our newest garden tool

When we left Gilroy in May 2015 we left a lot of stuff behind: donated to charity or given to neighbors. Garden tools were among what we gave up, including our electric hedge trimmer. We’ve gotten by fine without it, though it’s meant a bit more manual work.

Recently, however, our neighbor expressed concern about the vines growing along our shared fence. Seems in the past she has had an unpleasant experience replacing a fence due to overgrowth. I thought about renting a hedge trimmer to handle the job, but I realized that by the time I paid all the rental fees I could buy one.

So I did.

I cut back the vines by the fence and whacked down the hedge on the other side of the house which I had previously attacked by hand.

A worthwhile purchase.

 

hedge trimmer


giving away razors and selling razor blades

The phrase “giving away razors and selling razor blades” came into common use when discussing inkjet printers. The printers sold for a very low price but one got sticker shock when buying the ink cartridges. I had a similar experience recently.

label makerOur long-time, trusty label maker gave up and died. It refused to spit out the labels we tried to create. Changing the batteries had no effect. I eventually decided to replace it, so I made a trip to Staples. They had quite a selection ranging in price all the way from $19.95 to $64.95. I didn’t see anything in the more expensive models that made them worth the price, so I bought the $19.95 model. It came with a white label cartridge and I bought a transparent label cartridge.

It was only when I got home that I realized that the transparent cartridge was $9.95. Really? There’s a case of (almost) giving away razors and selling razor blades.

The new label maker is quite nice, by the way. It has a whole lot more features than the old one, which we must have had for fifteen years or more. It includes an LED display, which the old one did not have. We were making labels blind and only saw our mistakes when we printed the label. We’ll get good use out of this new label maker.


two more LEDs?

surge protectorThere are electrical outlets on either side of the bed. On the left, Terry’s side, the upper outlet is controlled by a wall switch. We have a lamp plugged in there. The bottom had the bed warmer plugged in, and Terry unplugged it in whenever she used the heating pad. So she didn’t have to do that I plugged in a three-plug extender. That worked fine for a long time. But after her knee replacement surgery she needed cold not heat. She did, however, use the lower plug for charging her iPhone. Problem was, the three-plug came out with the charger, aggravating Terry, who had enough to deal with.

So I moved the bed warmer plug over to my side. To do this I tried to install a six-plug extender that we had on hand. Turned out it was dead, dead, dead. Instead I plugged in a five-outlet surge protector that I had in my trusty wire box. It has two LEDs. With all of our electronics, we have LEDs all over the house.

So now we have two more. I guess that’s OK. What’s two more LEDs?


paying tribute to the yard waste gods

Some Disney movies should not be seen by young children. I mean, poor Bambi, losing his mother in the forest fire. One Disney movie that younger children should not see is Darby O’Gill and the Little People. The only part of the movie that I recall is near the end, when Darby has called the Death Coach because his wife is very ill and he doesn’t want to see her suffer. But by the time the Death Coach shows up she has gotten better. Problem is, when the Death Coach is called someone has to get in. So Darby does, allowing his wife to live. And they let six-year-olds see this stuff? Really?

This has everything to do with yard waste.

yard waste toterWe put three toters on trash day: trash, recycling, and yard waste. A couple of years ago our disposal company, CR&R, expanded the yard waste to include food waste as well. They have built a state-of-the-art facility that turns yard waste and food waste into natural gas (which helps to power CR&R’s trucks) and fertilizer.

I make sure that there is yard waste to put out each week. First of all, our yard needs that much maintenance in any case. And second, I fear the consequences of not putting out the yard waste toter. As in Darby O’Gill, the yard waste gods have their demands and must be appeased.

And besides, I am doing a Good Thing. Our yard waste and food waste are made good use of and turned into fertilizer and natural gas. I like contributing to the cause in that way.


farewell to a local institution

I believe that I am correct in stating that DJ’s Restaurant here in Hemet was the longest continuously operating locally-owned restaurant in the San Jacinto Valley. That ended at 3:00 p.m. on October 31. We almost lost DJ’s once before a couple of years ago, but they were able to work things out with the landlord. This time the landlord wanted a ten-year lease, and that was just too much for owner Grace at her age.

DJs signIt’s a shame. The family, that is, Terry and I, my brother Brian and sister-in-law Bobbie, my dad, and sometimes Bobbie and Brian’s son Eric and his daughter, get together regularly for breakfast on Saturday. If my brother calls and asks me where I’d like to go and we haven’t been to DJ’s in the past couple of weeks that is always my suggestion.

Grace, her daughter, and other crew members, many of them family members, are great hosts. The food is tasty, down home local restaurant fare and the service first-class.

DJ’s is not replaceable. We will miss it.


Tasha, the continuing story

As an Episcopalian I am very conscious of November 1st being All Saints’ Day. However, on November 1 I always write here about Tasha, our child, the beagle-terrier mix. We brought Tasha home from the shelter on November 1, 2005. She is still going strong.

TashaWe appreciate her now more than ever. Terry recently had knee replacement surgery at Kaiser Hospital in Riverside, about a fifty minute drive from here in light traffic. To be at the outpatient surgery center at the appointed time we had left here about 5:20 a.m. It turned out that Terry’s actual surgery time was much later than we expected, and then it took longer than hoped for Terry to be in good enough condition to work with the physical therapist. By the time Terry was actually released it was the middle of rush hour traffic. No fifty minute drive there. It was close to 6:00 p.m. by the time we got home.

We had never, ever, left Tasha at home for so long before. We were concerned about how she would do. There was no sign of her when we came in the front door, but Terry called her and she came trotting in to greet us. Seems she must have been quietly snoozing on the back patio while we were away.

Tasha knew at one that all was not right with Terry and immediately took up her role as protector, keeping and eye on Terry and staying close by. Tasha is our loyal, loving dog.

And Terry, she’s doing great.


more on grocery delivery

I wrote a while back about grocery delivery. I noted that it was very useful for Terry and me when we lived in Gilroy and both commuted into Silicon Valley. I said that when I started working from home delivery was no longer so important. I wrote about grocery delivery becoming available here in Hemet and stated that while it would be great for people who weren’t able to get out of the house I enjoyed doing my own shopping.

instacartI did have occasion to use the Instacart delivery service last week when I couldn’t get out of the house. Terry had just had knee replacement surgery and I needed to be home and look after her for the first few days.

The results were mixed. The Instacart system is very sophisticated. It tracks the status of your order every step of the way. And you are in real-time text message communication with your shopper for issues as they arise. My shopper was less than the most efficient. She said that the store didn’t carry my favorite cereal when in fact it does I buy it there all the time. My personal-size frozen pizza needed a substitution, but the substituted pizza was full-size, not personal.

It seems that the system is only as good as your shopper. I did get a response to the feedback I submitted about the errors, but it was not terribly satisfying.

My feeling is unchanged. I prefer going to the store and doing my own shopping.