Thursday, April 5, 2012

Yes, I know another long time between updates...  Photo above is of an iris that is growing next to my house.

Have been working on the garden, it is full of dirt and plants now.  Something is eating my cucumbers.  They have not even grown, but are getting eaten.  I think it is the wild rabbits.  I got some stuff to put around the garden to repel them.  I should just trap them and eat them.  Probably not, if the stuff I got does not work, I will look at fencing it in.

I got several plants at Home Depot's "Black Friday" sale last weekend.  Three tomatoes, sweet banana pepper, bee balm and basil.  I also got some other stuff I needed.  They all look good in the garden, and the lettuce, chard and wax beans that were started from seed in the garden are growing great as well.  I hope at least one cucumber survives.

I found a problem with my tractor, which explained why it was not mowing properly.  The lever that adjusts the mower deck was not seated properly on the hinge post, so the deck was just bouncing up and down.  I was able to get it back on the post, and then put a cotter pin to keep it from coming off again.  It does mow better, but the blades still need to be sharpened.  I just need to find the right page of the manual to take the deck off and then sharpen the blades.  Ahhhhh, projects.

The media server is working exceptionally well.  I should have built one a long time ago.  It is really cool to be able to just drag and drop stuff on iTunes again.  Sounds silly, but things like this really can make me happy...

The Apple TV3 is really amazing.  The quality of the video is fantastic.  Even the stuff I have that was encoded for the original Apple TV looks better, and when I have stuff that is encoded for the aTV3, I am just amazed at how good it looks and sounds.  As a test, I redid Avatar, as I have it on BluRay, and I can easily tell the difference between the two aTVs, and between the aTV1 and the BluRay.  Between the aTV3 and the BluRay?  Not really.  Maybe if I had a bigger TV or a better sound system.  I am really happy with the aTV3.  Now for a bigger TV.  Bah, probably not...

Friday, March 23, 2012

Ok, so I keep saying that I am going to post more, and then I post less.  Sorry, life happens.

So what have I been doing with my life for the past two months since I last posted?

Working, gardening, housework, building computers, rebuilding battery packs...

Work.  Everything is going good.  We have been doing many things to help build sales.  Crawfish lately has been very good.  I made a smoked sausage to go with it, and it has been really popular, about 15 pounds of it a week to go with a couple of hundred pounds of crawfish.  Put new steaks on the menu, which of course I take care of...  Work on my own place continues, different setbacks and new challenges, all is good there.

I have a garden now.  There are no plants in it yet, and it is only half full of dirt, but by the end of this weekend it will be finished, and planted.  I will have yellow wax beans, lettuce, rainbow chard, pickling cucumbers and three different types of heirloom tomatoes planted.  The herbs I planted last fall are growing like mad, except for the two different basils that all died in the freeze in November or December. I think I am just going to get a couple of dill plants to replace them with.  The hibiscus that my incredibly awesome girlfriend got me is doing good.  I put it in the ground last month, and it bloomed last weekend.

Plans for remodeling the kitchen are proceeding.  I think I will put in a side by side oven and I am really thinking of a fridge only and a freezer only pair that I *THINK* I can make look built in, along with a dishwasher that will be built in.  I need to get someone out to look at the wall I want to take down to make sure it is not load bearing, and if it is, what I have to do to take it out anyways.  Then I will have a spot for a 36 inch induction cooktop and a "bar" type seating in front of that.  I found the countertops I want at Ikea, and they are inexpensive, so the kitchen remodel may start sooner than I though.

The battery for my cordless drill and circular saw was on it's last legs.  The actual drill and saw are old, but still very good tools.  I priced a new pack and it was EXPENSIVE!  I ended up buying new cells and taking the old ones out and soldering up a new pack.  For less than half the price of a new pack, I rebuilt the old one and it works probably better than new as the new cells are higher capacity than the old ones.  I just need to take the dead ones into Best Buy or Lowe's and recycle them.  I need to find another dead pack on eBay or Craigslist to rebuild as well.

Yes, I did say I built a computer.  First time in quite a long while.  Really I did not totally build it.  I wanted to build a media server to feed my new AppleTV 3 that replaced an original AppleTV.  I had an old computer that had been in storage for 3 years before I moved.  Unfortunately it was dead, and would not boot, or even make sounds when powered on.  A friend at work had a couple of computers that were his wife's from before they got married last year, and neither worked, but she had pictures and documents on them and wanted to see if I could recover them.  I took parts from both to make one working computer that she was able to recover her stuff.  The other one is now my media server.  I put some new ram in it, and the hard drives I had as USB externals connected to my Mac, and now I have a nifty new server with 6.5 terabytes of storage.  Pretty darn cool.  Geeky, but cool...

Yes, my really awesome girlfriend is going to give me grief for saying that, but I will just cook her dinner and she will forget about it.  Well probably not...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

New Member of the Household

I have been adopted by a cat.  Best I can tell she has been living under my house for a week or so, ever since the rain on Monday, which probably drove her out.  It has also been very (for Pearland) cold.  She was in my laundry room last night, cold and hungry.  After a can of tuna, she settled down and slept on the fuzzy blanket that my awesome girlfriend brought over.  This morning I took her to the vet and had her checked out, and she is in good health, just underfed.  So I got some food, litter box and other kitty toys and settled her back at home to watch some football.  She ate again, and seems to be settling in nicely.  I will get her set up for spaying and regular shots and checkups, probably with the same vet my girlfriends cat goes to.  She is a very sweet cat.  Always looking for attention, not all snobby like most cats.  I named her Mac.

My fridge went out last weekend.  Luckily, there was an extra one at work that was going to be scrapped, so I was able to have that one.  Now I need to get the home warranty company out to fix the big one, and then the smaller one can become a dedicated salumi fridge.  That will be cool.

I ordered some seeds and a seed starting kit.  I will be getting a dump truck of dirt in the next couple of weeks to make some raised garden beds in my side lot.  I am going to use the wood that used to be my back stair to construct the beds, then put the dirt and soon to happen seedlings in.  I will have several types of heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, chard, lettuce, yellow wax beans, peppers and probably beets.  I still need to get pepper and beet seeds, or just get some seedlings from Home Depot.  I just forgot to order those seeds.

I am really excited and happy with what I am working on around the house, as well as how work is going.  Life is very good right now.  I will post pictures and keep writing about the garden and other projects as they unfold...