard and put away wet. Missing pieces, no software, no manuals or schematics, no computers. The online bidding is in the $500+ range for these - worth much less as scrap. Some poor fool is going to get an expensive lesson.

Had my first experience with Chick-fil-a - really delicious. Wish they had a branch closer to the island.

Got another preview tomorrow and then a meeting at 6PM in Stanwood.

Out for the day - auction preview

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Slept in a bit today too but not as bad as before.

Getting a quick coffee and heading down to beautiful Kenmore, WA for an auction preview. Back in a couple of hours.

And I am back

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Cute new waitress - her day job is doing electronic assembly for a local company so we chatted about various geekery and making stuff. She does books on tape while she is working so we talked about things to read. A fun evening and glad I went out. The beers were cold and wet too.

Quick surf around the net shows that nothing has happened so off to YouTube-land for a bit. Early bedtime. No red wine for me tonight - want to get up at a reasonable time tomorrow morning.

And those beers are just calling my name

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Screw it - back in two hours.

Two auction previews

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Lots of machinists tools - Starrett, Brown and Sharpe, Lufkin, etc... Top end manufacturers and the prices seem reasonable so far.


They made Point of Sale hardware - scanners, etc... I will be looking for test equipment. I especially like these auctions as 90% of the people are coming to get the business' main hardware - the scanners and POS systems in this case. The engineers that keep these places running will invariably have small "stashes" of goodies and these go for pennies on the dollar.

It is served over rice. Rice cooker is still at the farm as well as my five gallon bucket of white rice.

Serving it over pasta instead.

Once again, there is something magic about onions and garlic when cooked - makes the whole house smell fantastic. Another five minutes or so for the pressure to release and then dinner is served. 

Cold and rainy night - staying home and having a beer or three here. I like the socialization and getting to know some really great people but feeling tired again. If I am coming down with something, do not want to spread it around. Feeling good, just tired. Odd dreams too.

Fixing dinner - feijoada

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Got a hankering for some feijoada for dinner tonight. Was up at the food co-op so picked up two bundles of chard and a small ham steak. Thawing out some bacon too. Delicious stuff and cheap and easy to make. Brazilian slave food.

Slavery? For all the horrors in the United States, it was the Caribbean and South America that was importing slaves like crazy - 70% to our 30%. Treated them worse too. It is also good to remember that Muslims continue to practice slavery to this day and they were the people who rounded up the slaves and sold them back then. Old family business. Many of them were from the Barbary Coast from which we get our word Barbarian.

Slept in again today

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Only ten hours instead of yesterday's twelve. Been feeling something kicking around my immune system so probably fighting off a cold or something. Take it easy and rest next couple of days.

Late start to the day

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Cripes! Slept in a lot more than I was planning - 12 hours.

Stuff to do today - out the door in a few minutes.

That make the whole house smell so wonderful. Sitting down to a big bowl of delicious stuff...

Time for dinner

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Out for two beers at my local after. Got a couple things to take care of down here tomorrow so probably an early bedtime.

Comfort food for dinner tonight

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Making some American Goulash for dinner tonight - it was good last time and feels like a good night for some stick-to-your-ribs comfort food. Making a double-size batch so will have lots of leftovers.

Latest forecast calls for rain tonight and tomorrow.

Out for a couple of hours

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Coffee, post office, library (the new Ronan Farrow book is in) and then working at home today. Been making sauerkraut - since we have had a couple of hard frosts the cabbage is nice and sweet. Bought a large cabbage slicer at Amazon and will be inaugurating that this afternoon. Also picked up some lactobacillus culture - had two batches turn moldy so this way, I will jump-start the fermentation process.

And that is it - tired

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Full day. Photos were very well received. Meeting went well.

Time for some videos and a glass or two of red wine.

Every meeting, there is a public presentation by an artist or someone involved in arts or technology. Tonight's presentation was very interesting as they talked a bit about PechaKucha - Japanese for "chit chat". It was devised by some architects in Japan who use the format to distill their presentations to the bare essence.

You present 20 images and talk about each image for 20 seconds. That is it. 400 seconds for your entire presentation. A little bit over six minutes max. Sort of like the classic business Elevator pitch.

Meet Candle

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A Smart Home system that doesn't snoop on you. What a concept. From Candle Smart Home:

Do we have to choose between privacy and convenience?
Candle is a privacy focused smart home demonstrator. Our prototypes prove it's technically possible to build a privacy respecting smart home while maintaining convenience.

Candle is being developed by a collective of designers, artists and privacy experts from Amsterdam. While the main goal is raising awareness, we're also interested in working with partners to bring these innovations to market.

The Central Controller runs a Raspberry Pi and the various remotes use Arduino. Operating system is based on the Mozilla WebThings. Devices include door locks, light switches, plant sensors, electricity use, weather, alarm clock, thermostat. All open source so developing your own sensors is a piece of Pi.

Been thinking about a system like this for the island house - this is drop-dead perfect. Already been familiarizing myself with the Pi and the 'duino.

Heading out soon - meeting

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Had some more minestrone soup and some par-baked bread which I finished in the oven. Great stuff.

Back in a couple of hours - working down here tomorrow and then to the farm Thursday for a few days.

Done for the day

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Got the photos color balanced* and selected. Some great faces.

Sitting down to a big bowl of minestrone soup - big flavor and mouthfeel difference making it with dried Cannelloni beans instead of some generic canned white beans. Out for a couple pints later.

* Color Balancing - Friday's Patron party was held in the evening and the Color Rendering Index of the fluorescent lighting in the Center is horrible (50-60 at best where 100 is perfect). Needed to correct to get the white shirts looking white instead of as though they had been soaked in weak tea. Fortunatly, once I get the correct values, I can sit back and do the rest of them as a batch process.

Late lunch

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Dump and recycling run completed - got a couple hundred more pounds of crap gotten rid of. Old papers, etc...

Started the minestrone soup for dinner tonight and having a quick sandwich for lunch - spending the next two hours sorting through images and building the slide show for the Patron's party - it was a lot of fun and some really good people. The CAA more than broke even so the event was a success.

Out for a bit

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Coffee, post office, drop my ballot at the county drop-box, dump and recycling run and then back home to sort through photos and assemble them into a video for tomorrow's meeting.

Feeling a lot better tonight

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Spent some time on a weight machine as well as rowing. Feel a lot less cramped - got everything nice and stretched out again. The same farm that does the dinners I like also has a Wednesday Yoga class - thinking of attending. I am OK on strength and stamina, being a bit more limber would be a good thing.

Tired with the time change so early bedtime - a few videos and then to sleep.

Heading out soon

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Was doing some filing and paperwork this morning. Heading out for coffee &c. in a bit.

Feeling stiff today

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Moving all that furniture Sunday - was a bit stiff yesterday but really feeling it this morning. Head to the gym later this afternoon and loosen up a bit.

Coffee first...

I used to be bad at it. Microsoft had a branch of Toastmasters that I joined and it helped a lot.

This book looks really good: TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking

My local library has a copy so it is being sent to my branch... Cool!

With my involvement in the local arts group, I am going to be having to do a lot more public speaking so this will be a great refresher...

Our dry spell is over

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We had the cyclones but now it is time for some good old-fashioned winter rain.

From Cliff Mass:

Rain Returns to the Northwest
It has been extremely dry during the past week over the Pacific Northwest, and dry conditions will continue into Thursday.

But by the weekend, the rain will return.

Dry periods extended into the first week of November is not that unusual in western Washington and Oregon, but for it to continue into the second and third week would be extraordinarily unusual. And this won't happen this year.

Let's forecast the right way, looking at ensembles of many forecasts. Below are the 21 members of the U.S. GEFS ensemble. The accumulated precipitation of each member at Sea Tac is shown. Precipitation is flatlined for all members until November 7th, after which there is a steady rise. This is called a plume diagram by the way, with each line being one member.

Ahhh yes - life in the Pacific Northwet. Sort of a double whammy - rain and very short days. Time to focus my thoughts inward - building and outfitting the shop. I have a bunch of projects I want to get done this winter:  amateur radio, CNC machining, blacksmithing, welding, electronics, programming and get a bunch of stuff listed on eBay. The months are going to fly past...

A wonderful lazy day

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Celebrated my 69th birthday by doing absolutely nothing. Went out for coffee, went to a bakery near the library, sat and read for an hour and then headed to Mt. Vernon to do some shopping at Costco and the food co-op (making another batch of Minestrone soup Tuesday - stuff is good!) Had some Chinese food in Mt. Vernon and two pints at my local.

I know that Daylight Savings is over but it is still a surprise to have full twilight at a bit after 5:00 PM. Gorgeous colors in the sky so planning to do some photography tomorrow if the light is favorable. Got a meeting here Wednesday so spending the rest of the week at the farm. Need to get the water running again and get the house buttoned up for the winter.

Working on the Crow Island Forge website tomorrow and Tuesday - get that up and running. Still a bit sad that the US Website tools were too large for me to use but it was fun trying.

Tired so surf for a bit, some video and then to bed. No wine tonight - been making too much of a habit of that. Time for a vacation.

Slept for another two hours

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And feeling fantastic - needed the sleep after the last two days.

Birthday plans? NADA. Just Another Day

November 2019

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democrats give conservatives indigestion
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