“Paradise is exactly like where you are right now…only much, much better” – Laurie Anderson

Friday, February 19, 2016

Pileated Woodpecker

The other day, Lynne published some photos of a beautiful Pileated Woodpecker that was busy in our back yard. I was envious that I did not see him. But, a couple of days later he showed up again and I got a nice photo and a couple of short videos.

Tags:  photosnatureat-homeother-wildlifevideo
Posted under: Stuff You Gotta Know! • by Rick on 02/19/2016 at 03:04 PM
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Monday, February 23, 2015

Whatever Happened to RESPECT?

Growing up, I was taught to respect others--even others with viewpoints different from my own.

I was taught to respect elders. Always saying "sir" and "ma'am". "Yes, sir!" "No Ma'am." I was taught to listen to them, respect their experience, open my mind to their insights.

I was taught to respect authority. From police to pastor to president, people in positions of authority were to be looked up to, listened to, even obeyed.

I was taught to respect females. No honking the horn in the driveway to pick up a date. "If you respect her and really like her, you'll go to the door to get her and walk her to the car." And, of course, walk her to the door at the end of a date. I was taught to open car doors for females, although this sign of respect has gone the way of crystal radios. I was taught to respect the word "no".

I was taught to listen respectfully, even to ideas and opinions I disagreed with. To look for the "grain of truth" and seek empathy in order to understand opposing views. Then, when it was my turn, make my argument with equal voice.

I am not sure what has happened. But, I see and hear very little respect for elders, people in authority, women, and those with different viewpoints today. I see online comments that are at minimum disrespectful and often even vulgar.  I think part of the problem is the anonymity of electronic communications. It is pretty easy to rant and rave, call people or groups names, use profanity, and denegrate when doing it with a keyboard to someone you have no physical or emotional connection too. Would people be as disrespectful if they were made to voice their disrespect face-to-face? To someone they've had a chance to get to know, even through a brief personal conversation? 

Respecting a person or group of people does not mean you agree with them. It just means you recognize their right to their position/opinion/idea, and disagree. Respectfully.

Tags:  thoughts
Posted under: Stuff You Gotta Know! • by Rick on 02/23/2015 at 02:03 PM
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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Whatever Happened To…? Strike Anywhere Matches

We like to use strike anywhere matches at the cabin. That way, you don't have to keep track of the box and you can light fires one-handed. You can strike on a rock (like on the fireplace), or the limestone hearth. You can strike on rough metal (like the antique matchstick holder we have). If you are a true cowboy you can strike on your jeans, or if you are a show-off, on you fly zipper. 

We just can't find matches any more that don't require the companion box.

Over time, the box gets used up. The rough strike zone gets worn down and it takes 5 or 6 tries to get a match to light. 

There are lots of reasons why strike anywhere matches are preferred. 

Maybe they don't make them any more? I could understand that they might be dangerous to transport. After all, if they "strike anywhere", I guess they could strike against themselves. I can picture the semi-truck going down a bumpy highway with a load of strike anywhere matches and going up in smoke.

I guess we are just going to have to get used to two-handed match striking.

Tags:  cabinthoughts
Posted under: Cabin NewsStuff You Gotta Know! • by Rick on 09/27/2014 at 11:00 AM
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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cabin Trip 2014 - Day Three - Internet

It is Wednesday. Sort of day 3. Day 2-1/2 really.

Anyway, I did not finish describing what happened yesterday.

To the most observant of you, you will have noticed that we are blogging. That means we have Internet access. Those of you who have kept up with our annual trips in the past know that it often takes a day or two to get Internet access. Last year on one of my long phone calls to technical support, the agent suggested that I upgrade to their "Gen 4" system...that the upgrade was free.

So, I did. I arranged to get an upgrade of our hardware. And, made the appointment for Tuesday morning after our arrival. And, sure enough, just before noon yesterday a guy and his helper (wife) showed up to do the upgrade installation. It went relatively well. It was a bit tough to position the satellite dish so that it can just see past the stone chimney and get line-of-sight to the satellite. It took a couple of hours, but now we have a fresh, new satellite Internet connection.

The upload speed is somewhat faster. The download speed is much faster. And, our bandwidth allowance increased by a factor of 20! We used to get 250MB per day of download bandwidth. If we exceeded that then we could not do anything for 24 hours. Well, we could buy a "token" that removed the restriction immediately, but those were $5 each (or something like that.) Now, we get 2GB of download bandwidth and at certain hours (2:00 am to 8:00 am) we get an additional 2GB that does not count toward our "normal" allotment. This is a good time to run program updates, download movies or music, etc. The new service is really tuned to today's Internet-based entertainment industry. 

It works great.

It is why I am able to tell you about it.

Tags:  cabin
Posted under: Cabin NewsStuff You Gotta Know! • by Rick on 09/17/2014 at 03:39 PM
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Sunday, September 07, 2014

Last of Summer—2014

While it is not officially the end of summer, today is pretty much the end for us.

We had our last swim tonight. It was wonderful. The water temperature was 82° and we swam 30 lengths. The pool will be closed on Tuesday.

I ran the heater all day to bring the temperature up from the mid 70s; and, it was worth it for that final comfortable swim. In previous years we would not be able to enjoy the pool after mid August. The nights are just too cool and the angle of the sun does not warm the water. So, the heater was worth it. It accomplished our goal of swimming earlier and later that before. 

We spent less than 1/2 what I had feared on propane. I think I based my calculations on degrees Farenheit instead of Celsius. wink 

We had a fire in the fire pit waiting for us as we exited the pool. We sat by the fire, had some ice cream and whiskey. 

It was a productive day in preparing for the Fall and our upcoming trip to Colorado. We took down the cabana, took the outdoor furniture indoors and cleaned the pool. 

Fireworks were going off just now. Not sure why. It freaks the dogs out, so I'll be glad when it stops.

Off to bed now.

Tags:  pool
Posted under: Stuff You Gotta Know! • by Rick on 09/07/2014 at 06:38 PM
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