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Fuquay Varina, North Carolina, United States
A guy finding out if life really does begin at 50.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Day at the Zoo

NC Zoo
Trip to the NC Zoo in Asheboro, NC. Gale, JD and I got there just before noon and stayed until 5. We saw all of 'North America' but only about half of 'Africa.' Gale really likes flowers and they were having the annual Orchid show at the Africa Pavilion I say we saw a 100 varieties of Orchids. I liked the bronze sculptures scattered though out the Zoo. I really liked they way the zoo put real thought into some really fun areas for kids. Big kids (like me) got to enjoy those areas too.

We had a great time, and the ride on the tram from Africa back to North America as we were leaving was very much welcome, as was the soft serve ice cream!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spring has Sprung

Been awhile since I blogged. I can't believe it's almost May. Not a lot going on with me. I put a Bluebrid box up and I'm happy to say it attacked a nice pair of Bluebirds. Here is the male:

Handsome fellow I say. He has a cute mate. Here she is checking out the box. The box has a hinged front to allow easy monitoring.

Bluebirds will not abandon there nest and will put up with some human interference, so I took a picture of the nest. I was very pleased to find 4 pale blue eggs. 4-7 is normal.

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I look forward to hearing the chirps of baby Bluebirds in a couple weeks! Hopefully I'll keep you all posted.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Why I like wide screen

So I've had my Wii for a couple weeks. I've been using the Wii Fit regular. I'm 56 now. :-(
While I'm not using the Wii to work out I've found a handy use for it. The Wii console comes with built in Wi-Fi access so I hooked that up. That allows you to get a news and weather channels on your Wii Menu, along with shopping. So I went into Wii Shop Channel and looked around and found that for 500 points ($5) I could by Opera browser.
Took a bit to get used to using the Wii remote as a pointer/mouse but after a while I got the hang of it. It supports Flash so that means I can watch YouTube videos on my TV. Better than that I can now watch basketball and browse the Internet at the same time. Who says I can't multitask?
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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Wii gets Fit

Last August when I visited Wales and stayed with Bob and Julie I got to play with a Nintedo Wii. I enjoyed it enough that I started thinking about getting one. Anyone that knows me knows it takes me awhile to 'get around TUIT'. Bob had told me he wanted to get something called the Wii Fit that allows the Wii to work you out.

Well I had a chance over Christmas to actually try out a Wii Fit at Wally's and Carol's house. In about 30 seconds their Wii Fit told me I was obese. In another 30 seconds it told me I was 'age 58' - well I'm only 51! Damm computers are just a bit too smart sometimes.

My Wii system was delivered today. I got a Wii controller and Wii Fit from the internet retailer after not being able to find them locally. My Wii Fit was just a quick as Wally's to let me know I was obese with a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 30. Mine was a bit closer on my age - it said I was 57. Gurr.

I'm going to keep at it and use the Wii Fit along with my running and shoot for a BMI in the low 20s (that's at least 30 lbs, or 2+ stones for my UK readers). I hope to at least perform the balance test at or a little below my age. Don't laugh until you let it size you up. You can check out the Wii Fit at the Nintendo site.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

December 31st

Today is one of those days you stop and look back. On this day a year ago I retired from IBM. When asked where I worked I've been saying I retired "at the end of last year." After today I can say "I retired over a year ago." Although I went back to work April 1st after being off for three months I still like to think that I'm retired, and just working because I want too. After the recent stock market down turn I suspect if I did the math I might find out I have to work. For now I don't want to know, and I'll just keeping working because I want too.

Another thing that happened 20 years ago today was I closed on my current home. I also made sure I paid off my house 9 years ago this month to avoid any Y2K issues. Funny. I have never missed having to make a house payment all these years, and I never missed getting up and driving to work this last year.

So to mark the day I built a new hand rail for my back steps. I figure I'll be needing it to help me up those steps sometime in the next 20 years.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

1st Annual Piedmont Green Gala

Jim was invited to display his S10 BEV at the 1st Annual Piedmont Green Gala hosted my TS Designs to celebrate the opening of Piedmont Biofuels’ retail biodiesel station and TS Designs’ newly installed 8.6kwh solar array. Jim invited me along and we had a great time on a perfect fall day under Carolina blue skies. Click the picture to see more and get additional details.

TS Designs believes in PPP "People, Profit, Planet" and each of us can help our planet in many small ways by simply taking a small step. They started by not using polystyrene cups for employees or visitors. Over the many years they have saved several 18 wheeled trucks full of cases of cups, and also all the land fill space needed to dispose of them. Those small efforts have lead them to organic gardens and solar and wind power for their use. Now the new roof top array will supply power to the grid through the ncGreenPower program. Way cool! Some of the power you are using today is supplied locally by business like TS Design and maybe even your neighbor.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Making holes from hedges

I moved to North Carolina in December 1988. One of the new friends I made in the first year or two was Larry. Over the years Larry and his wife Toni have grown to be good friends. Our friendship hasn't been the only thing growing in 20 years.
The hedges in front of Larry's house had grown to the point they needed to be taken out. Larry and I have often helped each other out over the years, but my first thought when he called to borrow my come-a-long and chain was he was nuts. Those suckers were big, and taking them out was going to be something Mama always told me I was allergic too... Hard work. After some encouragement from Larry, a commitment we tackle only one and if it was too much he would have someone come take them out, I reluctantly loaded up the truck with my chain, wire rope, 15K lbs tow strap, and the come ah-long and headed over after work Wednesday.
Well I was right pulling one of the bushes out was hard work. Took a good 45 minutes of winch, huff-n-puff, rest, winch some more, reposition the come ah-long, crank some more -But it was possible, and we got that sucker out. So we decided to finish the job on Saturday.
Well Thursday turned out to be perfect fall day. Clear blue skies, cool, and no humidity. So I called and Larry he said sure come on over. Ever since finishing that first one I had been thinking ... There had to be a easier way. I came up with the idea to hook the chain to the frame of the truck and see if it would snatch the hedge out. Well it did. Having 2500lbs of batteries rolling at 3-4mph provides a serious tug, and each hedge would pop out after 3 or 4 tugs. The beauty of the electric motor is there is no wheel spin since the torque starts at 0 rpm - there is no 'rev up', or clutch slip needed. We did half yesterday and finished the rest today.
I think it looks nice. Now the holes they left behind, well that's another sea story.
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