Sat. April 21, 2018 – family stuff today

Cool and overcast this am.

We’ve got our neighborhood spring festival this afternoon, softball game this morning, and a variety of other family and kid stuff….. Saturdays are not my own anymore. I wonder if they ever will be again?

I feel hungover. All I can think is that I must have gotten quite dehydrated yesterday without noticing. I’ll take a salt tablet and drink more fluids today. Have to say, glad I don’t feel this way in the morning anymore……….

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

Mid 50s, stay at home dad, with two elementary school age girls. Love my family and my life.

23 thoughts on “Sat. April 21, 2018 – family stuff today”

  1. Thursday night was frost, this morning cool but quickly warming up. Clear beautiful skies. Mowed the lawn, trimmed some bushes, trimmed with the string trimmer, blew off the the little seed pods on the driveway, cut some limbs out of a tree. Not too bad for a morning.

    I am really liking my EGO power products. The string trimmer, blower, chainsaw and hedge trimmer are all EGO products, battery powered. I have four batteries and four chargers so I am never without power. The chainsaw works much better than gas for my small needs and is fairly powerful. If you are looking for yard products I highly recommend the EGO products. If my lawn was smaller I would be getting the electric mower from EGO. As it is it takes me an hour to mow with a 54″ inch ZTR (zero turn rider) mower. Too much to walk and too much for electric.

    I have the four chargers and batteries as it cheaper to buy the product with a battery than to buy replacement batteries. The price difference is only about $50.00, a new battery is $130 for the smaller batter (2.0 Ah) where as the big battery is $358 (7.5 Ah). The charger is $70.00. So for an additional $50 I get $200 worth of products (battery plus charger).

  2. 44º and sunny today. Kids and I did an origami project this morning (before & after CCD). This afternoon we’re going to a park to ride bikes, as they have a kids’ duathlon next weekend they need to practice for. Only the eldest really cards, so it’s going to be a relaxing afternoon.

    The local state park has announced that they are going to start charging events according to the number of participants involved. This used to be “free” as in state-funded, but it looks like they’re going to try to recoup the money from the people that actually use it, leaving folks at the other end of the state no longer on the hook.

    The more I think about it, the more reasonable it sounds. Why should people who have never entered the park pay for its upkeep? Why should people from a neighboring state, who come regularly to use the park, pay nothing for its upkeep? There is a lot of wailing & gnashing of teeth over this, but I expect it to blow over. Pay for what you use.

  3. I’m a big fan of echo power equipment. Have a blower, string trimmer, and edger that just work. My mower is a Honda – no better mower in my opinion.

    I keep meaning to purchase and install a camera system, but keep putting it off. I really need to bump that up the priority list. Same thing for a car dash cam.

  4. @jimL slippery slope. Why pay for schools if you don’t have kids? Streets and highways you don’t drive on? They are available to use, whether or not you take advantage is up to you. (Figurative you)

    Reservations should have a small fee. I’m suspicious that the staff costs will exceed any revenue.

    N

  5. I’m a big fan of echo power equipment.

    I have an Echo string trimmer that is gas powered. Been very reliable and has served me well for many years. Good products. But I find myself using the battery powered string trimmer unless I have some really heavy, and a lot of it, trimming to accomplish. I don’t miss the fumes, the noise, mixing oil and gas, and pulling on the rope to start (although the Echo has always started in two or three pulls from cold).

    Electrics have gotten so much better. Motor technology, especially magnets, battery technology, have all combined to make electric very viable for the average homeowner. Why some of those tiny yards I saw in Las Vegas could be done with an electric mower in less than 10 minutes, with a stop for a water break.

    My mower is a Honda – no better mower in my opinion.

    My mower is a Cub Cadet. The actual mower makes little difference. It is the power plant that is the deciding factor. Honda makes great engines and have for years. But alas, nothing big enough to power a mower my size, three blades, two hydraulic pumps for the wheels, with mulching, in the proper configuration. At 54″ wide it does take some power in thick or tall grass. The Honda engines I have seen that were powerful enough (22 HP and up) were all horizontal shaft engines, my engine is vertical shaft.

    But I will very much agree with your assessment of Honda mowers, good stuff indeed. Their generators are also highly rated.

  6. WRT to the costs of running this place…they are minimal (not counting the time involved).

    The domain registration is about $15/year, and currently paid up until Feb 2020. The hosting (Dreamhost) is paid until Jan 2019. Later this year, I’ll move the hosting for this place (and Barbara’s domain) to my account at JustHost. I get unlimited domain hosting there, so no extra cost to me.

    We could put some Amazon ads here, but I asked Bob about it a couple years ago, and he didn’t want to do that. But even Amazon ads don’t make much, unless you have tons of readers that like to click on Amazon links and buy things.

    Blue skies and raining here at the moment in my little corner of the Olympic Peninsula across from Mutiny Bay. A little convergence zone action, I think. Got a blob of ‘radar yellow’ moving through the area.

  7. We’ve got our neighborhood spring festival this afternoon, softball game this morning, and a variety of other family and kid stuff….. Saturdays are not my own anymore. I wonder if they ever will be again?

    Relish while you can. They will be teenagers soon …

  8. I mow my yard with a Lowe’s 21″ electric (corded) rotary mower. To do the front & back yards, and to use the string trimmer around the perimeter, clean up with an entropy machine, etc takes less than 90 minutes. The trimmer & entropy machine are Ryobi, and use the same 18v battery as their series of hand tools, many of which I also have – drill motor, hammer drill, 4″ circular saw, jig saw, caulk gun, flashlight, and saws-all. They make a variety other tools that use the same batteries, too, and I think they are dammed useful. If I were obsessed with my yard, I’d want to find an electric reel mower (the sort with helical blades spinning around a horizontal axis, often found on golf courses) because they do a nice job.

  9. Well I have a crew of 2 Mexicans (all legal) that have cared for our yard for 3-years now. Every Tuesday morning; rain, shine, or high wind. The company that they work for really treats and pays them well, even ensuring year-round employment. The 2 that work for me have been working for the company 15 and 20 years respectively. I have the best looking lawn in the neighborhood. My Honda mower is gathering dust.

  10. Fees would be fine with a corresponding reduction in taxes but we all know that ain’t the way it works. Why hasn’t the lottery reduced the schools need for tax dollars?

  11. Hey Slim, sipping an Anchor Coffee Porter while reading this. Something good from San Francisco. It’s not a PBR, but can’t have those every day. Cheers!

  12. Why hasn’t the lottery reduced the schools need for tax dollars?

    If it is like TN the lottery money did go to the schools. Since the schools are now getting money from the lottery the funding was reduced from the general fund. Thus effectively moving money from one bucket to another. The general fund spends less on schools. But lottery money is being allocated as promised when the scam was campaigned and voted. The state benefited but not the schools.

  13. I have a guy come by once a week to take care of my yard for about six or seven years now. He speaks passable English and my yard looks awesome. I don’t ask about his status and he don’t tell.

  14. Well I have a crew of 2 Mexicans (all legal) that have cared for our yard for 3-years now. Every Tuesday morning; rain, shine, or high wind. The company that they work for really treats and pays them well, even ensuring year-round employment. The 2 that work for me have been working for the company 15 and 20 years respectively. I have the best looking lawn in the neighborhood.

    When we lived in Vantucky, Northwest lawns were a mystery (grubs?!? fungus?!? dethatch?) so we hired a professional to take care of the lawn at the rental.

    The landlords still kept a huge chunk of our deposit, but it wasn’t for lawn issues. Long story.

  15. Ray, exactly the same story w/ Lottery funds and legislative slight of hand here in Florida. I *think* they actually did as promised, 30 years ago or so, and after that it was just as you describe. In the 2000’s, when money was pouring into the state coffers, the Legislature, controlled by Rs, fell all over themselves finding ways to spend the money rather than adhere to ‘prudent man’ principles, like say overfund the pension and buy back the highest interest rate state bonds out there. Then, in an astounding turn of events, macro economies turned out to be cyclical! A pox on both their houses!!!

  16. @nick, we are getting our guesstimated 1.5 inches of monsoon XXXXXXX rain now. We can use it. And as usual, the DirecTV is out and only prerecorded stuff is working.

    Scratch that, we are well over two inches now and going for three inches of rain. The pool is getting ready to overflow. Just life in the subtropical rain zone (60+ inches of rain per year).

  17. In the 2000’s, when money was pouring into the state coffers, the Legislature, controlled by Rs, fell all over themselves finding ways to spend the money rather than adhere to ‘prudent man’ principles, like say overfund the pension and buy back the highest interest rate state bonds out there.

    I am with OFD, just both sides of the War Party.

  18. Ray, exactly the same story w/ Lottery funds and legislative slight of hand here in Florida.

    Florida is a couple of big court decisions away from being a high tax state. The last round of changes for “portable” homestead exemption left the entire “Save Our Homes” system vulnerable.

  19. Florida is a couple of big court decisions away from being a high tax state.

    Federal or State court ?

    What are the prospective court decisions ?

    And is Texas subject to them also ?

    A big difference between Texas and Florida is that the judges in Texas are 100% elected every four years. The judges are nominated for life in Florida, makes for real liberal judges (see Bush vs Gore).

  20. Federal or State court ?

    What are the prospective court decisions ?

    And is Texas subject to them also ?

    I’m not sure who would have jurisdiction, but the two big issues, ironically originating under “conservative” Governors:

    – The class size constitutional amendment which mandates funding to keep student-teacher ratios low. Jeb! didn’t do enough to either fight it or repeal it IMHO, and other states’ income taxes started with education funding standoffs going to court.

    – The last rewrite of the homestead exemption I mentioned, which happened under the watch of Charlie Crist, political errand boy of one of the most liberal law firms in the state. Florida Progs hate “Save Our Homes”, the Prop. 8-style law that keeps the property taxes manageable.

    Both of the situations are unique to FL. Changing the constitution has been too easy. Heck, I think the state still has the UF/FSU football game in the constitution, and, in one election before we left, a pig pen size mandate was actually on the ballot as an initiative (Google for “Florida Pig in a Poke amendment”).

    What TX needs to watch is the standoff between the City of Seattle and WA State. If Seattle prevails in their push in the courts to implement income tax in a state where such a tax is constitutionally banned, the precedent could be argued in areas outside the 9th district, possibly up to the Supreme Court.

  21. The judges are nominated for life in Florida, makes for real liberal judges (see Bush vs Gore).

    IIRC the current FL law allows for votes for judges to be retained at the end of their terms (four years?), but the nominations for initial terms come from the Governor’s Mansion. With Republican governors in power for nearly 20 years, the balance of power has shifted the other way.

    However, in the case of Bush v. Gore, I don’t believe that the FL Supreme Court would have done anything differently with majority Republican judges. That election was the culmination of Florida living in denial about a voting system offering three digits of precision at best, and the precedent applied for the “chads”, the 1988 Senate race, installed the last true conservative FL Senators, Connie Mack by a narrower margin than the 2000 Presidential election.

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