Friday, August 17, 2018

Culture - Stealing words


"It is a Sunday afternoon, and it is raining outside, and you are at home in your pajamas, all nice and cuddly, maybe watching Netflix or something, and you suddenly get a craving for potato chips, and you realize you that have none in the kitchen, and, there is nothing else you really want to eat, and maybe the convenience store, the shop, is really not that far away, maybe it is even less than one hundred meters away, but you just cant bring yourself to even throw your coat on over your pajamas and put your boots on, and go outside and walk those hundred meters because, somehow, it would break the coziness and it is just too much of an effort and you cant be bothered to do it even though it is such a small thing, and it is MENDOKUSAI."

NPR Hidden Brain "Watch your Mouth"

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Texas - Mosaic panel 16 installed

I found panels panels 12 to 15 were leaning slightly over, so I moved the boards out slightly at the base to make them vertical. Panel 16 is now installed on the end with one panel to go which will terminate at the bamboo.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Texas - The Blue House over 8 years

Before and After pictures - click the picture

Look at the old and new pictures of the front of the house:

  • The two garage doors and door where removed and replaced with hardy plank and cedar
  • The covering over the front door was removed
  • Tree in front of the house removed
  • House was painted
  • Footpath added
  • Concrete front steps tiled
  • Cyclone fence removed
  • Flower beds added
  • Mini library added (not visible)

Look at the old  and new pictures of the back of the house:

  • Kitchen and storage shed walls covered 
  • Roof over storage shed replaced
  • Gas pipe sticking up the the grass removed
  • Mystery posts on the right removed
  • Patio added
  • Concrete back steps tiled
  • Outside water tap added 
  • Upstairs window rotten wood replaced

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Texas - The Yellow House over 11 years

Before and After pictures - click the picture

Look at the old and new pictures of the front of the house:

  • The house was raised two feet
  • The column on the left wrapped in fabric contains hot, cold, and waste water pipes from the upstairs (non-functioning) bathroom
  • The front door is more recent, the neighbor opposite had the original 1890 front door which is on the the house now
  • The green shutters are original and were found in the garage
  • The blue tape in the upstairs windows was "to protect the glass from storms"
  • The house originally had a wooden porch, long ago replaced by concrete, the original posts were were rotten at the base, but have been extended two feet after the house was raised

Look at the old  and new pictures of the back of the house:

  • The tree right next to the house was removed
  • The electric wires that led from the house to the cistern building were bare and live. They connected to the outside of the cistern house but were not connected to the wiring inside.
  • The decorative concrete pyramid (dragon's tooth) leans even more

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Alaska - A cheap way to get to Alaska in 1999

Once upon a time frequent flyer miles were a good deal. On a weekend people would fly around Texas to accumulate miles for an international trip.  It was much cheaper to buy a sequence of short hops and "buy" a big ticket with miles, instead of cash.

I had enough American Airlines miles for one ticket to Hawaii, and bought a second ticket for $600.  Little did we know AA was offering triple frequent flyer miles on the Hawaii flight. It was enough miles needed for two domestic tickets.

However AA did not fly to Alaska, but in February 1999, American bought Reno Air, who did.

So for $600 in airfare we both flew to Hawaii and in May 1999, Seattle and Alaska.

In Anchorage we rented a car and drove north to Fairbanks and back via the mountains.

Seattle Pictures

(Alaska Pictures to come)

Monday, August 6, 2018

Texas - Night time raccoon capture and release

I set the trap with peanut butter at 8:00 pm and by 10:00 pm we had an angry raccoon.  I drove him miles down the road in the countryside and let him go.

Art - Mosaic panel 16 of 17 completed

Grouted but not yet installed....

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Russia - A work trip to Moscow in January 2000

This was a surprise request to install software at a client site in Moscow for two weeks in January 2000. Boris Yeltsin had just resigned on Dec 31, 1999, and Vladimir Putin had become acting president. Early days.

Click the picture

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Texas - The city shady flowerbed

Movie of the city flowerbed, our gift to our neighbors,  not exactly steady.

Click the picture, and in the page that comes up, click the picture again to get a full size movie.

Russia - The artist and his work

We try to collect a black and white pictures of places we visit. The one we got from the artist in Moscow is precious. It was January in Red Square at the end of GUM, at that time a run down department store. It probably was his only sale of the day, in January there are no tourists. He carefully cut out a matte from old cardboard which we still have.