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Blind to a Concept

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Psychiatrists determined that if you don't have a concept or know of a phenomenon, you are blind to it. An example of that would be learning a new word that you had never heard before, and then typically seeing or hearing the new word several times in the next few weeks. I am constantly surprised by seeing things for the first time when I have been looking at them for years.

This morning, when I took the dogs for a walk, I turned east instead of west, and at the edge of my sidewalk I noticed that Chris's sidewalk was a lot darker than mine, just as mine was darker than Rob's for a couple of years. I hadn't noticed how dirty my sidewalk was until I had a pressure washer, and I never would have bought one if the back fence hadn't grown mole or moss or something and turned black. The chemicals didn't work, and I finally decided to try the washer. Then I could really see the difference.

Then, farther up my street, I came across another clean sidewalk, but the cleaner hadn't been as careful as Rob and I had, and the pressure washer had strayed into the dirty sidewalk in a little bow. I don't know if it was done on purpose, but it really catches your eye. I can't believe that I have been walking past that spot several mornings each week for two or three years, but never noticed it before.

Now I wonder how long it will take Chris to notice that my sidewalk is brighter than his.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TWOTIMESS 3/27/2011 4:13PM

    The Battle of the Pressure Washers has begun! LOL!

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    This might be the origin of the "ignorance is bliss" statement. Maybe you should mention to Chris how impressed you are with your new power washer. emoticon

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THINRONNA 3/27/2011 8:53AM


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MS.ELENI 3/26/2011 10:31PM

    You did a great job on the sidewalk

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Permanent (?) Records

Friday, March 25, 2011

We watched a series on Masterpiece Theater recently called "Any Human Heart.” It tracked a man from before WWI to his death at the age of about 85, which seems young to me but was probably pretty good for the way he lived. One theme that kept being repeated through the series was that luck controlled your life – both good luck and bad luck. I personally think that determination plays a larger part than the show gave credit for, but certainly external events do affect us all.

At the end of the show, the thing he had failed to do for most of his life was to publish something “worth-while,” and it was accomplished after his death, because the thing that was published was his journal, which had been written over more than 55 years. Of course, it was written by hand in a blank book, which I think you still can buy in stationary stores such as Office Depot or Staples.

I realized a couple of weeks later that it would probably be questionable whether such a journal would exist today. The technology changes so fast that safely stored things become inaccessible because the technology to read them disappears. I still have a handwritten journal that I kept during our first trip to Mexico, a record of every gem that I cut from February of 84 to the last stone I cut in 94, the records of General Investments (an investment club we started at work) from 1966 to 1971, and others. Unfortunately I also have some floppy disks with information stored as “text files” which contain all the daily entries from the first time I started using a notebook computer and a dot matrix printer. That was a couple of years after we sold the house – maybe 1995. What I found later was that the computers I had couldn’t read the disks. Not only that, I have an external floppy drive that I plug into a USB port to get anything off of or on to a floppy. Computers don’t even have floppy drives any more. Beyond that, the things will eventually get old and the coating will flake off, so in effect nothing is permanent.

Acid free paper and ink, however, last quite a long time, especially in a closed book which keeps air away from the paper.

Of course, if I really wanted the information back I could probably find someone who could translate the code I have into something my computer could read - but it would cost money. I just learned to program computers with ones and zeros, worked up to Fortran, which let me model anything I wanted, and eventually got tired of learning new languages. I can't begin to manage anything modern.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRDPOLING 3/26/2011 11:23AM

    That show sounded cool. will see if is playing here soon.

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    Welp, if you were coding in 1's and 0's, you'd be happy about how easy it is today. But ya, taking the time to learn it is an investment.

I think a lot of people feel the way that movie leans. Luck plays a huge factor in their lives (good or bad), so best just to let life happen since there isn't much you can do but play the hand you're dealt. That's an unfortunate frame of mind.

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MS.ELENI 3/25/2011 11:01PM

    I have journaled off and on for several years and have several books stored away. I stopped writing when I started blogging. I have started making a paper copy of my blogs.It will be a slow process to get where I am at.Once I have it all on computer I will print them out. My other journals have more personal stuff but blogs will give kids and grandchildren some insight into what I have been doing.

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S3XYDIVASMOM 3/25/2011 9:38PM

    There's something to be said for the "old-fashioned" way of doing things.

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Before and After Concrete

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I spent another two hours and 20 minutes today with the pressure sprayer and finished the concrete in front. The first day I did five sections of sidewalk, the second day I did three sections of sidewalk and the lower part of the driveway, and today I finished the driveway and did three sections of sidewalk from the driveway to the front porch. I took two pictures to match the before and after. Tomorrow I will get the blower out and try to blow away the sand and debris left from the pressure washer.

Here is the before picture again, and then the afters follow.

The sand in the middle picture is loose on the concrete. My back hurt too much to mess with it today. I'll clean it up either with a blower or a hose tomorrow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THINRONNA 3/25/2011 4:19PM

    Wow... it looks great!

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S3XYDIVASMOM 3/25/2011 4:16PM

    Big improvement. It's nice when you can actually see the results of your effort.

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JIMDAB 3/25/2011 9:55AM

    There's nothing like a job well done...

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    I've sometimes considered doing power washing on the side. So rewarding, so simple which is the exact opposite of a typical day at the office.

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MRDPOLING 3/25/2011 4:19AM

    I had sidewalk work done last summer... This winter I hope to have more concrete work down out back but not sure we'll get to that project or if it will have to wait until 2012.

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BRAVEONE92 3/24/2011 10:43PM

    I have been reading your blogs and looking at your pictures. Your
hard work is showing up, looking good. A little each day does
the job!

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MS.ELENI 3/24/2011 10:18PM

    emoticon emoticon

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Honey Bees, After, and Before

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Monday I mowed the lawn and dug out a bucket of weeds, both before and after the mowing. Tuesday I spent three hours with the pressure sprayer and cleaned off five sections of the sidewalk and did a few other things I can't remember. Today I spent two and a half hours cleaning the driveway, from the street to half way to the garage, and also did three sections of sidewalk. Tomorrow, with luck, I will finish the driveway. The whole thing was enlightening in that the part that I thought was clean really needed to be cleaned. As soon as it gets wet it gets a lot darker, and the dirt that comes off doesn't just float away - it turns into black sediment as if you were panning for black gold dust. I'll have to hose the whole area down if a blower won't get rid of it. I have both sand and black dirt on the concrete in some places.

I took a couple of pictures trying to catch the bees at work, but they didn't turn out well. I know there are bees around, but they hardly ever show in the pictures I take - either because I can't see them or because they are all hidden. There were a couple of dozen on the little Meyer Lemon, and hundreds of them swarming on the avocado tree. I also took a couple of pictures of the fence to satisfy anyone who wants to see it. Of course, I didn't take any pictures of the fence in progress, which would have been much more impressive.

The impressive thing to me is the dirty white shoes I now have - they're not just wet, they're dark gray.

This is the lemon three's best picture.

This is the best avocado tree picture. There is a bee in it.

This is one of four of this area of the tree, and the only one I know shows a bee. It's in the upper right corner of the picture.

This is a cropped corner of the picture, so the bee looks bigger.

And this is a picture of the fence (before I cut the weeds).

And this is a before picture of our sidewalk - you can see the difference between ours (the dark one) and Rob's, which he cleaned a year ago. Our house was built in 1986, and the pollution has been accumulating for 25 years. The porch floor is pretty clean, and things get progressively dirtier as you get away from the house.

PS - I just looked at Sunday's blog, and I guess I don't know what I did Monday. It's a lost day at this point.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OURELEE1 3/24/2011 5:13PM

  It looks very nice. I think I'm going to show my DH. It might give him an idea.

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THINRONNA 3/24/2011 5:02PM

    Nice pictures! I can totally see the bee. Beautiful lemon tree!

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MS.ELENI 3/23/2011 11:08PM

    You make me tired reading your blogs. I feel so lazy. Everything is looking great in your yard. Sorry I couldn't see the bee.

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S3XYDIVASMOM 3/23/2011 11:03PM

    I see the bee. Whee!

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Snacking Sunday

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The fence does look new, and I dug weeds for a half hour and mowed both the front and back lawns today. The grape trellis took a little more effort, but I'll get used to it. Now that we have a new toy, I realize that Rob (neighbor to the west) cleaned his sidewalk and driveway, so his concrete looks white an mine is all dark. I guess the sidewalk and driveway will be the next chore.

Both hands were stiff and sore when I woke up this morning. It's a lot of years since I worked in a steel mill, and I might be getting older, too.

So far, I have been eating cereal, soup, and fruit today, it's past suppertime, getting dark, and I'm not hungry. The BW was busy planting a bunch of flowers under the bay window, and I think I need to put away the hose. I don't think we will have supper tonight - maybe a snack later.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THINRONNA 3/21/2011 7:05AM

    Snacking is kind of how Norwegian kids (and mine now) eat. They are fed at 8, 11, 2, 4, 6 and 8. That is 6 meals a day! I would say it is the way to go though. A person may eat less at each little meal but they are fed all day and never hit a low. I think the grownups eat more like 4 meals a day though.

I hope you post some pics when your place is all power washed up. My husband says not to get to close to that fence or you may take some paint off! Have fun! emoticon

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S3XYDIVASMOM 3/20/2011 11:16PM

    It sounds like you've been putting your new toy to good use.

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MRDPOLING 3/20/2011 11:08PM

    Nah! You are not getting older... the rest of the world is getting younger. hehe

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MS.ELENI 3/20/2011 11:01PM

    Sounds like a good day. Hope you had a relaxing night

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TWOTIMESS 3/20/2011 8:16PM

    You've been very busy! Sunday nights at my house is always light snacks - we have a big lunch.

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