House Work means DIY.

House work is one of the joys of owning your own home. By “house work,” I don’t mean dusting, I mean replacing whatever is broken today.

I had a 4ft, 4 bulb, florescent light in the kitchen give up the ghost, so I replaced it with a 4ft LED light.
Led lights fixture label

LEDs on fixture

Led lights turned on

Led light fixture lit up

To my eyes, this LED unit seems to put out twice as much light as the old school florescent unit, and, according to the label, it will save me something like $458 dollars over the lifetime of the product.

Also according to the label, the “lifetime” is something like 50,000 hours. So, let’s see; there are 8760 hours in a year, that makes it a tiny bit less than 6 years, which works out to about $76 per year. It doesn’t sound nearly as impressive when you put it like that, does it?

To bring even more joy to my life, the garbage disposal died that same day. -I wonder why?
Bottom of garbage disposal showing rust
(As a side note: If the part you connect to the sink says “insinkerator” and so does the one you’re pulling, you don’t have to replace the flange unless there’s something wrong. Because, as far as I can tell, they are all interchangeable.)

So, after taking a trip to the hardware store, and lightening my wallet by a couple of hundred bucks. I got to crawl under the sink and then climb up a ladder. -Multiple times.

Well, at least I got my exercise.

Of course my back is screaming at me about knowing better than to crawl under sinks, and my bad shoulder is reminding me why I shouldn’t work overhead. But it’s done, which is a good thing.

The bad news is that, while I was under the sink, I noticed that the valves are badly in need of replacement. So, once again, I get the joy of dragging a 6’4″, 275lb, frame into a kitchen cabinet.

On days like this I feel like I need a landlord to call, cuz, I’m too damn old for this shit.

On the upside, I may have to fix everything myself, but I can paint my living room purple with orange polka dots if want. –Yeah, that’s a scary picture.

Changes in iPhone OS 11 image format

First the new image naming system in iPhone OS 11 is weird.
The old system: IMG_0201
The new system: 9447702A-59FF-4DB7-B9F8-92E52418FFAF

Do they realize that their alpha-numeric id is longer than a Windows serial number?

And then the new image format is HEIF (heef) -High-Efficiency Image File- instead of jpeg. It can store multiple images in a single file which is great for their “live” photos. (A short video for lack of a better description.)

On the upside the output is jpeg, so there’s no real compatibility problem. I just want to be able to work with the original image(s) and not have to fight the iPhone software conversion.

Adobe is working on a way of handling this new format, but that takes time.

And the last thing I read about Microsoft is that they have nothing to say. Surprise, surprise.

As with all things, change is inevitable. Heck I even got used to the live photos. It’s great for people because you can go through it frame by frame and pick the best of them.
–I use the video2photo app to review and choose. (I just checked and the app still seems to be working well)

There are, God only knows, how many websites and groups dedicated to iPhoneography, and I admit that I take a lot of fast and dirty shots with my phone. However until someone makes some serious changes it’ll never compete with a real camera.

The truth is that this current photo system works for what I use my phone for. To top it off, to my eye at least, the photos look as good, possibly better, than they did with the old system. So I guess I shouldn’t complain.

This is because the experts say I need to include a picture.
Admiring herself in the mirror

Finishing the first draft of my novel –Not

I’ve been trying to get the first draft of my great American novel finished, but nothing is going as planned.

I know there are supposed to be setbacks and the first draft is supposed to suck. But it’s one thing to expect problems, it’s quite another to deal with them in real life. So I keep getting frustrated and starting over, and over, and over. Which accomplishes exactly squat, and leaves me running in place pretending I’m getting someplace.

A friend is entering NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writers Month, where the object is to write a novel with a minimum of 50,000 words in one month. There’s no way in Hell I can beat that, but if they have a “most pages shredded” category I’m a shoo-in.

What the experts tell you to do is just type your first draft. No edits, no spell check, no nothing. Just type.

Shit, I never understood how OCD I was until I tried to take that advice. I can’t do it, it bugs the living piss out of me to leave a misspelled word or a singular/plural error uncorrected. And don’t get me started on sentence structure or dialog.

I’ve gone as far as to buy an ancient Neo2 word processor.
neo2 word processor
The NEO2 has a green screen with black letters that will display six, 16 character, lines of small text, five lines of medium text and four lines of large font text. That’s it.

I even bought a copy of Write or Die for twenty bucks. It’s a program that keeps track of certain word counts with warnings and penalties if you don’t meet your goals.

I especially like Kamikaze mode. “The wee little word monster that runs kamikaze mode has developed a more refined sensibility now. These days he only likes vowels. If you turn on kamikaze mode and allow consequences to ensue, your words will be systematically disemvoweled.” In other words, it removes every vowel from every word you’ve typed. How’s that for an incentive to keep up?

Bermuda Grass is pretty much unkillable

Bermuda grass growing up through the cracks and taking over the patio.
bermuda grass in patio

When I started the grass was a foot high in places, so I used a weed whacker to bring it down to a manageable height. I wouldn’t say there was a lot of grass, but I had to use a garden rake to pile it up because the broom just couldn’t cut it.

As you can see, I didn’t finish the cleanup because it started raining.

This was a typical desert thunderstorm, lots of wind, noise, lightning and pouring rain. A series of storms were blowing through so it gave me an excuse not to continue. –Like I need an excuse to stop working.

When I went inside the grass was scraped down to the level of the cement. So I was not a happy camper when I looked out this morning and saw this bright green grass showing me who was the boss.

I give up. Cutting Bermuda is just pissing into the wind. So I trotted down to the nursery looking for something to kill it.

At least they had the good manners not to laugh out loud, but the bottom line is that I’m going to have to give it multiple treatments, and then the best I can hope for is to control it.

I’ll give glyphosate a try, but plan B is swimming pool acid.

Unemployed and Trying to Adjust

Okay, so I’m not adjusting well to being unemployed. I really need the money, but I haven’t been looking. I guess I really did need a break.

The first week I did nothing except watch TV and re-read Anton Chekhov’s short stories. Which is odd, because I still maintain a handful of websites and I’m supposed to be writing for five blogs. Three blogs are mine, so I couldn’t care less, but I’m a guest blogger on the other two and that should matter. It doesn’t, but it should.

As I said, I haven’t done squat. Hell, I’ve been so lazy that I haven’t even gone online and applied for unemployment. (I guess I’ll do that in a few minutes.)

In spite of having some money in the bank –weird for me–, I need some more income. But the one job offer that’s still good is from a guy who doesn’t always pay on time. Everyone else who said they could get me a job were just wasting oxygen. All talk-talk, no go-go.

I have been cleaning house, but I’m still at the stage where the mess I’ve created is bigger than the one I was trying to clean up. I know it will work out in the long run, but the biggest pile is, “where the hell do I put this?”

I spent this morning researching blogging and writing, trying to find inspiration, or at least something I didn’t already know. It’s funny that everyone of the blogging sites I’ve visited says you need a “call to action.” How about “SEND MONEY NOW!!!” That’s what they all say. No? You say it’s overused. It’s been done to death? –Oh well, Fuck It.

As far as writing goes, I spend an awful lot of time on Pinterest saving things to my various writing boards. You know, it’s amazing how much “good advice” there is out there and how much it helps me avoid actually writing.

Am I the only one that finds strange that most of these pins lead to sites that offer to teach you all about writing, being written by authors who have nothing published except the occasional howto book on writing?

At any rate, they say my blog needs a theme. How about, “retirement, how not to do it.”

They also say I need pictures. Okay, here’s your picture. –Sorry. No naked women this time.

(The moon taken in daytime and processed with Adobe Photoshop.)