It’s been a tough week. Last Saturday, my youngest son Nick died here at home. He’d been fighting a disease for over 5 years and it finally won. It was such a shock to see after the way that day started. He was up and seemed happy in the morning. He seemed to still be that way around noon. But when my wife Jane went to get him for dinner that night, he was gone. He died in his room and I doubt we’ll ever know exactly what happened.
They came and took him away and performed an autopsy. Nothing definite from that although they did say he had an enlarged heart. They are awaiting toxicology reports to confirm everything. Then he was sent to a mortuary where we had a nice service for him. We are having him cremated and that should be done early next week.
It’s so strange not to have him around. My other two sons came for the funeral, but they’ve gone home now. The house is really quiet now. No extra noises coming from the basement anymore and it’s just Jane and I for meals now. Hopefully we’ll get used to it soon.
I’ll post more when we get some more information.
I’ve been thinking about this for a while and think it’s getting close to time to put this to bed. I just don’t have the drive to keep it up. Then again, I might need a place to vent and this is the best place to do it.
As I wrote before, I ordered a telephoto lens and it came last week. I love it! It’s an Opteka 500mm fixed length lens that also came with a 2x multiplier. That’s 1000mm total. Oh, is this fun. I got it hooked up and started with the 500mm length. Talk about seeing things up close. Taking pictures seemed to be pretty easy and I got a few shots around the house and backyard. 500mm seemed pretty easy to use. The quick pictures I took were clear and in focus.
Then I put the multiplier on the lens and things got really interesting. First was the fact that everything I was trying to shoot was so close :). Needless to say I discovered why folks tell the beginners to always use a tripod when shooting with a telephoto lens. I am now a believer. I didn’t realize just how shaky I was. The thing is, This lens isn’t really that long when compared to all the long lenses and I thought I could control it. Boy, was I wrong. I did get a couple of nice close up pictures, but a lot of them were fuzzy or not a full screen picture.
I’m looking forward to going out and shooting something other than my backyard with this lens set.
Filed under: Fun Stuff, Happenings, Rants
I have really been lax in keeping this blog up. I hadn’t been doing so well, and I just didn’t feel like doing much with anything. But now I’m doing a lot better and thought I’d try again.
A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from some company/site that wanted to sell me the .com version of this site for about $70 for a year. I decided to check and sure enough it was available and so I bought it for two years for $25. Then I wrote them back to give them the good news. Guess I pissed them off cuz they didn’t write back.
Today I got a call from GoDaddy asking me if everything was OK with the new domain. I told her the story about why I bought it. She got a good laugh on that one. Then I mentioned that I was going to call and check on pointing the .com domain to this one. No problem and she did it. So now both point here. Kind of nice, and I’m going to start posting more along with pictures.
Filed under: Fun Stuff, Photography, Traveling
Last May, I wrote that I bought a new camera with the intention of taking a lot of pictures. Well, time slipped by and I really didn’t take that many. So last month I decided to take a photography class. It was very informative, and I learned a lot. So now I’m going to start going out in the afternoons and taking pictures of the area. I’ll try to find interesting places and hopefully take some decent shots. One place I won’t be going though is any place that is run by the Larimer county parks and recreation folks. I can buy a daily pass, but after a while that might get expensive. I saw some information about getting a yearly pass online. That OK, if you aren’t a senior or disabled. I questioned them about this and they said it was just too hard to prove age or disability. Well, guess what folks. If they would put a block for your drivers license on the page, then age and disability could be checked before sending the pass. They won’t do it, so I won’t go. Or at least I won’t pay.
I guess I should get off this for now because it just makes me so damn mad.
When we bought our house, we knew there would be things that needed repairing/updating. Shortly after we moved in, we did convert the fireplaces from wood to gas. It was great because we could heat with them and not run the furnace so much. But now three years later, we did one of the things we’ve been talking about for a while. I knew when we moved in that the windows in the house were old. How old I didn’t know but I thought they were original to the house. We ordered new ones, and last Saturday, they came to install them. According to the installers, the windows were original to the house which was built in 1962. No wonder they were drafty. It took them about seven hours or so to replace them, and now we have discovered all the things they brought.
First, they are clean, and will be really easy to keep clean. Second and the most important thing is that they keep the heat and cold out. We haven’t run the air conditioner since they were installed, and yesterday it got to 90 degrees here. We had closed the windows early in the morning, and the house stayed very comfortable all day. Once the sun went down, we opened them up and the cool night air came in. It’s supposed to be hot today again, so we’ll see what happens. If this keeps up, we’ll have much lower energy bills and save a lot of money.
The other improvement we made was to have a stairlift put in to make it easier to go up and down the stairs. Both Jane and I have trouble with stairs, and it got to the point where I didn’t even attempt to go up and down. Just too much trouble. So I’ve been stuck upstairs for a while. Not any more. This thing is great. I can sit and ride it down, do what I have to do, and go back up when I want. It makes my life so much better.
I’m looking forward to the rest of the year. I want to see what happens to the utility bills, and how much savings we will get from these improvements.
Having only lived in the states for about 3 years after living overseas for almost 25 years, I wasn’t sure about homeowner’s insurance and also car insurance. Farmers insurance was recommended so I went with them. Now three years later, I have decided that I made a mistake.
The first problem came last April when I got the renewal for my auto coverage., Since starting, it has gone up over $100 every six months.Why? Well, according to the agent, Colorado has one of the highest rates due to all the problems with hail, fires and such. Yet I never made a claim. I got the impression that I was paying for others problems and also to keep the profits up for the shareholders. Yes, farmers is a traded company and as such, must keep the shareholders happy at the expense of the customers. I started calling around and found out that I was paying one of the highest rates for auto insurance. So I switched to another company and the cost was about half of what Farmers wanted. I dropped them, and went with another company.,
So now the second problem has come up. Yesterday I got a bill from Farmers for another $175 on my home insurance. The reason on the bill was “fire insurance”. I did a bit of checking online, and found out that that wasn’t the case, but was an increase due to dropping the auto insurance. Before I found this out though I had written to my agent to see what in the heck was going on. Got the same song and dance about all the claims due to fires, hail and floods. Still no claims from me, so I didn’t understand. I let it go and started looking around this morning and got the real story.
Let me just say that as far as I’m concerned, Farmers is a ripoff. Their fancy commercials don’t tell the real story. They’ll keep taking your money and jack up your rates without blinking an eye. Personally, I’ll tell it as I see it. Oh, and did I mention that in three years I’ve had 4 different agents? One quit, one got promoted, offices were combined, and now? Who knows. I’m just not going to be part of it anymore.
Many years ago, I enjoyed taking pictures. I spent the money for an SLR camera and all of it’s extra stuff. Well, film is hard to find nowadays, and I haven’t used it in quite a long time. I finally decided that I wanted to start taking photos again, and picked up a DSLR camera yesterday. I got a Canon EOS t3i along with a telephoto lens and bag. I found a deal on the entire package and got it. I am in the process of learning about everything it will do, and so far it’s a lot of fun. I haven’t done any real photography with it yet, but once the weather gets better I’ll go out to find something to take pictures of. Then I’m sure I’ll be filling up the galleries with new stuff. Until then, I’m off to play.
Many years ago, I joined Ebay and Paypal. It was a good way to get things shipped overseas, and I used it for a lot of computer stuff. But it soon got old, and I quit using them. The accounts lay dormant until recently when all of a sudden I got a charge for $200 on my paypal account. Talk about a shock. Having not used it in over 10 years, and then to suddenly have a charge was crazy. I immediately called Paypal, and told them I didn’t make the charge and hadn’t use it for a long time. They were good enough to reverse the charge, and I eventually got my money returned.
After this happened, I closed my Ebay account. I don’t use it, nor want it. I can get things just as quickly now that I’m in the states. Well, today I got the funds back from Paypal. I was pleased. The first thing I did after finding this out was to go and close the Paypal account. It is now closed, so I don’t have that worry anymore. I’m glad I did it. With all the fees that they are charging now, it just isn’t worth it. 10% here, 20% there starts to add up if you use them regularly. I was never a seller on Ebay, so there was no real reason to keep the account. The Paypal account is a bit different in that many merchants also accept it. But most of them also take credit cards, so what’s the purpose except for foreign purchases, and I’m not going to be making any of those that I know of.
Goodbye Ebay and Paypal. It’s been a long ride, but it’s over now.
I never imagined that when we moved into our house that we’d see so many critters. In the two years we’ve lived here, We live in a part of town that’s over 50 years old. It’s a residential area and really not close to open land. So far I’ve seen foxes, rabbits, a deer, a couple of red tail hawks, But yesterday took the cake. We had two skunks in the neighborhood. Late the night before last my neighbor had to dig them out of his window wells. He got them out and thought that was the end of it. The smell was horrible. But they didn’t go far. They meandered into my yard and hid under the small deck behind my house. It was terrible. You couldn’t open the door or the stench was knock you over. This morning though, they are gone. No more smell, It’s great. Hopefully they will stay gone.