Hot Tub and Frogs
So does anyone have a suggestion to my problem? I have a hot tub, which is covered. Often when I lift the cover, I have one or more frogs sitting on the side of the hot tub. I assume they are attracted to the water and trying to figure out how to get in. 99% of the time, they don't ever make it into the tub and I pick them up and take them to a remote corner of the yard away from the tub. But the other night a small green tree frog committed froggie-cide and I had to fish him out and give him a proper burial. While sitting in the tub that evening, one climbed up onto the edge of the tub and was hanging out there until I knocked him off. I love frogs. I used to raise them as a kid and I love the sound of frogs in the summer so I don't want them out of the yard. I just want them away from the hot tub and want them to NOT commit froggie-cide. Any suggestions?
I've seen chemicals that you can spray in areas that will keep them at bay, but they don't usually last in damp environments. And being next to a hot tub would definitely be a damp environment.
Thanks oh readers of my blog for any advice.
Dam2Dam - Yeah!
So last year about this time, I posted a blog entry titled "Dam2Dam - Damn
" Last year was to have been my first attempt at riding a 50 mile bike ride. My f-ing quads locked up at mile 38 or so and I was forced to do the last 11 miles in the passenger seat of a Cadillac Escalade. So this year it was time to give it a go again. 40 pounds lighter and working out a LOT more this year must have been the trick cause I FINISHED!
Friday Teri and I set out for Wenatchee around 1PM. After arriving, we connected with Brandon and Chuck and the four of us headed out for dinner at Visconti's Italian restaurant
. On the way (Teri and I were walking) Teri stopped with her mouth hanging open. I looked at her and said "What is your problem?" she replied "I'll give you about two seconds to figure it out." I looked in the direction she was staring and after a few seconds, my eyes locked in on what she had seen. A Sonic drive in
. We both love Sonic, but alas, there are none in Western Washington. We knew a limeade would be in our future. After a FANTASTIC dinner and some GREAT German Reisling, we headed back to the hotel. We crashed around 9PM.
At 5:45, the alarm went off and Teri decided to stay behind as she had come down with a horrible cold. So at about 6:15, Brandon, Chuck and I headed for Lincoln Rock State Park
to check in and get our numbers. Finally at about 7:30 when Erick, Jerry and Steve hadn't arrived yet, we decided to head out before the whole group of riders left at 8AM. I made it very clear to Brandon and Chuck that I would NOT be trying to keep up with them this year. I was just going to set a comfortable pace and see what I could do. At the first hill out of the park, they were gone. I turned up the iPod and kept cranking.
The first 10 miles or so are mild rolling hills where you just start to get into a groove and then you hit the first rest stop at about 10.2 miles. Brandon and Chuck were waiting for me there. They headed out while I rested for another 10 - 15 minutes and stretched, drank and ate. Then it was back on the bike for the next 15 miles to the turn around. Before we left, Brandon mentioned the "Four mile hill" and as I remembered it, it came up around mile 14. At mile 14, sure enough, I started climbing. I made it through the first hill without much difficulty, then the next and the next. Finally at mile 18 I started wondering if I had forgotten where the 4 mile hill started. At mile 20 when I started going downhill at over 30 MPH, I realized that I had already DONE the 4 mile hill! (Funny thing, climbing at around mile 15, Tim McGraw's "How Bad Do You Want It
" came on the iPod)
I pulled into the turn around, mile 25, around an hour and 40 minutes. I was feeling pretty good, but my right hip flexor was bugging me a bit. So I drank a lot, ate some more and stretched a lot. Brandon and Chuck left basically as soon as I got there. When I pulled out of the rest stop, I went really easy. I knew that the 4 mile hill had claimed me as a victim last year on the way back and I wasn't about to let it ruin my mood this year. The climbing started around mile 30 and at mile 32, it gets pretty steep. So I stopped and drank some more and stretched some. Then back on the bike for more climbing.
I made it over the hill and during the climb, waved to Erick and Jerry coming down. At mile 38, I smiled as I went past the spot where I had bonked the year before at about 20MPH. Pulling into the final rest stop at mile 40, no sign of Brandon or Chuck. The guy manning the station said "One of your buddies wanted to wait for you" I said "Oh yeah? Which one? The short one?" and he said "No, the tall one, with the jersey like yours". I replied "Oh? That's surprising, he's usually the one on a schedule" The guy laughed and said "Yeah, well he wanted to wait, but then 'Mr. Purple Shoes' came by talking smack and the tall one got on the bike and took out of here cranking to catch him". I had to laugh cause that morning Brandon and I were giving Chuck crap about his purple and gold cycling shoes. After some drinking and a bit of eating, I was back on the bike for the remainder.
The final hill at mile 48 was killer, but there was no way I was going to let anything get between me and the finish line. I wanted to hit the 50 mile mark in under 3 hours 30 minutes and hit it at about 2 hours 29 minutes 19 seconds. I finished at 3 hours 31 minutes and 28 seconds. 50.56 miles. It was AWESOME to get that monkey off my back! Can't wait to do it next year!
And the details:
|Location: Sunnyslope, Chelan, Washington, United StatesActivity: Road BikingDistance: 50.60 (mi)Comments: 2008 Dam2Dam Bike Ride in support of the Mike Utley Foundation. Finished the 50 Miler this year!Click the Map to the left to view details for this activity at MotionBased.com|
Who's Driving The Ferrari?
So does anyone remember Richard Pryor in Superman 3? Richard was a programmer who learned that his company rounded off dollar amounts and 1/2 cents here and there just got dropped. He wrote a program to put all those 1/2 cents into his own personal bank account. A few days later, he shows up to work in a Ferrari. Someone at Home Depot is driving a Ferrari. I'm convinced of it.
I have a client who is buying a house and is using her VA loan to do so. The VA is very persnickity on what has to be in the house for them to allow the loan to go through. This particular home had no stove and no vent hood. Both things that will be required for the VA to make a loan on the home. So my lender and I conspired to put a stove in the home. Problem was, the "Pigtail" (the part that plugs into the wall) was the wrong one for this particular home. So off to Home Depot I went and purchased what I "THOUGHT" was the correct pigtail. Nope, wrong one again. So back to Home Depot I go, I return the wrong pigtail. The price was $14.99 and with tax, the kind lady gave me back $16.30 in cash. I marched back to the appliance section and grabbed the correct pigtail and marched back up to the cash register. The new pigtail also retailed for $14.99. As I normally don't carry cash, I figured I'd just pay with the money that was just returned to me.
I go to the self service checkstand and ring up the pigtail. $14.99. I touch finish and pay, select cash and the total appears: $16.31. What? I just brought an item back for $14.99 and received with tax, $16.30 back. Then to buy an item at $14.99 and have the total ring up with tax at $16.31 seems a bit suspicious doesn't it?
Think of all the returns and exchanges that happen at Home Depot stores all across the nation on a daily basis. If everyone did what I did, there are millions of pennies being made every day. My theory is that when the amount comes up to say $16.3057 as a RETURN, they round down and give you back $16.30. But when the PURCHASE rings up as $16.057 they round up and collect the extra penny.
The deal of the century . . .
OK, maybe not the century, but at least of the last couple of days!
So a couple of weeks ago, I was on an inspection with a client. As we entered the kitchen, as is common, the kitchen was outfitted with can lights in the ceiling. The inspector mentioned that the bulbs in the lights were flourescent. I looked at them and sure enough, if you looked closely enough, you could see the little pig tails in the lights. But had he not mentioned it, I would have NEVER have known they were flourescent. I'd never seen flourescent bulbs in the shape of can light bulbs before. He mentioned that I could pick them up at Costco.
Yesterday I headed to Costco for some various houshold items and wandered down the light bulb isle. There they were. In packages of 6. Flourescent can light light bulbs. AWESOME! Now one of the things that has put me off about buying Flourescents in the past has been A) the look of them and B) the expense of them. With these looking just like normal can light light bulbs, A was history. So on to B. Normally these 6 packs of bulbs went for normally just shy of $18.00 per pack, or $3.00 per bulb. However, this particular item had an INSTANT manufacturer's rebate of $12.00 per pack! That brought the cost down to less than $1.00 per bulb. Even less expensive than normal can light light bulbs! So I picked up 4 packages. We have 15 of these in our home. So I've got extras should they ever burn out. But they supposedly last 5 times longer than normal bulbs, and none of them has burnt out in 2 years, so in all likelyhood, I'll never crack open the last package of bulbs.
So lets do some math. Normal can light light bulbs burn at 65 Watts. I have 15 of them. 15 times 65 is 975 Watts if all of them were on at once. The new flourescents only use 15 Watts of energy each. 15 times 15 is 225 Watts! Or a savings of 77%! Just in the kitchen alone, which are the cans that get used the most, all 5 cans use just over what ONE can used previously. AWESOME!
It does take a bit of getting used to. The lights aren't "instant on" like traditional bulbs. There is a slight delay as they come on, and they take a few seconds to "warm up". But once they're at full intensity, I think they're brighter than the ones before. I'm pretty stoked.
Here's a really good article that explains why Flourescent bulbs are more efficient than standard Incandescent bulbs: http://home.howstuffworks.com/question236.htm