kevin_standlee: (Default)
2017-10-21 04:17 pm
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Oh Deer, Oh Deer

Today was Venison Day at Arby's Restaurants around the country. Each store got a small supply (Fernley's store said two boxes) of venison steaks, and they went on sale at 10 AM local time. When I came at 11:30, they still had some, so I was able to have venison for the first time in quite a while.

Yum )

From the people at the local store, I understand that they may have elk next year when they do a similar promotion. If I'm around, I'll have that. I like elk, too, and it's been a while since I last had it. When Lisa was in Mehama, the meat market across the highway had ground elk available, and the burger shack in Mehama would serve elkburgers. I think our last trip through Mehama was the last time I had elk.
kevin_standlee: (Snow Day)
2017-10-20 11:19 am
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October Surprise

It rained last night. I didn't hear it, but Lisa said it was quite heavy at times, with lots of wind. This morning, when we went out for a short walk just after sunrise (after the rain had passed), we had a bit of surprise to the west of us.

Snow Day in the Pah-Rahs )

Winter is coming. We need to go buy more firelogs soon, but we need to be sure we have a dry place to store them. They're only pressed sawdust, so if they get wet, they dissolve. The wood box is not completely water-tight.
kevin_standlee: (Fernley)
2017-10-19 07:19 pm
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Fire Board Meeting

We did get to the North Lyon County Fire Protection District Board meeting this evening, but left at the second recess. Lisa has had almost no sleep in the past 24 hours and was wilting.

I have offered my services as a parliamentarian to the Board to streamline their processes. In particular, small boards like that shouldn't be requiring seconds to motions; it not necessary under Robert's Rules of Order, although so many people only know "sandlot rules" that they don't realize it. Also, most of the Board business can actually be done by unanimous consent anyway. It's only things that are contentious that have to go through the fully formal process.

As it happens, tonight had something heavily contentious. Even I, someone who is all in favor of the open meeting laws, was getting uncomfortable as the discussion was dancing on the edge of a precipice regarding personnel issues. After a lot of talking around it, the clerk of the Board handed a note to the Chair, who then proposed that the Board hold a special meeting next week where the only item would be a closed session on the subject at hand. With great relief, the Board agreed to do that. I'm glad. Some things don't actually belong in open meetings.
kevin_standlee: (House)
2017-10-17 10:55 am
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At Last

It took about five more trips to the hardware/plumbing store than it should have done, but Lisa was able to get the toilet in the south bathroom fixed yesterday. It now properly fills (that was the original problem) and she also was able to replace the gasket that had a slow leak that had been getting steadily faster. So no more water waste through that route, either.
kevin_standlee: (House)
2017-10-15 04:08 pm
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Slowly Getting There

The long-running property-improvement project limps along. Fingers crossed that the weather holds together long enough to finish it this month.
kevin_standlee: (Wildlife)
2017-10-14 07:01 pm
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More Wildlife Spotting

As long as I can get out for a walk around sunrise and sunset, I am apt to see some of the local wildlife.

Bunch of Birds )

Meanwhile: Lisa was not feeling well yesterday (nor today, actually), so instead of our original plan for our wedding anniversary, we just went down to the Black Bear Diner here in Fernley, had dinner there (they do a decent prime rib on Friday/Saturday), and played a small amount on the slot machines (no luck this time).

This morning, I got lucky on the free-play coupon from the Wigwam, so I get another "free" breakfast. But unfortunately, I couldn't go play pinball on a sort-of-underloaded weekend, because there's no machine anymore!
kevin_standlee: (Kevin and Lisa)
2017-10-13 01:54 pm
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21 Years

Lisa and I were married 21 years ago today on board chartered Portland Vintage Trolley car 513, running over Portland's light rail system. You can't repeat that trip today, because the Vintage Trolleys no longer run over the light rail network. I understand that car 513 is preserved at the Willamette Shore Railway, however.

We're having a pretty low-key anniversary. We didn't take the week off and spend the week mixing and pouring concrete like we did last year, although Lisa has been doing a bit of concrete mixing and pouring just to use up the extra sacks from our last project, in order to make room for storing firewood. But not today. Tonight we plan to go into Sparks and eat dinner at the Oyster Bar at the Sparks Nugget, then maybe go to the Atlantis and have their spectacular cheesecake. Other than that, we have no particular excitement planned. The three weeks in Europe this year sort of used up a lot of our potential for excitement this year. It certainly used up most of our available money for added excitement.

Update: Lisa was not feeling well this afternoon and wasn't up to yet another trip to Reno, so instead we went to the Black Bear Diner for a low-key night out. She says maybe she'll feel better in a few days and we'll do the Nugget trip then.
kevin_standlee: (Family)
2017-10-11 08:06 pm
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Fire and Family

While naturally most of the press coverage of the many wildfires in California has been of the Napa-Sonoma County fires, there are a bunch more all over the state. The one most important to me personally is the Cascade Fire in Yuba County. That's because my mother lives only about ten miles east of the current eastern perimeter of the fire near Collins Lake. Dobbins, where she lives, is not under evacuation orders at this time, but it still makes me nervous. Today, I managed to get through on the phone. My nephew, Shane, picked up the phone, which also answered the other question I had as he reassured me that they are all just fine, although nervous of course. If they have to bug out, he promised to call me.
kevin_standlee: (House)
2017-10-10 07:23 pm
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Two Chores in One

It turned out that the parts we got from the plumbing place in Reno didn't fit, but they were not that expensive, so we didn't plan on rushing right back to Reno to return them. However, the office store from which we bought the fancy chair called us to tell us that the warranty replacement part had arrived, and if we brought the chair in, they could fix it while we waited. And as it happens, both they and the plumbing supply place are on the same street, albeit a couple of miles apart. So once again, as soon as we could after I finished work we headed into Reno again. First we went to the office store and gave them the chair, telling them we'd be back shortly (the plumbing supply store closes half an hour earlier than the office supply store). Then we popped down to return the part, which was not a problem, and returned to the office furniture store about 15 minutes after we left. They hadn't yet quite got the replacement part installed, but that was no problem. Eventually they got it into place, we tested the chair and confirmed that it worked as it should have, and thanked them for making good on the warranty.

We did not stay in town for dinner tonight, but we did have a couple more grocery shopping stops to make for things that are harder to get in Fernley. Lisa did all of the driving today, including driving us home, where we went over to Lowe's and got some more generic plumbing parts that she says should work for what she thinks she can do. If the plumbing problems get sufficiently difficult to fix, we'll buy a new toilet, although in this case we'd take care to buy he identical model to the one in our master bathroom, so that parts are interchangeable if necessary.

It's a good thing we had the chimney cleaned last weekend. It was cold enough last night that Lisa lit a fire, and I rekindled it when I went to work this morning. I do need to be able to feel my fingers when I'm typing.
kevin_standlee: (House)
2017-10-09 08:00 pm
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A Plumbing We Will Go

The specialist plumbing-supply company in Reno closes at 4:30 PM, so as soon as I possibly could after getting off work at 3 PM, Lisa and I drove to Reno to try and get the specialty parts for the leaking toilet. I had taken pictures of the toilet, but forgot to get the model number off the tank. We'll see if we got the right parts when Lisa goes to put it together.

After some lesser grocery shopping, we got dinner in Reno, and while we initially intended to do a large run to WinCo, I was looking so tired that Lisa agreed that we should just go home and put me to bed.
kevin_standlee: (House)
2017-10-08 06:51 pm
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Home Maintenance

Today our plumber, Steve, who moonlights as a chimney sweep, came by and did our annual chimney sweeping. He tells me that we're his last regular client in Fernley. (He lives in Yerrington, 50 miles south of here.) All of the others have died, moved away, etc., and the houses remain vacant or else the new tenants aren't using their fireplaces or don't know that you should have them cleaned annually or are using someone else.) The $100 he charges is cheap insurance against a chimney fire.

Later in the day, the wind came up too high for us to do the rooftop work that Lisa has been doing, so instead we got out the "pole-axe" (cutting blade and clippers on a long pole) and trimmed back branches, particularly those that seemed to be heading toward the chimney. After going to the trouble of avoiding a fire in the chimney, we certainly don't want one outside of it in errant tree branches either.
kevin_standlee: (Fernley House)
2017-10-07 08:41 am
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Bunny Watching

There are at least seven (the most we've ever seen at once) rabbits in the neighborhood. If Day Jobbe permits, I try to go take a walk around the block each morning, and we generally go for a walk after dinner. Both dawn and dusk are good times to see the bunnies. A couple of days ago, one of them seemed to be half-dozing in the vacant lot to the east of us.

Good Evening, Bunny )

I watched the rabbit for a while, and it didn't move. I coughed once, and its eyes suddenly got much wider, it turned toward me, and when I started to walk back toward the front door of the house, the rabbit decided it needed to be elsewhere.

Strangely, these rabbits do not appear to like carrots. I have left carrots in places where I've seen the rabbits congregate, and they don't eat them. I guess sagebrush and tumbleweeds are what they are used to eating.
kevin_standlee: (Pinball)
2017-10-06 06:22 am
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They Took Our Pinball Machine!

As I've mentioned a few times, the local bowling center, which is within walking distance of Fernley House, had a pinball machine, Medieval Madness, that I enjoy playing. When time permits, I've gone down and spent a few dollars on it. Yesterday after work, I walked over there and it was gone, replaced by a video game. The man behind the counter (the one who had been playing "Pinball Wizard" over the PA system every time I walked in) told me, "They took it away! I tried to tell them we had a regular customer who played it a lot, but they said it wasn't making any money."

That leaves me with leftover tokens that would have bought eleven games on that machine, because there are no other pinball machines or any other games there that interest me. I rarely play video games, but I love pinball. If there are other pinball machines in Fernley, I haven't found them. For that matter, the only place I've found them in Reno is a place with a bunch of mostly-broken ones.

The headline on the post is from the game itself. One of the various parts of the game is the "Revolting Peasants" ramp, where you have to shoot the ball up the ramp enough times to "Torch the Castle." The game is programmed with a bunch of shouts from the mob every time you hit the ramp, such as "They took our food!" and "They took our cows!" Every now and then something unusual comes up, such as "They took our cherished historical monuments!" and "They took our shrubbery!" and, relevant to this post, "They took our pinball machine!" I will not, however, form a torch-and-pitchfork mob to burn down the Frontier Fun Center in protest.

I have a message in to the FFC asking who their game jobber is so that I (I hope) can find out where they took that machine, and possibly even what machines they might be interested in selling. We have a space set aside in the family room for a pinball machine if we ever find the right one and can find the resources to buy it.
kevin_standlee: (House)
2017-10-05 03:03 pm
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Fortunately Lowe's Lets You Return Things

Beware of "universal" toilet valve kits that only fit on toilets with a 2-inch connection between the tank and the bowl. Ours is 3 inches, which we only realized when we lifted the tank off of the bowl and realized that the gasket in the "universal" kit wouldn't fit.

Lowe's took it back (generous of them given that I'd lost the receipt, but they found it in the purchase history on my Lowe's card), but to our annoyance didn't have the equivalent kits for 3-inch toilets, nor did the other place in Fernley like to have such things. Therefore, it's off to Reno/Sparks when we can get in early enough in the day on a weekday to one of the specialist plumbing stores.

Fortunately, we have two (normally) working toilets in the house, plus the one in the travel trailer, so we're not in a crisis at the moment. It's just another one of those homeowner annoyances.
kevin_standlee: (Pinball)
2017-10-02 06:02 pm
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Small Town Fame

The local bowling lanes continues to periodically play "Pinball Wizard" when I walk in to play. Oddly, I'm not really living up to that standard. I've not been able to match my own highest scores for quite a while. But that's probably because the machine's right flipper is getting sticky. I hope to be there sometime when the jobber who services the machine is there so I can explain it to him. I don't expect anyone at the lanes to actually pass on the message to the jobber.
kevin_standlee: (House)
2017-10-01 07:58 pm
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Priorities

I want to apologize to those you who have been expecting things from me including minutes of meetings of which I'm Secretary and reviews of minutes of meetings of which I'm Chairman. I'm dreadfully far behind on this. Day Jobbe currently eats a lot more of my brain cycles than it once did, and I don't have time to get caught up on weekends right now. Typically, I spend a good chunk of a weekend dealing with piled up fan work; however, Lisa and I have a significant Home Improvement project going on that has to be done only during good (as in neither too hot nor too cold nor too wet nor too windy) weather. We spent much of last weekend and this weekend working on it. It involves Lisa spending too much time up on a roof doing precarious things while I alternate between worrying about her falling off the roof and rushing to get tools and supplies to pass up to her. Our work window is narrowing, as today's roof work was cut short when wind came up — and a cold wind at that.

I promise to work on these various other projects when we finish the weather-sensitive ones.
kevin_standlee: (Pensive Kevin)
2017-09-30 10:20 am
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Clank

While setting up the new office chair, I lifted the handle that unlocks the tilt mechanism, allowing for "infinitely adjustable tilt." We know it worked initially because Lisa tried it out in the store before we collected the chair. This time there was a loud clank and the seat tried to tip me backwards over the top of the chair. I recovered and Lisa and I investigated. You can't see inside the seat adjustment mechanism, but in the linked photo, the paddle is third from the left. The large knob to the right of that paddle is the spring tension, which is supposed to adjust how tight or loose the "rocking" chair motion would be when the paddle was raised. That knob now freewheels and will not tighten.

We assume that the recline tension spring either broke or came loose from a mooring. I've submitted a warranty request to the manufacturer. They do offer a lifetime warranty on the hardware, and given that it failed on the first day we had it, we're pretty confident that they'll fix it, although how that fix will happen, we don't know yet. Fortunately, it wasn't a critically urgent need, although we definitely do need another office chair, because most of the others we have (salvaged from when one of my past offices closed) have failed or are on death watch.
kevin_standlee: (Fernley House)
2017-09-29 04:57 pm
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The Chair, Man

After work today, we unloaded the new office chair that we brought home from Reno from the Astro. The light was better outside, so we took some pictures there before moving it into the living room/office.

Big Chair for a Big Guy )

This is not a cheap Chinese special from Wal-Mart. It is made in the USA, cost more than $500 (Lisa bought it with some of her inheritance from her father), and is built for people who spent a lot of time sitting at a desk, which includes me. It should last effectively forever (except the upholstery).

The current plan is for me to use this chair for a few days and make sure it suits me. Assuming it does, Lisa will take my current office chair (which is also quite nice, although not as over-the-top as this new one); otherwise, Lisa gets the new one and I'll keep my current one.

Bear Wants to Try It )
kevin_standlee: (Reno)
2017-09-28 09:30 pm
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Second Time's The Charm

We did manage to get to Reno to collect the new chair, after which we had dinner and did multiple grocery store stops to refill the larder. By the time we were done, it was pretty late for a work night for me, so Lisa drove us home and told me to get ready for bed while she unloaded the groceries. The chair can sit in the back of the van until Friday.
kevin_standlee: (XPO)
2017-09-27 04:51 pm
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No Trip Today

A computer issue kept me up until after midnight, which is bad news for me because I have to be up so early on work days. The errand to Reno to collect the ordered object isn't critical (although it has to be done on a weekday because the store isn't open weekends), and Lisa told me that I should go to bed early today, which is a good idea by me. It turns out to be just as well that we decided to not go to Reno today because Day Jobbe folks in the Pacific Time Zone wanted my attention in their afternoon. Oh well, it's nice to be wanted.