Jobs…

Posted by The Inspector on July 23rd, 2014 filed in Uncategorized
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I can’t believe my oldest son will start high school this fall. It seems like only yesterday he started kindergarten. Now we have to talk about the future and what he wants to do with his life. I know that he won’t become a mathematician and I don’t need to worry that he will end up at an accountant. My mind envisions him moving away and looking for accounting in charlotte or some other far away place. Right now my gut says he will end up in computers or engineering.


Hustle

Posted by The Inspector on July 23rd, 2014 filed in Uncategorized
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We have been trying to raise quail for meat and eggs. I ordered a bunch of hatching eggs (60) and thought they were coming to tomorrow. I just checked the tracking information and they are arriving today. This means I have to hustle to set up the incubator and get it ready. When eggs are shipped in this heat you have to set them immediately rather than let them rest a day. Hopefully, everything is in good shaped and we have a good hatch.


Gifts

Posted by The Inspector on July 9th, 2014 filed in Uncategorized
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Last month we celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary. I have to admit I would have loved to have had some input on the gift I was given. I have a dozen different mother’s ring designs floating around in my head. The gift husband gave me ended up being perfect despite my lack of input. It wasn’t a mother’s ring but something I really needed. As much as I daydream about rings and jewelry when it comes down to it I am a very practical girl and my husband knows that about me. He doesn’t spend money on frivolous things and instead always finds something I truly need. This year it happened to be a gift card for clothing. Since I have lost weight I don’t have many clothes and really needed some that fit.


Rain

Posted by The Inspector on July 9th, 2014 filed in Uncategorized
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It has rained 5 days out of 7 for weeks on end. I realize there are parts of the country that are desperate for rain and that I shouldn’t complain. It is however very hard to garden in all this rain. I feel like we are constantly combatting fungus after fungus. It looks like our grape crop will be a loss this year due to black rot. I will have to start a spraying schedule next year well before our plants start to bud. It is just too late to win the battle this year for our grapes. Hopefully, the rest of the garden fairs better.


Visits…

Posted by The Inspector on March 12th, 2014 filed in Uncategorized
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My brother-in-law and his wife sent a message today wondering if they could come for a visit this weekend. I always get suspicious when they want to visit because generally it means they have some type of announcement to make. The last time they came to see us was to tell us they were getting married and that we needed to shop for kids tuxedos. I hate to sound this way, but I am just waiting for them to drop some sort of news at this visit. It would be nice if they would just visit just for the sake of visiting.


Falling Down…

Posted by The Inspector on March 12th, 2014 filed in Uncategorized
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This week I have seemed to just get clumsier and clumsier. On Saturday I burned my arm very badly on my convection oven. I was attempting to arrange a chicken I had placed on the rotisserie of the oven. In the process I got my arm right against the element of the oven. I now have a pretty big hole in my arm. This morning I was carrying an armful of laundry to the basement and tripped over my own feet. I fell very hard on my left knee as well as hit my arm and head. The left side of my body has taken a beating this week. I hope it is over.


Binge watching…

Posted by The Inspector on March 2nd, 2014 filed in Uncategorized
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I have a stiff neck, and it is entirely my own fault. It isn’t because I was working out too hard or because I turned my neck the wrong way. I have a stiff neck because I spent the weekend binge watching a television show in bed. I can only blame myself, and I suppose I could blame Netflix. They released the final season of “Breaking Bad” on a weekend where my husband went away. With no competition for the television I was free to watch whatever I wanted and watch I did! Now I am stiff and sore but at least I know what happened to Walter White. Good bye, Walter you were intriguing to watch…


Hunting Plans…

Posted by The Inspector on March 2nd, 2014 filed in Uncategorized
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My husband is planning to spend a great deal of time in the coming year learning to hunt. There was a time when I didn’t think that hunting was a good thing. Over the years I have come full circle in my thinking. I have learned more about hunting and at this point I have no problem with him taking up the sport. My father has been tutoring him, and they are enjoying the learning process. My only fear is the safety of hunting when you are a beginner. Hopefully, he will listen and learn and do everything he can to hunt as safely and responsibly as possible.


Honors class…

Posted by The Inspector on February 18th, 2014 filed in Uncategorized
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Our oldest son was invited to join an “honors cohort” at his cyber school. The purpose of this cohort or class would be to teach the kids about coding and creating apps. My son is convinced he will be able to create something like goconnect when the class is over. I am impressed with what the school is offering that is outside of the regular curriculum that is fun and engaging. My son seems to really be enjoying it and is motivated to get his schoolwork done in order to have more time to work on his app. Motivating him to work quicker always makes our day easier.


More snow…

Posted by The Inspector on February 18th, 2014 filed in Uncategorized
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When we went to bed last night the sky outside was clear, and there wasn’t a fleck of snow in the air. This morning we awoke to bitterly cold temperatures and heavy snow. We had gotten about 8 inches of snow during the night and more came down throughout the day. I keep telling myself that all this snow and cold weather is a good thing. The longer it stays cold the better it is for the fruit trees. It also lessens the likelihood of the mosquitoes being horrible next summer. I will say that I am ready to be done with shoveling snow. It can stay cold, and the amount of snow we have on the ground is just perfect.


Running…

Posted by The Inspector on February 4th, 2014 filed in Uncategorized
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It seems that my family learning from my running and that I have set some sort of example. My husband is now running on a regular basis, and my oldest son is now following suit. Even my youngest son is attempting to run a little bit on the treadmill. When I started running I did it because I want to test myself and do something I wasn’t sure that I could do. Now I run three times a week and push myself just a little bit farther each time. This summer I hope we can all run outside together as a family.


Sick again…

Posted by The Inspector on January 29th, 2014 filed in Uncategorized
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Winter seems to be the time when everyone just catches one cold after another. What is weird in my house is that I never seem to catch the colds that the rest of my family has. My entire family was sick right around Thanksgiving for a couple of weeks. Now they seems to have come down with the exact same cold again. I may be jinxing myself, but I feel just fine. For a few years now I seem to have developed some sort of resistance to these colds that they get. I think it may have to do with the fact that I am around so many people in the course of my day that I get exposed to things over and over. My family tends to be at home a great deal and therefore has limited exposure. Hopefully they are better soon and maybe just maybe this is the last round of colds in our house for a while.


Warm Weather…

Posted by The Inspector on January 14th, 2014 filed in Uncategorized
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We have had a brief period of warm weather in our area. Any time the weather warms up it seems like everyone gets outside and becomes active. The neighbors took out with their 110cc atv to hit the trails. We did a bit of cleaning up in the backyard. I actually want the weather to get cold again because I need to prune my fruit trees. This is something that cannot be done when the weather is warm because it could injure the tree. Hopefully soon we will get cold weather again, and I can get this job done. Fruit trees really need a sustained period of cold weather to insure a good fruit crop.


Couch to 5K

Posted by The Inspector on January 14th, 2014 filed in Uncategorized
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Nine weeks ago I started the Couch to 5K program. I really had doubts as to whether it was something I would be able to accomplish. Running is not something I ever believe I could do. I had a hundred reasons as to why I wasn’t able to run. Now that I am at the end of the program I realize that all of those reason were false. The real reason I couldn’t run was in my mind. Running over the last weeks has been a battle of mind rather than a physical battle. My body was definitely tired at times, and I wanted to give up but I didn’t. I told myself just one more minute and then another, and another. Today I finished the program and I fully intend to keep running. My new goal will be to improve my speed.


Injury…

Posted by The Inspector on December 26th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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My wife and I have been doing the Couch to 5K program for several weeks. My wife is on week seven of the program, and I just finished week six. The problem is that I injured myself during my last run. I am not sure what happened, but my calf is incredibly sore and swollen. I think I tore something. I have taken a couple of days off, and it seems to be feeling better. My concern is that I will injure it again if I start running again real soon. That leaves me with a predicament as I don’t know where to resume the program when I do heal? I am thinking that I will have to step back a couple of weeks from where I left off and taken thing more slowly, but I am not sure.


Stir Crazy…

Posted by The Inspector on December 5th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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We have been dealing with a long stretch of illness in our house. The kids have had a number of sick days and have gotten a little stir crazy. I have been on vacation for a week and have been working on a couple of household projects. The kids have been coming up with everything imaginable to amuse themselves. They have pretended to be in a band complete with stratocaster guitar. I have to say their band was pretty sad sounding because they both have coughs and sore throats. They made up a song and wanted me to record it them with the video camera. Soon they will be better and be able to get outside and burn off some energy.


Can sorting…

Posted by The Inspector on December 5th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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A local organization donated about 10,000 empty pop cans to our scout troop. We have a fund raising project that is centered around recycling pop cans for cash. This particular project is huge. We have been sorting for about a week, and there is no end in sight. The kids that participate in the project earn money that they can use to buy scout related items that they need or to pay for scout camp. This is an easy but time consuming project. It is nice that organizations think of us and are willing to help the troop in this way.


Feeling better…

Posted by The Inspector on December 5th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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For about two weeks everyone in my house has been sick. It started with my older son and then about 4 days later my youngest son came down with it. Three days after that my wife came down with the same cold. It has taken my wife the longest to get over it, but I believe she is finally feeling better. For the first time in about a week she slept well last night without coughing and hacking without stopping. For some reason I don’t seem to catch the colds that my family does. I think it has to do with the fact that I am around so many people in the course of my day that my immunity is stronger.


Kitchen project…

Posted by The Inspector on December 3rd, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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For the last week I have been working on redoing our kitchen countertops. We have lived without decent countertops since I ripped out the old ones about a year ago. What we are replacing them with is cementer overlay. We didn’t replace the kitchen cabinets although I would have like to shop for kitchen cabinets at wholesale. Our budget is tight, and we simply want to make things work with what we have. We will repaint the cabinets when the countertops are done and sealed. It will be nice to have a functional kitchen once again. Now that canning season is over for the year it seemed like a good time to get this project done and make use of our time indoors.


Sleepless…

Posted by The Inspector on December 3rd, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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This cough and cold that I have doesn’t seem to want to go away. It just seems to keep transitioning from one thing to another. The worst of it is at night. I can’t seem to stop coughing. It doesn’t matter what I take or in what amount I just cough and cough and cough. My head and chest ache from coughing. I know there are worse things to have and that this will indeed pass. What I really want and need is just one good night of rest. Maybe that will come tonight but I doubt it.


Staying home…

Posted by The Inspector on November 30th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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I know a great number of people love to shop on Black Friday. I am not among those people. There is no sale or advertisement that could entice me to shop on Black Friday. I don’t care how carefully a company researches vinyl banners printing to market their products. It doesn’t matter how cheap an item might be obtained for on this day. I quite simply will not fight crowds and traffic to save a couple of dollars. When I watch videos of people literally fist fighting for a discount television it makes me sad for our society. I will gladly spend a little more to stay home avoid all the drama.


Smoked Turkey…

Posted by The Inspector on November 30th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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We are taking our smoker, roaster, grill to my parents house today to smoke our belated Thanksgiving turkey. My mother is beside herself worrying about how we are going to do this. She simply cannot grasp the idea of smoking and roasting a turkey as opposed to cooking it in the oven. I keep assuring her that it will all be okay and that everything will be edible and fully cooked. I am sure she will find something she doesn’t like about the end product because she is extremely picky about how her food is cooked. At least I will have tried to show them a different way to do things.


Christmas lists…

Posted by The Inspector on November 28th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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The time of year is here when my children are making their Christmas lists. Thankfully they are pretty realistic in their expectations of what they might find under the Christmas tree. They don’t ask for stuff like playsets woodbridge va or a jungle gym because they know it would never fit under the tree. My youngest only put four things on his list, and one was simply a bunch of balloons to make balloon animals with. I love that they don’t expect the moon and are happy with the simple things. So many kids ask for everything they see and are upset when they don’t get it all.


Couch 2 5K

Posted by The Inspector on November 28th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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Three weeks ago my wife and I started doing the “Couch 2 5K” program. It is a program that gets a person from a state of relative inactivity to being able to run a 5K or at least 30 minutes. We are on week three of the program, and I have to say it is a great program. I used to run in high school but haven’t done so since then. While in my mind I think of myself as a runner I know the reality is that I am not presently a runner. It is fun to do something with my wife like this because we never have run together. Our goal even if we don’t run a 5K in 30 minutes is to be able to just run a 5K.


Decorating…

Posted by The Inspector on October 22nd, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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My wife is on a decorating kick. It isn’t like she is buying tons of things or spending a great deal of money. What she is doing is spending a great deal of time browsing the internet looking at burlap curtains at this site or throw pillows at that site. I think some of this is because now that garden season is over my wife feels like she needs a project. Even if she is only decorating in her head I think it is funny that she spends so much time on it. I suppose I would have more to complain about if she was actually buying things and not just shopping for them.


Exercise…

Posted by The Inspector on October 22nd, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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Now that our diet is under control we have started focusing on getting an exercise plan in place. It is sometimes hard to decide what is harder to do – sticking with a diet or sticking with an exercise plan. I can honestly say I think sticking with an exercise plan is harder. It is a decision you have to make each day whether or not to get on the treadmill or to go to the gym. My new plan is to try and work out every other day and build up to just taking a couple of days off a week.


Special Gift…

Posted by The Inspector on August 27th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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I love cooking outside and my wife loves the results of my efforts. My favorite thing is grilling. I have been wanting a smoker for a while but just haven’t gotten around to getting one. Yesterday my wife surprised me with the announcement that she had ordered me a smoker that is also a roaster and a grill. I can honestly say I cannot wait to get this new smoker/grill/roaster. Everything I have read about this particular smoke is positive. The reviews are absolutely glowing. I love that this device does many different things and I am not limited to using it for just smoking. I will post an update after I get it and use it.


Projects…

Posted by The Inspector on August 18th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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This fall I have a couple of projects that I need to complete. One of them is to rebuild our mini-greenhouse. The plastic on it deteriorated after years of use, and it need some structural changes . I am going to have to find my bar clamps to hold it together while I make the changes. I also want to build my wife a couple of cold frames in order for her to grow greens this winter. Since changing our diet we find ourselves eating lots of salads, and it would be nice to be able to grow lettuce all winter. The other project I need to complete is to refinish our kitchen countertops.


Mini-trip…

Posted by The Inspector on August 18th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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In a couple of weeks I have to travel for work. I am actually looking forward to this. My job doesn’t require me to travel often or regularly. It is nice to get outside the office and to be in a different environment. My family is considering going with me just to get out of the house for a few days before school starts. We don’t get away very often and even if we don’t do anything special the trip will be special just because we are somewhere else. Hopefully we can find some inexpensive activities for the kids to enjoy that will make this a memorable trip for them.


Laptop repairs…

Posted by The Inspector on July 21st, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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It has been about two weeks since we got our laptop back from the manufacturer. It was sent in for repairs to the hard drive. While it was there they also replaced the keyboard. I was really concerned with the computer first started acting up that we needed a Registry cleaner or something like that. It almost seemed like there was a virus or something impacting how the machine was working. As it turned out the hard drive was failing. Now that the system has a new hard drive everything seems back to normal. I can’t help but wonder if the laptop is fixed for good or if something is going to fail again in the future.


Grapes…

Posted by The Inspector on July 21st, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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About two years ago we planted eight different grape vines. It seemed like none of them were going to make it for the longest time. In a last ditch effort to save them we moved several of them to different parts of the yard. For some reason this seemed to suit them. Two of the vines are absolutely loaded with grapes. I can’t wait to see all the fruit mature and be able to harvest it. It would seem that if all the vines start producing at the same rate we will end up with more fruit than we know what to do with. I would be very pleased if even half of them produce like the first two are. We plan on making grape juice, wine and some jelly with this years fruit.


Strumming…

Posted by The Inspector on June 26th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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Our youngest son has been struggling to find ways to amuse himself while his brother is away at camp. It seems like he has decided to devote each day to rooting through his room to find toys he has forgotten about. Today he has spent most of the day strumming on a child’s guitar we have had for a very long time. He realized today that the guitar isn’t in the best shape and asked if we could repair it. He also wondered why it looks as bad as it does. I had to explain that it is old and hasn’t been treat well. It isn’t like we have gotten an excellent guitar wall hanger at WWBW for it. What I did tell him that is if in the future he finds he is really interested in guitar that we could get him a better one. My gut tells me that by tomorrow he will have forgotten the guitar and will have moved onto something else.


A Week Away~

Posted by The Inspector on June 26th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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Our oldest son has been away for several days at Boy Scout camp. This is the first time he has gone to Boy Scout camp despite being eligible to go for a number of years. He simply has not wanted to be away from home that long. I think it is a fairly long camp given that they are gone 7 full days. I can only hope that he is learning new things and really enjoying himself. My wife is full of worry that something has or will happen to him while he is away. I am volunteering a couple of days this week at the camp and should be to check in on him an make sure all is well.


Retiring…

Posted by The Inspector on May 21st, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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At the end of this week my father-in-law will be retiring. He is not very excited about it which bothers me a bit. You would think that having worked until the age of 70 that he would be more than ready to relax. He will not discuss his retirement plans with us at all. I keep asking where he is going to live and what he is going to do, but he says nothing. He lives in the south which makes me wonder if maybe he will look for jacksonville nc homes for sale or something similar. I doubt he would ever come back north despite the fact that his entire family lives here. He is just a private person and doesn’t want to discuss his personal decisions. Hopefully he at least sends us a change of address card when he does move.


Moving plants…

Posted by The Inspector on May 21st, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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The one thing I am learning about gardening is that it has quite a learning curve. Yes, you can be a successful gardener by winging it. I however have learned the hard way that winging it will eventually bite you in the butt in some way. Instead of having success on a multitude of fronts there will always be one area where you fail because you didn’t do your homework. Luckily, plants can be forgiving to a point, and you can correct mistakes even years after you make them. We recently moved 3 grape vines that weren’t thriving. I realized that when we planted them there were put in very close together which gave the roots little room to expand. By moving some of them I am hoping that the will all start to thrive because they have the space to do so. Had I done my research before planting these plants would be well established and fruiting by this point. I will now have to wait a couple of more years for fruit because of my mistake.


Progress…

Posted by The Inspector on May 21st, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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We spent this weekend working on our camp. I was able to get the roof replaced which was a huge step forward. My wife tore out the ceiling which had been damaged by water. Now that the roof is dry and the leaking has stopped we will be able to work on the interior. Aside from the ceiling there was not much water damage. With the camp now empty we will be able to get some updating done to the interior such as painting and cleaning. Once that is done we will be able to at long last move our camping gear into the camp and possibly spend a night or two. It will be nice to have a camp with four solid walls. We love our pop-up but there are times when it has felt less than safe.


Questions..

Posted by The Inspector on May 21st, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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There was a time in my life when I was not very careful about giving out personal information. Today I find myself questioning everything. I always wonder what people might be doing with my personal information. For all I know they could be looking at http://www.easybackgroundchecks.com to find private details about me. My policy today is to ask why they require certain information and what they will be doing with that information. Unless they can justify the need for personal details I don’t give them anything. You just never know where your information to could end and for what use.


Dry…

Posted by The Inspector on May 21st, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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I am hoping that the weather we have had this week is not forboding of the summer to come. Last year we had a really bad drought. This week the weather has been very hot and dry for this early in the year. I can only imagine what will happen to food prices if our country were to suffer another drought. We are supposed to get rain tonight and for the next few days to come. Hopefully it is enough to offset how dry everything has become this week.


No Cell Phone…

Posted by The Inspector on May 4th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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We were having a discussion at work this week about cell phones. The people in my office could not believe that I don’t have a cell phone. They tried to inform me that all sorts of options exist for buying a phone. They told me I could get used phones or even a pay-as-you-go phone. What they didn’t understand is that I simply don’t need a phone. I work one mile from my house. I have a ham radio in my truck that I can use to call for help if I need it. I simply don’t feel like I need a cell phone and don’t want to be that available to people who just want to chat. I have never sent a text message in my life and am perfectly okay with the way things are. It might seem weird to other people but it works for me.


Long Day…

Posted by The Inspector on May 4th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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Today was a very long day. It was a gorgeous day but a long one. We had to attend a funeral today for our son’s Scout Master. He went missing over a month ago, and his body was found last weekend. He was simply an amazing man who will be terribly missed by our community and especially the boy’s in our troop. It was a very nice funeral, but it was incredibly sad. I am however glad that his family has closure and doesn’t have to worry any longer about what happened to him. I am quite confident that his legacy will live on in the young men of his troop.


Joyous!

Posted by The Inspector on April 16th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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The people in the apartment building across the street are moving! Normally such an event wouldn’t phase me one way or the other. This particular household has been a plague to live next to. I would almost get some of those wholesale vinyl banners wishing them farewell, but that might be a bit much. I will not miss their parties, music, or wandering Pit Bull. Despite having a leash law in our town their dog is for whatever reason immune to this law. The dog actually came at me one night when I was taking out the trash. They cannot move fast enough for my taste. Hopefully the new tenants are law abiding citizens.


Finally!

Posted by The Inspector on April 16th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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We have had almost a week without snow! The weather seems like it has finally turned from winter to spring. The temperatures have been warm enough this week for spring planting. I really had begun to think that all we would see was a blanket of white outside. Hopefully things are going to be much different from last year, and we do not end up with a drought. It would be great to have a nice gardening year where everything survives. Our nation could really use that.


Prayer Vigil…

Posted by The Inspector on April 3rd, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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We just returned home from a prayer vigil for the person I posted about previously who went missing from our town over a week ago. Our entire family went, and I am glad we did. It was helpful to our children to see so many other people feeling the same way that they are. The man who is missing is an important part of our community and is actively involved in helping many children’s programs. Our hearts are heavy as it has been 12 days since he went missing and there is no indication of what happened to him. We pray for his safe return to his family and community very soon.


Photo Albums…

Posted by The Inspector on March 30th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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We spent a few hours today with my family at my brother and sister-in-law’s house. My sister-in-law is an avid scrap booker and got out a bunch of photo albums for us to look at. I don’t mind looking at a few albums but she had more photo albums than you would find at a raleigh nc photographers office. There is a point where you can only look at so many of someone else’s vacation photos without becoming bored out of you mind. I don’t think I have ever made anyone look at a photo from a vacation I took. If they were to ask me to look at them I would gladly share but I never assume someone cares about my vacations or other travels.


Running slow…

Posted by The Inspector on March 30th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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I don’t know what the deal is tonight, but my internet is running extremely slow. I have been waiting for a page to load for forever. At first I thought that there were too many people in my house using the internet but that can’t be true. Our power did go out earlier which makes me wonder if something happened to a connection or something. Hopefully it will keep churning along long enough for me to get a few projects completed before I go to bed.


Calling Customer Service

Posted by The Inspector on March 16th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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My mother-in-law just dropped by in a panic over a call she tried to make to a customer service line. She get completely upset by automated phone systems and doesn’t understand that she needs to press the keypad and can’t just sit there waiting for a real person to come on the line. I tried to explain it all to her but I may as well have been talking about eoncode.com web to print solutions to her. I was explaining that she needed to press the number one to talk to someone about a bill and then the number two to get a live agent. She just got this glazed look on her face as if I was speaking Greek. I finally made the call for her and confirmed that everything was okay with her account. I can tell that this is a call I will be making from now on.


Repairs tomorrow…

Posted by The Inspector on March 16th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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Tomorrow I will be spending the day working on my truck.The strap that holds the gas tank in place rusted through, and I need to replace it. That will be a bear of a job. I am also going to be doing the outer tie rod ends on both sides. I am not looking forward to spending a day in the cold, but the job has to be done. The truck needs inspected before the end of the month and although these things might not be checked during the inspection I want them done beforehand just in case.


Green…

Posted by The Inspector on March 6th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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The snow here has virtually melted away this week. We are expecting a huge storm in a few days but it is nice to see the ground again even if for a brief while. There is even a tinge of green to the ground which gives me hope that spring is around the corner. Although our winter has not been horrible I will be glad to see green grass beneath my feet again.


On my own…

Posted by The Inspector on February 22nd, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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My entire family is gone for the night . This is the first time I have been alone in the house in a very long time. It is weird to be alone in the house. Our house is always full of family and noise. I love it that way for the most part. I have to say that having the house to myself for a while is a nice thing. I plan on sleeping in late and just savoring the quiet while I can.


New Again…

Posted by The Inspector on February 19th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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A few months ago my mother-in-law gave me an antique tool chest that had been sitting in their garage. It was pretty damaged by the elements and needed quite a bit of restoration. I spent a great deal of time getting the rust off of it and repainting it. The last thing I need to do is look for something like brass mushroom knobs for it. The old knobs were in such bad shape than I couldn’t restore them. Aside from missing knobs the tool chest looks amazing and my in-laws are happy to see it be put to good use once again. I feel good that I saved a great item for ending up in the dump.


Stuff and more stuff…

Posted by The Inspector on February 19th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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My wife used to go crazy using coupons to buy everything. After a while she decided that cooking from scratch was better and that we didn’t need to be eating the types of food that coupons enabled her to buy. This week she found a new outlet for her couponing skills and has now turned to buying household and personal care items at CVS for next to nothing. At least the things she is buying are stuff we can use that won’t make our waistlines expand.


Increases and more increases…

Posted by The Inspector on February 8th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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It seems like every single day we get a letter informing us that one of our bills is going up. I sometimes wish I were a raleigh commercial real estate attorney or something along those lines because I would fight our property tax rates. This year not only will our property taxes go up but also every single other utility bill that we pay. Our auto and home insurance rates are also rising. I really wish I could open the mail and find out that someone had decided not to increase our rates or even lower them a little bit.


Big Storm

Posted by The Inspector on February 8th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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So…we kept getting warnings for the last couple of days that we were going to get a big storm. Possibly as much as two feet of snow was coming our way. Even up to a couple of hours ago the prediction was that we would get as much as a foot of snow. I just checked the weather report and we are now supposed to get less than an inch of snow. I am glad we aren’t getting two feet but how far off can these reports be?


DIY

Posted by The Inspector on January 25th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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This week my wife has been on a DIY kick. She has been researching and trying to make everything imaginable that she can. One large task we accomplished was to put away 25 pounds of frozen french fries from potatoes we had in storage. After that we made 14 pounds of bath soap. When this was complete we made some homemade aftershave and deodorant. Also included in the mix was some toothpaste. All of these items have been outstanding. Along with the french fries we made some homemade potato chips. Nothing compares to homemade potato chips. This weekend we are going to be making about 50 tubes of lip balm which should last us a couple of years. It is nice to do things in bulk and not have to worry about making them for a long time.


Pinewood Derby…

Posted by The Inspector on January 17th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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Tonight is my youngest son’s first Pinewood Derby. We have been working on his car for about a week. I swear the little guy is so stressed about having a great car that I have expect him to start smoking 858 sungrown cigars or something to relax. Obviously that is a joke since he is only six years old, but let us just say he is stressed about this race. He actually thought for some reason there was no school today because of the race. I guess it is like some sort of holiday in his mind. Hopefully, he has a good time at the race and doesn’t get too upset if he doesn’t win.


Loving it…

Posted by The Inspector on January 17th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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This is the first week at my new job. Although I have the same employer I am now working in a different department. So far it has been absolutely awesome! I cannot tell you what a difference I am finding between this department and the one I previously worked in. The atmosphere is so much less stressful and my co-workers seem genuinely happy with their jobs. The best part is that I don’t have that feeling like I will never get caught up. At my old job our workload was so heavy that no one ever felt like their head was above water. This is such a nice change and I am so thankful.


Sledding

Posted by The Inspector on January 12th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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This week my youngest son’s cub scout troop went sledding. There is a new tubing hill by our house that just opened. I have to say I was a bit shocked at the price to sled there. It was $10 an hour, but they provide tubes and a tow row back up the hill. The scouts got in for free the night we went which was nice. The hill was really slick and steep and I had serious concerns about safety. The children were clocked at over 45 mile an hour. I am not sure we will be back despite the fun they had. I can’t imagine what would happen to a small child if they stepped in the path of a tube going that fast.


Technology…

Posted by The Inspector on January 12th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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These days my children are just about as tech savvy as I am. The other day I was trying to research a way to do easy cd duplication and my son was looking over my shoulder. He wanted to know why I would be looking for something like that given how portable MP3 files are. His suggestion was that I simply put my music on an MP3 player and stop worrying about keeping copies of my CDs. Even though his suggestion was a little off topic I have to give him credit since he is only six years old. I would never have known terms like that when I was six.


Drained…

Posted by The Inspector on January 12th, 2013 filed in Uncategorized
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When you are trying to learn something new it can be trying. The new thing that I am trying to learn is ham radio operation. We have had our licenses for a couple of months but are just now getting into using our radios. It had seemed like operating a radio would be pretty simple but that is not the case. In hours of messing around with the radio we have only managed to get one channel programmed into the radio. I am giving up for the night and will try again tomorrow.


Gift list…

Posted by The Inspector on December 14th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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My mother gave me a list of things she would like for Christmas. I have to say that sometimes I wonder what is going on in her head. It is like she watches television and makes her list at the same time. If an advertisement for a cheap yoga mat come on television then it goes on her list. She asked for cookbooks for foods I know she will never cook. I am planning on ignoring her list and getting her practical things that she needs and will use.


Christmas Break…

Posted by The Inspector on December 14th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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Today is the first day of Christmas break for our children. It seems like only yesterday we started out a new school year and now we are halfway through it. The kids have break until after the new year and they are beyond excited. Right now they are in the midst of a day long video game playing session. We only let them do it once in a while and the first day of vacation seems like the perfect day to do it. After today we will reign them in and find more appropriate ways for them to spend the day.


What gift?

Posted by The Inspector on December 14th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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This year I only have to buy Christmas presents for one person and that is my wife. She really hasn’t said much about what she needs or wants. I had considered getting her some frog garden statues but I think I will go with something more practical. My wife is the type of woman who doesn’t want money spent of frivolous things. The problem is I have no idea what type of practical gift to get a woman who doesn’t really need or want much.


Sickened…

Posted by The Inspector on December 14th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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The news brings us only heartbreak today. Our world is without so many beautiful children and adults because of yet another depraved shooter. Some sick F*$& decided the best thing he could do is go to an elementary school and shoot everyone. Why on earth is this becoming commonplace in our society. What happened to just offing yourself in the woods or jumping off a bridge? So many shattered lives today and futures that will never be lived. I am deeply sad for these families.


Roughhousing…

Posted by The Inspector on December 8th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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I spent the better part of this morning reupholstering a couple of foot stools in our living room. As the father of two boys I am keenly aware of how hard children can be on furniture. I have threatened to replace our couches with aluminum benches because they are so hard on furniture. They just don’t think about jumping on things or throwing themselves down on a piece of furniture. Luckily, I was able to put new fabric on the foot stools and we won’t need to replace them as soon as I thought. I can’t say the same for our couches but I am planning a way to freshen them a bit. I’ll let you know how it works out. Our couch cushion zip closed which means I should be able to refill them with more stuffing.


Irritating…

Posted by The Inspector on December 8th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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We are required to sell popcorn as part of my son’s participating in Boy Scouts. The children are pushed very hard to sell a great deal of popcorn and are encouraged to go door to door to do so. We are now trying to deliver orders to people and are having a hard time getting a few people to answer their doors or return phone calls. It is just ridiculous for someone to place an order they never intend to pay for.


Making Gifts…

Posted by The Inspector on November 21st, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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This year I am going to be making most of my Christmas gifts with my own hands. I am completely tired of the yearly shopping frenzy that everyone gets into. Instead of shopping I am going to be making my children new beds styled like platform beds nyc. They have outgrown the beds that they currently have and need something more mature. They both really like platform beds and I am confident I could make them myself. I will keep you posted on how the project turns out.


Recycling project…

Posted by The Inspector on November 21st, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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Our Boy Scout troop just finished a huge recycling project. There was a donation made to our troop of about 17,000 empty pop cans. The troop simply had to sort the cans and package them up for turning into the recycling center. I am in charge of the recycling project and thought this would be an overwhelming task but the troop took care of it in record time. The cans ended up bringing in $850.00 to be divided among the boys who helped with the sorting.


Twitching All Night…

Posted by The Inspector on November 21st, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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My wife has been complaining for the last few weeks that I have been twitching all night. Apparently this isn’t something that I just do when I am falling asleep but rather something that I do all night long. I have tried different pillows and cushions to see if that might be the problem.I have also cut back on my caffeine consumption in case that might be a contributing factor. Nothing seems to be helping and it seems that I am still keeping my wife awake all night.


Cub Scouts…

Posted by The Inspector on November 21st, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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Tonight we are headed out for a Cub Scout meeting for our youngest son. This is his first year of participating in scouts. It is interesting because it is also his first time doing any sort of organized activity. Seeing him interact with other children in a setting like that is interesting. Home schooling doesn’t offer the same sort of environment that traditional schooling does and our children aren’t really used to activities that require them to sit and in a group and listen to someone talk. Surprisingly he does really well and has no trouble sitting and listening.


The Right Gift…

Posted by The Inspector on November 20th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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Most everyone I know is looking forward to starting their Christmas shopping on Friday. I have listened to my friend’s talk about buying the newest electronic devices and things like indoor fountains from waterfountainpros. My goal for this holiday season is to minimize my shopping list and to only give things that people really need and will use. It just seems so pointless to keep buying my children the latest and greatest electronic gadget only to have it be dated before the year is out. This year they are getting things that they ask for but will be able to use for years to come. It might not be the most exciting Christmas ever but I won’t have any regrets once the holidays are over.


Feeling Special…

Posted by The Inspector on November 20th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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For as long as I can remember I have always hated my birthday. I guess it stems back to repeated disappointments I endured on my birthday over the years. My parents are not the type of people who consider birthdays anything to fuss over. In fact many years they have simply ignored my birthday completely. This year for whatever reason I decided that this was going to be a good day regardless of who remembered or didn’t. As it turned out everyone near and dear to me remembered and I am touched. Either way the only thing that mattered to me was that I would get to spend my day with the people who love me the most – my children and husband.


Collections…

Posted by The Inspector on November 10th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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We have spent this week assisting my in-laws in making their home handicap accessible. My father-in-law was diagnosed with Parkinson’s while in the hospital and is going to need a home that will accommodate his changes in health status. He is a collector of all things and we had a great deal of sorting to do in order to clear out their home. One thing he collects is musical instruments. He doesn’t play any instruments but for some reason he has felt compelled to collect them. He has everything from a to bagpipes in his collection. I was particularly taken by the an accordion that he had. He offered to give it to me but I just couldn’t bring myself to take it. It would be nice if someone who actually played some of the instruments he owns could use and enjoy them. We moved them to the attic for the time being which seems a shame but no one in his family plays any instrument.


Tough week…

Posted by The Inspector on November 10th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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This has been a tough week in our home. My father-in-law was hospitalized last week and put into CCU. This week he was discharged promptly and without notice because he would not consent to go to a nursing home. The doctor caring for him did not like this and decided to simply discharge him. This threw the entire family for a loop because we anticipated some sort of transition before he was discharged. My wife has been trying very hard to sort his care out and give him the best opportunity for survival. The doctor said he likely wouldn’t survive 2 months at home. Needless to say we are incredibly disappointed in this doctor and the hospital.


Tired…

Posted by The Inspector on November 2nd, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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We rarely go to the ER for anything. Yesterday we took my father-in-law there because his family care doctor said to do so. We arrived at noon. It was another fours before he was seen by a physician. By the end of the night he was admitted to CCU with renal failure and pneumonia. It really doesn’t surprise me when you hear about people dying in the waiting room of hospitals. Another gentleman who arrived at the same as we did also ended up being admitted to ICU for heart trouble after waiting an equally long period of time. From the start of our visit to the end it was 10 hours before my father-in-law was on a unit.


Nearly Empty…

Posted by The Inspector on October 29th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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We typically get quite a bit of mail on Monday’s but today was the exception. The only mail we received today was a flier from a hardware store advertising a Carhartt pants sale. Since we never get any mail on Saturday I am left wondering exactly where all of the mail we get is? I guess I should be thankful that the mailbox was not full of bills or more advertisements. This means less paper for me to put in the recycling bin.


Mesmerizing…

Posted by The Inspector on October 29th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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We live in an area that has the potential of being impacted by Hurricane Sandy in some way. I have been avidly watching the storm as it started to get close to our area and find it absolutely mesmerizing. I am not normally a person to believe the hype about a storm as it is portrayed by the media but this storm is so incredible. I can only pray for the safety of people up and down the East Coast and hope that this storm dissipates soon.


Take me away…

Posted by The Inspector on October 12th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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Yesterday there was a big online sale on airline tickets. It really made me think about booking a trip to go somewhere for a getaway. I thought about investigatiing san diego beach house rentals at BeachHouse.com but knew we couldn’t afford that right now. After toying with the idea of vacation for a couple of hours I realized that the money would be better spent on some things around the house. There will be a point in future where we will have money to spend on vacations and whatnot but for now our money is going to be directed to improving the place where we spend all of our time.


The source…

Posted by The Inspector on October 12th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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For about two weeks I have had some serious pain in my back and thighs. I have been to the doctor on two occasions. The first time I saw the nurse practitioner and he passed my pain off as possibly being a kidney stone. I finally insisted on seeing the doctor who referred me for a bunch of testing. As it turns out I have a cyst and some infection that is causing my pain. It made me feel a bit angry that the nurse practitioner would disregard my complaints and suggest that all I needed was time and fluids when in fact I have an infection present. It makes me wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t been proactive with my care?


Organizing…

Posted by The Inspector on September 26th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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Our dining room is essentially the children’s school room. We have a very large work space in there where they keep all their school supplies as well as do their school work. It is sometimes hard to keep everything organized because they simply have so many supplies. I have tried putting stuff in bins with laser labels on them indicating what is inside each container. We are trying to get them in the habit of putting everything away neatly once they are done with it in order to keep things more tidy. I wish we had a room that we could dedicate solely to school but it hasn’t worked out that way yet. Maybe someday we can arrange figure out a way to use our finished basement for that purpose.


Dinner…

Posted by The Inspector on September 26th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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We are going to my mother’s house for dinner tonight. She insisted we come over and eat with her. I love my mother dearly but eating with her drives me crazy. She is the slowest cook on the planet and never starts cooking until we arrive. This means dinner is always 3-4 hours after we planned on eating. The children get grumpy because they are hungry. When it comes time to eat my mother eats so slowly that everyone in the family has been done eating for a good 40 minutes before she finishes. It just make for a very long evening and after a full day of work I am simply not in the mood for it. Nonetheless we are off to eat dinner with my mom tonight.


Winter projects…

Posted by The Inspector on September 21st, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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When we winter comes we always have time to work on hobbies we wouldn’t normally have the time for. One thing we like to do it brew a batch of beer. It has been a couple of years since we have bought a beer making kit from a site like homebrewit.com. I have considered coming up with my own recipe but it is just easier to buy a kit. Last winter we brewed hard cider and some wine. We decided that neither of these are really something we want to drink on a regular basis. That leaves us with making beer. I am looking forward to trying something different this time. Hopefully we can find something we both like that tastes really good.


Teen Wolf…

Posted by The Inspector on September 21st, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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So… for some unknown reason we started watching “Teen Wolf” on Hulu. It is nothing the the show we watched when we were teenagers and Michael J. Fox was the teenage wolf. Despite being a bit goofy the MTV show is decent. I thought it would get ridiculous over time but the show has actually gotten better. I guess that MTV is no longer the same channel it was when I was a teen either. I haven’t watched MTV in 20 years or more…


Tired again…

Posted by The Inspector on September 18th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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I have been dealing with a low hormone level for about a year. The doctor first diagnosed me last Christmas and I started hormone replacement therapy then. Everything seemed to be going great until my last blood test a couple of weeks ago. For some reason my hormone levels are back in the toilet. I feel like crap and am tired all the time. They are upping my dosage and hopefully I will be back on track soon. I just wish I knew what was going on with my body.


Saturday mail…

Posted by The Inspector on September 8th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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Getting mail on Saturday is always a bit weird for us. For some reason we never get any important mail on Saturday. The only things we get on Saturday are advertisements for stuff like life insurance no exam at equotes and grocery store advertisements. Surely someone out there must be mailing us other mail during the course of the week? We don’t even get magazines or bills on Saturday. When I think about this I have to say that I can see why people have suggested eliminating mail delivery on Saturdays. I personally could do without the grocery store advertisements until Monday.


Nothing…

Posted by The Inspector on September 8th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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We have had about a week of rain which is weird considering the drought we had this summer. It is so wet outside that I can’t work outdoors. What is weird is that I don’t have any projects indoors that need completing. I actually have a Saturday where I literally can sit around and twiddle my thumbs. It feels just a bit weird but after how hard we have worked this summer I am very glad to have a day like this. I might even just sit around and watch television all day and night.


Hiring Freeze.

Posted by The Inspector on August 28th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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I am always on the lookout for new job opportunities within my department. I have been doing the same type of work for several years and would love to vary my work a bit. The problem is that for many years we have had a hiring freeze in place. The hiring freeze has finally been lifted and we are starting to see new job postings. I might finally have the opportunity to interview for a different position in the coming months. It would be good to have a reason to look for something like business thank you cards at Gneil.com or elsewhere. Until now all I could do is daydream about possibly changing positions. I am now just a bit closer to that being a reality.


Auto Work Done!

Posted by The Inspector on August 28th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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This weekend I finally finished working on my truck. Installing the new oxygen sensors took much longer than I anticipated because they had become stuck in place. It took me about 6 hours to get them loosened enough to remove. I also installed a new flange on the exhaust system. The result of these two repairs is like having a new truck. The truck runs and sounds 100% better. I am hoping to see an improvement in the gas mileage in the days to come. It is nice to feel like I have gotten everything done and have had a positive outcome as a result.


Oh my…

Posted by The Inspector on August 23rd, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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I have been sitting here trying to log into my blog and for some reason I could not. I sat and sat and sat waiting for it to load. This left me a bit concerned because I could access all my other blogs without issue. Finally after several attempts to log in I am finally here typing. It is weird how I could access some blogs and not this one. At least I am here now and can do a bit of catching up.


Good so far…

Posted by The Inspector on August 9th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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It has been about a week since I did all the repairs on our truck. These repairs were some of the biggest things I have repaired on a vehicle to date. The things I replaced were the upper control arms, shocks, and airbag clock spring. Tonight I am going to be replacing the downstream oxygen sensor. In the future I intend to put on new tie rod end and sway bar bushings. Once these things are done the entire front suspension should be in very good shape. It is really nice to be able to do these things myself. I know so many people who are at the mercy of a mechanic to have these jobs done and the prices they pay are outrageous.


What Does He Do?

Posted by The Inspector on August 9th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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We have a neighbor who confuses me. He isn’t old enough to be retired and yet he doesn’t seem to every leave the house to go to a job. Primarily what we seem him to is sit outside smoking cheap macanudo cigars. He stays up all night or at least his television is on all night. We don’t know how he supports himself because he doesn’t seem to do anything. I know it isn’t really my business but when you live next door to someone these are the things you start wondering about. I have all kinds of possible scenarios in my head and would love to know if any of them are the truth.


Sorting and sorting…

Posted by The Inspector on August 9th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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One of the things I do as part of being a parent volunteer for my son’s Boy Scout troop is to help with their recycling project. His troop collects pop cans and water bottles from local events and recycles them for cash. This amounts to a huge amount of bottles and cans to be sorted. Somehow I ended up being in charge of aspect of the project. Essentially a bunch of boy’s from the troop and myself spend a couple hours each night sorting the cans as per our local recycling center’s rules. It is a messy job but it ends of netting a bunch of cash for the troop and I suppose I should feel good about that. Right now I will just be glad when this messy and sticky job is done.


I Give Up!

Posted by The Inspector on August 3rd, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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My mother wants to get a new computer. She has been traveling quite a bit to take care of my grandmother and wants something she can use when she travels. She refuses to listen to me when I tell her that a laptop or a smart phone would serve her purposes. For some reason she thinks an all in one pc is what she wants. When I talked to her she explained that she doesn’t understand how laptops work and is convinced that one will put her at greater risk of identity theft. I tried to explain how a laptop works but for some reason she thinks that laptops get their “information” via radio waves in the air and that is how people steal your information. I finally gave up trying to explain it to her and figure that she will just have to sort it out on her own.


A Wonderful Mind…

Posted by The Inspector on August 3rd, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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I am sitting here typing as my young son sits next to me. He could be watching anything he wants to on the television. My six year old has chosen as his program of choice “Nova Science – How the Brain Works”. I love that he would rather watch a scientific documentary than a cartoon. In fact he is rewinding the show to watch parts he finds particularly interesting over and over. It makes me think that he will be following in his older brother’s footsteps and have a love of science. I have absolutely no problem with that whatsoever.


Goose chase…

Posted by The Inspector on August 3rd, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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In planning for the work I am going to be doing to our truck I have tried to locate every possible tool or part I might need. I read that when removing the old shocks people often break the bolts that hold the shocks in place. I decided to plan for this by trying to locate a replacement set. I went to three different stores trying to buy the right size bolts. You would have thought I was looking for hex head cap screws in a rare size. One store said I needed one size and another store said I needed another. Finally, I went to the dealership to find out the exact size and then went back to the first store to buy them The dealership wanted 8X the price of what the auto parts store wanted for the same item. I am hoping I now have everything I need.


Auto Repairs…

Posted by The Inspector on August 3rd, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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This weekend I will be spending my free time working on the truck we bought last week. We purchased an immaculate 2003 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab with less than 50,000 miles on it. Our van was getting to be in pretty bad shape and we have wanted a truck for quite a while. When buying the truck I knew that there would be some things that I would want to replace. I have all the service records for the truck and knew that there were some things that needed to be done to the truck. This weekend I will be installing new shocks and upper control arms. Yesterday, I installed a new airbag clock spring and next week I will be putting in a new downstream o2 sensor. Once these things are done the truck should be in like new condition.


Speedy…

Posted by The Inspector on July 12th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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Technology seems to change every single day and I feel like I can’t keep up with it. We just got a new laptop computer and are still trying to figure out all the stuff on it. I work on a computer wall mount system at my office and don’t get many upgrades in terms of technology. Our new laptop is so much quicker than our old one that it is pretty amazing. There are several options on it that we have yet to figure out how to use. I am sure in a week or two we will be adept at using all of it. Our old laptop was six years old and seemed perfectly fine until it started dying. I now realize just how archaic it really is.


Freezer problems…

Posted by The Inspector on July 12th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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I came home to find my wife completely exasperated and tired. She is fighting a nasty cold and I have been trying to get her to rest and not do much. As it turned out her day was nothing short of hectic. Our older son happened to look in one of our freezers and found a great deal of stuff melted. He quickly got his mother and they went to work clearing out the freezer and moving stuff to the other freezer. We lost some food but most of it was caught quickly enough that only a bit of thawing had taken place. The process of combining the freezer meant a great deal of moving and organizing to get everything to fit. There was also a bit of clean up to do. In addition to this she realized that our green beans needed picking and that there was enough to can. That meant canning a batch of beans on a hot day that she never intended to can. She was going to freeze them but there was no room in any of the freezers.


Attic Cleaning…

Posted by The Inspector on July 12th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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We have been helping my in-laws clean up a number of different areas of their home and property. Over the years they have acquired quite a bit of stuff and it is now time for them to part with some of it. Right now we are focusing on their attic. My mother-in-law has worked in healthcare for just shy of 30 years. I believe that she has kept every pair of scrubs she has owned over that time. I feel like we should start a thrift store devoted to selling scrubs. I can see a sign in the window saying “buy urbane scrubs here” or something along those lines. She seemed to think that she might need all 300 pairs of scrubs for some reason. Since she is going to be retiring soon she has decided it is finally okay to part with some of the scrubs. I am sure the thrift store will be happy to take them off our hands.


Last minute things…

Posted by The Inspector on July 12th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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Why does it seem like no matter how much you plan for a trip you always feel rushed to get packed. We are leaving in the morning for a short vacation. I thought we were all packed and just needed to put stuff in the car. As it turns out there was still a great deal of last minute running around to find various things to take along. Along with that we don’t like to come back to a dirty house and felt the need to give everything a cleaning before we leave. I know there are people who can just throw stuff together on the spur of the moment but somehow we are just not those people.


Grass Fed Beef

Posted by The Inspector on July 12th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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For the last several years we have purchased a side of beef from a local grass fed grower. This year they announced they would not be offering beef for sale which has left us in a bit of a pinch. We have loved the beef from this farm and like knowing that the animals are well cared for. The farmer even gave our children a tour of the farm and showed them everything from the silos to the skid steer loader. I am not sure the exact reason why they aren’t offering beef this year but I hope that it is just a one time fluke. The price for their meat was reasonable and the quality was outstanding. I would hate to buy beef at the supermarket again and will have to look for an alternative place to purchase beef this year.


Change of plans…

Posted by The Inspector on July 12th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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We are renting a car for the trip to we are making this weekend. Actually, my mother is renting a car for us all to make the trip. She decided to spend the money on this and insisted that since we were all heading to the same reunion that we should all ride together. She has rented a mini-van and has never driven one. Since she is the person renting the car it is required that she be the one driving. I am hoping that our trip still proves to be fun because we are now at the mercy of her to go anywhere. My mother is notorious for taking her time doing anything and doesn’t care how many people she makes wait on her. My wife refuses to go shopping with her because the last time we went to a large mall, with my mother, it was an 8 hour adventure. I have tried to talk to my mom about her slowness but she simply doesn’t care. It isn’t as if she can’t move or do things quickly but rather that she simply doesn’t want to. My children will definitely get a lesson in patience on this trip.


Splitting wood…

Posted by The Inspector on June 22nd, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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This weekend my older son will be going on a Boy Scout camping trip. He is going to be working on some requirements for advancement in the troop. This might sound boring to you and you could always go visit http://www.shoppharmacycounter.com/t-phentermine.aspx instead of reading this post if that is the case. Personally, I think it is awesome that he is committed to scouting and increasing his skill base. One of his goals for this weekend will be splitting fire wood according to Boy Scout standards. He has been struggling with this so I am hoping that this weekend will prove to be successful for him and that he is able to pass off on this requirement.


Excited…

Posted by The Inspector on June 22nd, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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Our youngest son absolutely love the outdoors and begs to be outside as much as possible. Right now we are trying to get everything ready for our camping trip. He doesn’t understand why we can’t just put his bag of toys in the car and leave. He doesn’t care if we have food or clothes or anything. As long as he has his teddy bear and toys that is all we need. He is literally following me around the house asking if we are ready to leave yet. I appreciate his excitement but it is not helping me get organized at all.


Quiet…

Posted by The Inspector on June 22nd, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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We are going to be camping for the next couple of days and I cannot wait. It will be nice to listen to the sound of nature as opposed to the sounds of city life. There are times when I simply have to put in my noise cancelling ear buds and drown out the sounds of city life. I love my house and my life but sometimes our neighborhood can be a bit rowdy. It seems like my neighbor is constantly either having a cookout or having band practice in his garage. Most of the time it doesn’t bother me but lately I have been pretty stressed out and just need to get away from it all. A couple of days in the woods should do the trick.


Children…

Posted by The Inspector on June 22nd, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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Children today seem to be increasingly more horrible than ever before. I really have to wonder what is going on in our world that all we hear about is bullying and violence in younger and younger kids. My own child has been a victim of this type of behavior and it sickens me to know there is not much being done to prevent this from happening. Often adults in charge of children are afraid to address the parents of these bullies and lay the problem at the feet of the children being harassed. It was suggested to me this week that my child would benefit from karate to build his self-esteem and help him better deal with bullying. What would help my child is for this adult to make it clear that bullying is a problem that requires the child doing the bullying to change and make their parents address the problem…


Promotion…

Posted by The Inspector on June 15th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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There are only three male employees in my office. One of us is retiring this month which will leave two men now working in my office. Today my boss came to my desk with a very serious look on her face. She explained that since my colleague is retiring they will need me to assume one of his most important duties. I thought by the look on her face that we might need to verify if our office has liability insurance for managers or not. It turned out that she was being funny and told me that I would need to take over the task of ensuring that there was adequate air freshener and toilet paper in the men’s room from now on. I guess my colleague was in charge of that. That was not the promotion I was hoping for but it could have been worse I suppose.


Headway…

Posted by The Inspector on June 15th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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My in-laws have a sprawling piece of property that they are having trouble taking care of. We have started helping them clear up the property and return it to a better state of care. It has been only been a few weeks since we started working on the project and already things are looking better. A great deal of the stuff on the property came with it when they inherited it. We have been trimming back weeds and sorting stuff into piles to haul away. My hope is that by fall the property will be easier for them to care for and we won’t have to deal with cleaning it up again in the future.


Sharing Information.

Posted by The Inspector on June 11th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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We have actively been trying to learn as much as we can about self-sufficiency for the last few years. It is interesting to learn the wide range of people who share this common interest. In reading various forums and blogs we have found that there are very liberal people as well as people who proudly display don t tread on me flags who are trying to live this lifestyle. It is intriguing how vastly different the ideology of people can be and yet they all are striving for the same goal. I enjoy the fact that we are all willing to learn from one another and share information despite seeing the world from such uniquely different vantage points. I think it is this willingness to share and learn from one another despite these differences that makes the community of people trying to live self-sufficiently unique.


Relieved!

Posted by The Inspector on June 11th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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I just finished a long weekend and have to go back to work tomorrow. My wife had to have a procedure done today and I needed to be there for her. Thankfully the procedure went well and she is absolutely alright! I have to admit I have been a bit worried about her. She had some symptoms several weeks ago that might have indicated that something was very wrong with her. We waited a long time to get this appointment for testing which means we have spent several weeks worrying. Now that the test is over and she has a clean bill of health we can relax. I almost feel like I need another vacation just to relax for a minute.


Anniversary gifts…

Posted by The Inspector on June 1st, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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This month my wife and I will celebrate our 21st anniversary. I am trying to think of just the right gift to give her that she will like and appreciate. She is the type of woman who doesn’t want flowers or jewelry but prefers things that are useful and practical. The last gift she gave me was one of those handy digital camcorders and I find myself using it all the time. That is the type of gift idea I am trying to come up with but I am drawing a blank. She really loves kitchen gadget but doesn’t like fancy electrical ones. Her preference is for antiquated kitchen tools that are still usable today. Any ideas on what I should give her that might fit in this category?


Always late…

Posted by The Inspector on June 1st, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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I think we have all known someone who is never on time. I think this is the single most annoying habit a person can have. I mean there are gross and inappropriate habits that I would hate to live with on an ongoing basis but tardiness is the one that seems to impact my life the most. My mother is a wonderful person but she is never EVER on time for anything and keeps people waiting for everything that involves her. She is so painfully slow at doing everything that it drives me a wee bit crazy. She even eats slow…when we go out to eat she is the last one to finish and doesn’t realize that everyone is sitting there staring at her waiting for her to finish. She thinks it is cute and funny and some days it might be but mostly it is just annoying. She is supposed to be coming to have a sleep over at our house and the kids are so looking forward to it but it is almost bedtime and she isn’t here. They will be asleep before the sleepover takes place.


Online deals.

Posted by The Inspector on June 1st, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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Recently I was introduced to online garage sales by my wife. This seemed like a weird idea to me at first but I can now see the attraction. People can sell virtually anything they want on these sites at no cost. I am always amazed at the cool stuff people in my area are selling. If you are looking for it is very likely that if you are patient you will find some on one of these sites. My good friend is in a band and is always looking for musical equipment and buys most of his gear online. He recently bought a new bass guitar and is absolutely thrilled with the deal he got online. He said that although he would prefer to buy from someone local that he is never able to afford the prices in local music shops. Shopping online stretches his budget and allows him to buy things that he wouldn’t normally be able to get his hands on from a local vendor.


Politics and retirees…

Posted by The Inspector on June 1st, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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Okay, this might be an experience that is particular to my situation and the people that I know but what is it with retirees and arguing about politics? Whenever we around my in-laws or my own folks they start talking about politics and arguing with themselves. We don’t say anything back not because we agree or disagree but simply because we don’t want to talk about politics. We sit an listen to them complain about the state of our nation as if my wife and I are responsible for the election of our politicians. To tell the truth I did not elect anyone during the last election and don’t feel I should complain if I didn’t exercise that right…


Making plans…

Posted by The Inspector on June 1st, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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My in-laws are currently dealing with a health problem that is fairly serious. My father-in-law has cancer and starts treatment this week. Aside from this his health is failing and we are trying to get them to make the appropriate plans for their property and future. My mother-in-law just sticks her head in the ground and ignores what is right before her. She seems to think she is going to be able to take care of my father-in-law herself and that nothing is wrong. What she doesn’t accept is that if she cannot care for him and he needs nursing home care that she could loose her property as payment. My wife is trying very hard to get them to see a lawyer but they aren’t listening. There is only so much we can do….


Two of Everything…

Posted by The Inspector on June 1st, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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Over the last couple of weeks I have been completing a couple of projects at my in-laws. Typically when I go to work on something at someone else’s house I take along a box of tools. My wife said this was totally not needed at her folks house because they have two of everything imaginable. I doubted this would be true but decided to test her theory. It turns out I was proven wrong as I found myself asking for several strange objects in order to complete the project such as insulated electrical fence wire. They don’t have an electric fence but they had the wire for one. I would even bet if I asked for brown christmas lights that somewhere in the attic or basement there would have been a set to be found. It makes me wonder what prompts them to buy some of the things they have bought over the years and what they thought they were going to use them for?


Too early…

Posted by The Inspector on June 1st, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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This week my cousin passed away from cancer. She was only 24 years old which makes the story all the more tragic. I cannot imagine the pain her family is feeling. Their pain is compounded because this is the second death in her family in less than a year. Her mother passed away unexpectedly and without being able to say goodbye last year. They also lost her older sister to cancer several years ago. It is just beyond understanding how one family can have had all this tragedy occur. My heart breaks for her father who will is now left alone. Hopefully somehow comes into perspective for him and life in the years to come is full of joy and happiness.


Nearly the end.

Posted by The Inspector on May 13th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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It feels like this school year has flown by for our children. My wife mentioned this morning that our younger son has finished his curriculum for the year and is already starting next year’s lessons. Home schooling our children means that we are able to move forward with educating them as quickly as is appropriate for their needs. We love being able to start and finish the school year on a schedule that works well for our family. It is also nice to slow down when there are more difficult concepts that take them a bit longer to master. Right now we have our sights set on a nice long summer vacation. If everything stays on target we will finish our school year in the next couple of weeks.


Garden in progress.

Posted by The Inspector on May 13th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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Today we will be heading to my in-laws property to finish construction of our new garden. This garden has a been a work in progress for quite some time because we had to clear the land of a lot of brush. Today we will be covering the tilling the soil one more time and covering it in black plastic. We will then be putting up a fence. Hopefully we will be able to get the majority of the construction done and be able to plant by June 1st. It is going to be a push to meet that deadline but it will be worth it if everything comes together.


Always amazed.

Posted by The Inspector on May 8th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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Just when I think the world can’t get any weirder there is always a new story that proves me wrong. Today I read an article in the Huffington Post about a man who makes his living dressing as a clown and stalking children. This man is hired by parents to purposefully scare their children. He states that children love what he does and that it is all in good fun. I just don’t know what would drive a person to hire someone to threaten and stalk their child with the intent of scaring them? This really seems like child abuse to me. What happened to common sense?


Overload…

Posted by The Inspector on April 30th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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This week has got to be better than last week. It absolutely must be an improvement. This is a mental plea on my behalf to the power’s that be… My son has to have an MRI to check out the bone marrow in his leg. My wife ended up in the ER because of abnormal bleeding and now needs a colonoscopy. My father-in-law was diagnosed with cancer and my 24 year old cousin is now about to depart this earth due to cancer. I feel so horrible for her and those close to her because it is such a tragedy and there is nothing that can be done. My mind is absolutely full of thoughts about cancer and how it seems to be everywhere…This week has to BE BETTER.


Gardening…

Posted by The Inspector on April 21st, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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We have a neighbor that lives on one side of us that loves to garden. She plants every kind of flowering plant imaginable. On the other side of us lives a guy who seems to have no interests whatsoever other than smoking. The only time I see him outdoors is to have a smoke. He doesn’t work and seems to sit on the computer all day from what I can tell. He says he is a writer but I have my doubts. He could be sitting ther pricing car insurance or getting vonage rates for all I know. What I can tell is that he doesn’t appreciate my vegetable garden in the slightest. Every chance he get he finds something to tell us about how our garden is going to draw “predators”. He can’t say deer or something along those lines an has to call them “predators”. Every time we go outside to work on the garden he immediately comes outside to watch and smoke. Maybe he is the “predator” because thus far the only thing the garden seems to draw is him outside.


Snow? Seriously!

Posted by The Inspector on April 21st, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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Yesterday it was 73 degrees outside and today it is 50 degrees. Tomorrow we are supposed to get snow. Not just a little snow but about 10-16 inches of snow. I am seriously worried about what all of this up and down weather is going to do to our fruiting plants. We have a peach tree, blueberry bushes, strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, grapes, and a couple of chokecherry bushes. We are constantly covering and uncovering everything to try to compensate for the weather but I know it has to be messing with the plants in way that is not good. My gut impression is that there won’t be much fruit this year because of this constant fluctuations. Maybe I will be surprised and get proven wrong but right now I have my doubts.


Knife sharpening…

Posted by The Inspector on April 21st, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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This week was busy one in our house. I spent just about every evening this week working on merit badge stuff with my oldest son. He needed to pass off on certain requirements at this weekend’s camp out. One of those requirements was being able to sharpen a knife and ax effectively. My son is a smart kid but is very stubborn. He gets an idea in his head of how something should be done and often refuses to see that there is a better way. We butted heads on the practice of knife sharpening many times during the weeks and ultimately he sharpened his knife perfectly by hand. In his mind every job could be made simpler by using an mechanical device for the job such as those made by diamond blades. It is hard to get it through his head that when you are out in the woods you can’t just pull out a mechanical tool for every job. There are just some things you need to know how do without a tool so that you are ready when you don’t have one available.


Playing…

Posted by The Inspector on April 21st, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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It isn’t until you have more than one child that you realize how different children from the same family can be. Our oldest son never played with toys. He has always been a child who simply takes pleasure in reading or observing the world around him. Our younger son is exactly the opposite he plays with toys constantly and rarely sits still long enough to read. I love that they are so different. It gives me as much joy to watch my little guy play with toys for hours as it does to watch my older son sit very still just watching the world. As a parent it is nice that they have different needs because you are never left feeling completely tapped in any area. I can’t imagine having a bunch of kids all wanting me to play or read to them constantly. This is the perfect balance…


First Aid Merit Badge…

Posted by The Inspector on April 21st, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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For the last four weeks my son has been taking a class that would allow him to earn a merit badge in first aid. I am quite pleased to report that he finished all the requirements without an issue. Our son has a bit of a squeamish stomach when it comes to blood and bodily fluids. I really wondered how he would fair when they talked about compound fractures and whatnot. I am especially glad that there was no discussion of cautery because I know he could never do that. It is nice to know that he has an understanding of basic first aid and that if one us has to depend on him to help out he could if needed.


Vacation planning…

Posted by The Inspector on April 21st, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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For the last two years we did not go on vacation anywhere. This isn’t to say that we ever take big vacations. Our vacations usually consist of a week of camping somewhere. Today we sat down and tried to narrow down a place that we would like to go camping for a week in a cabin. We have a pop-up camper but there are times when it is just nice to have four solid walls around you. It is also nice to leave the campsite for the day and not worry about your things coming up missing. You can’t really secure a pop-up camper as well as you can a cabin. Once we narrow down where we are going to go it will give the entire family something to look forward to.


Mail order glasses.

Posted by The Inspector on April 21st, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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We have ordered glasses online for almost ten years. It is simply too expensive even with eye care insurance to keep a family of four in glasses. For the most part our experience with buying glasses this way has been good and the process is pretty simple. This probably sounds boring to you and you could always read more here about another topic if you like. We have converted a number of people to shopping for glasses this way after we explain how it works to them and the savings to be had. This afternoon we received 4 pairs of glasses in the mail. The total price for them all was around sixty dollars. This included a pair of bifocals and two pairs of glasses with magnetic sun glass clips. I don’t know anywhere locally that I could ever get that kind of deal. The frames are not as well made as some others I have owned over the years but for the price I can afford to buy a couple pairs at a time.


Nasty…

Posted by The Inspector on April 21st, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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I love camping…when the weather cooperates. This weekend I went on an overnight camping trip with my oldest son’s scout troop. We slept in tents in the rain…heavy, heavy rain. I have camped in the rain before and it isn’t awful on a warm night. This night was not warm at all. The temperature dropped a great deal over night and we ended staying awake all night trying to keep warm and somewhat dry. It was one trip I was really glad to see come to an end. Sleeping tonight will be an absolute pleasure because I will be at home in my own bed.


Another holiday…

Posted by The Inspector on April 17th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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Whenever there is a holiday my father comes for an extended visit. He lives over 500 miles away which makes his visits few and far between. Whenever he comes to visit it is like Christmas for our children because he brings them so much stuff. I often feel like I need to research “gifts for man ” because we never have anything to give him in return. I know he gives the children things because he wants to and not because he feels like he has to but sometimes it is a bit much. I don’t want them to think of their grandfather as the “present guy” and nothing more. I wish I could get him to emphasize experiences with them rather than giving them stuff. They would so much rather go to a movie or to play golf with him than bring home a bunch of toys to sit in their closets.


Camp out…

Posted by The Inspector on April 17th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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This weekend is going to be yet another camping weekend in our house. My oldest is going camping with the Boy Scouts and I am going along to help out. I am not really looking forward to this trip because we will be staying in a tent. The nights are still pretty cold her which makes tent camping a bit of a pain. Sometimes the scouts will stay in the lodge at the scout camp which makes for a nice trip. I can only hope that time passes quickly and we are home before we know it. These trips are an important part of being a scout and I have to believe that my son will look back and appreciate my involvement in his troop.


Computer updates…

Posted by The Inspector on April 3rd, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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My in-laws both have computers but are totally ineffective at using or maintaining them. This week I discovered that neither of them have current anti-virus software on their computers. They also do not use real passwords for anything. Just about every password they have is something like “123456″. I am going to have to search for a software promotion to get a deal on some anti-virus protection for them this week. Thankfully they don’t conduct any business online and only use their computers for browsing and email. This at least means they haven’t leaked vital information out on the net and have no personal information saved to their computers. I wish they would take just a little bit of interest in learning how to safely use a computer if they are going to keep buying them.


Long weekend…

Posted by The Inspector on April 3rd, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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I was looking forward to this weekend because for some reason I thought it would be a three day weekend. As it turns out when we negotiated our new contract we changed the holidays that we get paid time off for. Instead of getting Good Friday off we now get the day after Thanksgiving off. Personally I think this is a real statement about what our country values. We want to be out shopping on Black Friday more than we want to be home with family on Easter. I could even understand swapping Christmas Eve for Good Friday but not for Black Friday! I don’t know who negotiated this change but it was obviously people with values directed more towards getting a good sale on toys and electronics than visiting with loved ones.


Work noise…

Posted by The Inspector on April 3rd, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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The office where I work is a large open room full of cubicles. Prior to working for my current employer I had never had a cubicle. I have always had a small office of my own. Over time I have come to realize just how unproductive a cubicle can make employees. You hear absolutely everything going on around you. There are 30 people in my office and almost all of them have a radio playing at their desk. People are constantly getting up to talk to one another which adds to the noise. It seems like everyone passing by my desk feels the need to stop and talk to me. If I had real walls I know this would not be the case. I think my productivity would increase and possibly my enjoyment of my job.


5 months…

Posted by The Inspector on April 3rd, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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I realized today that it has been five months since we have eaten wheat on a consistent basis.I have to say that I really don’t miss it. When people see us that haven’t seen us for a while the first thing they say is how good we look. Both my wife and I have lost quite a bit of weight effortlessly. As long as you eat enough protein and healthy fat the weight loss comes easy. After people hear what kind of diet we are following they immediately respond that they could never do that. I never envisioned my life without wheat, grains, or sugar but it has been for five months and I am none the worse for wear. I really think that giving up these things is a state of mind more that anything else. If you decide it is important you can do it.


Warm and cold…

Posted by The Inspector on April 3rd, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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What a crazy winter and spring we have had. It really felt like we never had a winter at all and more of an extended fall. One day the weather is freezing and we wake to heavy frosts and the next day it hot enough to tempt me to take off the pool covers. We have planted some cold hard things in the garden but have added frost blankets to them for extra protection. So far all the plants look like they are fairing well. The only thing we have lost are some jerusalem artichokes plants that died in the frost. In all likelihood they will rebound when the weather warms up for good. That day can’t come soon enough for me.


Felling a tree…

Posted by The Inspector on April 3rd, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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This week we went to my in-laws to help them fell a dead tree that was threatening to fall on their house. For whatever reason this seemingly healthy tree decided to die a year or so ago. The tree was in a kind of tricky place where taking it down was not an easy task. Thankfully my brother-in-law came to help and was adept at scaling a tree with a chainsaw. The tree is now down and this weekend we have to go back to continue cutting it up and stacking the wood. We will use to wood in our fireplace and also for camping. The best part is that it is already seasoned and ready to use since the tree was dead.


A place for everything…

Posted by The Inspector on March 21st, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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Spring is the time when may people set their sights on cleaning and organizing their homes. We count ourselves among this group and are well on our way to completing our spring cleaning. This week my wife has been sorting the children’s winter clothes into storage bins and replacing them with summer clothes. Our floors have been cleaned and polished. Many things have been hauled away for donation. It is nice to walk through the house and see things fresh and tidy. Over winter is just seems like things tend to collect because no one wants to deal with lugging them out in the cold to take to a donation center. We don’t hang onto much stuff but it always seems like we find ourselves with some things that are no longer needed. What we do hang onto is always sorted and stored away until it is needed again. Organization is a priority to us because no one in our house likes hunting for things when we really need them.


Digging and more digging…

Posted by The Inspector on March 21st, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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We really did not intend to start working in the garden for at least another month. For some reason Mother Nature decided to play nice this winter and we ended up not really having much winter at all. Because it has been so mild we are currently experiencing weather that is very close to what we would normally have in May. The ground is warm and soft which makes it ideal for getting a head start on gardening. This year we are putting a new fence around that garden and have hopes that it will last for years to come. I spent the better part of the weekend digging two foot deep holes and setting 4×4 posts into them with cement this should provide a solid start for our fence which we should be putting up next weekend. I only intend to build this fence once and I want to make sure it is done right. I count myself lucky that the ground is in such great condition for completing this project.


Dining outdoors…

Posted by The Inspector on March 10th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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The weather here has been incredibly weird this year. I think this is probably true for most of the country. It is as if we have had an extended fall as opposed to having winter. I am not complaining because I cannot recall ever having been able to eat outdoors in March before. We pulled out our patio tables today and had family over for a cookout. Normally we are still shoveling snow in March and counting the days until spring. This year it feels like spring is already hear and that summer should be just a few weeks away. I am not complaining and my back surely didn’t miss shoveling all that snow. It kind of makes up for the horrible winter we had last year.


Tension…

Posted by The Inspector on March 10th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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For some reason my head has been busting for the last couple of days. I don’t know exactly what is the source of the tension I am feeling. Right now I have the next few days off and should be completely relaxed but am not. It is as if there is a 20 pound weight on the top of my head. I feel like I need to be doing something but I can’t put my finger on what that might be. All of my projects are finished and I am just filled with this antsy feeling. On Monday we have to take a fairly long car trip and that might be just the thing I need. To be getting out of town is sometimes just what is needed to shake things up a bit.


Peas in a pod…

Posted by The Inspector on March 1st, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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Both my father and my brother-in-law are computer programmers. It wasn’t until I spent time with together with them both that I realized how alike they are. Their similarities extend well beyond their shared knowledge of resources in the IT Infrastructure Library. Similar mannerisms and personal characteristics immediately come to light such as their approach to completing a task or solving a problem. Both of them are extremely detail oriented and routine driven. Neither of them are comfortable in social situations and prefers solitary activities. I am convinced that these similarities are likely what drew both of them to the computer field and what makes them so good at their profession.


Half way done…

Posted by The Inspector on March 1st, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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About 3-4 weeks ago we started remodeling our kitchen. The project consisted of removing the upper cabinetry in the kitchen as well as a very old wall oven. Once this was done I then replaced the walls and installed a new stove. Last night I put up half of the new shelving my wife wanted to replace the cabinets. Tonight I will start work on the remaining wall which also includes removing the old hood for the drop in cook top that we will be getting rid of. The kitchen is very simple in design now but extremely functional for my wife who is an avid food preserver. The old kitchen simply didn’t allow her much room to work and finding things in the cabinets was a constant source of frustration. Everything is now out in the open and organized within reach.


Changes…

Posted by The Inspector on February 25th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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This weekend we will be finishing a renovation project in our kitchen. My wife has hated the cabinetry in our kitchen since we bought the house. Th kitchen is very small and the cabinets made it non-functional for our needs. We decided to take out the majority of the cabinets and replace them with simple shelving. This has made a dramatic change in the layout and function of the room for our needs. My mother keeps telling us that not having upper cabinets with impact the resale value of our home which is likely true. What matters to us right is being able to use the room effectively. Worrying about resale value is not something we care about since we don’t intend to sell for a very long time. My guess is that people will prefer clean and new walls to dated and impractical cabinets.


An announcement?

Posted by The Inspector on February 25th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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My brother-in-law sent us an email this week letting us know that he would be coming home in a few weeks and that he had an announcement to make. We are now speculating as to what his news will be. My wife is guessing that he will be coming home to tell us that he is getting married. I would like nothing better than to be soon standing at a bachelor party smoking Rocky Patel cigars with him. My bet is that he will be telling us that he is moving to New York to live closer to his girlfriend. As it stands they live about 5 hours apart and the distance makes having a serious relationship hard. They have been dating almost a year and are in their late thirties. These two facts make either marriage or moving a distinct possibility. It should be interesting to see what exactly his news is going to be.


Craving protein…

Posted by The Inspector on February 25th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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Since we have been eating a Paleo diet my food cravings have become vastly different from what they used to be. There was a time when I could not get enough of foods made from grain. No amount of bread nor pasta could make me feel satisfied. It has been about four months since we gave up grain, dairy, and sugar. In that time the food that I absolutely love has become protein. Protein makes me feel healthy and full. My body has never felt better and most of my health issues have faded away. There are rare moments when I fleetingly thing that I want a cake like confection but all it takes is bit of jerky or some nuts and that desire fades away.


Gifts…

Posted by The Inspector on February 11th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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There are just a couple of days until Valentine’s day and I have yet to find a present for my wife. She is the type of lady who does not want chocolate or flowers. I have considered looking into a gift certificate for something along the lines of cary cleaning services. I know she would appreciate a break from cleaning the house but I am not sure how she would feel about a cleaning service. The other idea I had was to give her a weekend to herself. By this I mean I would either send her away for the weekend or I would take the children away for the weekend. She spends so much time caring for us that I am sure she would appreciate a weekend to do whatever she wants to do. Which gift do you think she would appreciate most?


One project done…

Posted by The Inspector on February 11th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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I am finally beginning to see light at the end of my home remodeling projects. I spent this afternoon painting the walls and ceiling of our stairway. Once that was completed I managed to finished putting trim up around the ceiling. Considering we have lived here for 3 years it is nice to finally see things coming together. Next weekend we will be putting in new wall covering, shelves, and a range in our kitchen. There is not a room in this house that has not been painted or fixed in some shape or form. My hope is that by the time summer comes I will not have to paint inside the house again for many years to come.


Crazy weather…

Posted by The Inspector on January 31st, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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This is a winter that I do not know what to make of. It seems like one day the weather is in the 50′s and the next it near zero. Our fruit trees have started to bud that I have been storing inside and I have no idea what to do with them. It is far too early for them to have buds and I suspect this is not a good sign for them at all. It is very likely if this weather continues that there will be less maple syrup on the market as well as fruit this year. I am sure prices for both will skyrocket. We intended to tap a couple of trees this year but have not because being new to the process we can’t judge weather because it just isn’t normal. Typically at this time of year we have several feet of snow and the weather is frigid. Warm weather like this would be ideal for tapping trees if it were a month or more later in the year.


Windy night…

Posted by The Inspector on January 24th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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As I type this post the wind is blowing wildly outside. Every time a storm comes through like this I start to worry about this big old tree in our neighbor’s backyard. The tree is on the property line and the majority of the weight of it leans towards our side. We park our camper near this area for the winter because there is nowhere else to put it. I am wondering if we need motorhome insurance if the tree falls on the camper or if our home owner’s insurance would cover it? I keep hoping the neighbor’s will have someone come trim the tree and I won’t have to worry about it any longer. I doubt that they will because they built a shed underneath it last summer. I would have thought they would have dealt with the tree then if they cared about it.


Looking forward…

Posted by The Inspector on January 24th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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This summer we are hoping to expand our gardening efforts greatly. Last summer we tilled a rather large garden plot at my in-laws house. It is approximately 100 feet on each side. We will share this spare with my in-laws but it should be ample for our needs. We have a 20 by 20 plot in our back yard with several additional growing areas spread around the house. This new garden will be a place where we can experiment with techniques that would could not employ at the community garden. We are still going to keep our spot at the community garden but it may not be used in such detail as previous years. Hanging on to the spot is our way of hedging our bets against the future if the plot at my in-laws proves to be too much to keep up with because of the distance from our house. It is nice to plan a garden not limited by space for once. I only hope that we are successful with growing there and it ends of being worth the expense of fencing and supplies.


Reversing roles.

Posted by The Inspector on January 24th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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It is funny how as you become older the roles between parent and child start to blur. I am seeing this more and more with my own mother. There was a time when she quite clearly didn’t believe I knew the sky from the ground. But as time has passed she has started to rely more and more on me to help with decisions and daily household matters. It kind of astounds me some of the things she will ask to me handle for her now simply because the are topics I have no expertise whatsoever in. Last week she wanted my input on choosing a medicare plan. I will be the first to tell you I am more likely to know how to choose furniture stores in los angeles than I am a medicare plan. Considering I have never been to Los Angeles you can see where I am headed with that statement. What troubles me is that she seems to want me to make decisions that she once would have sought out professional advice for. I like helping her but I don’t want to make all of her important decisions.


Bra-less?

Posted by The Inspector on January 24th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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Sometimes the conversations I have with my wife astound me. The topics that she reads about are so diverse that it is sometimes hard to keep up. I love that she has vast and diverse interest but at the end of the day I have trouble focusing and staying on topic. Tonight she came upstairs to tell me about an interesting article she read. I was all prepared for something related to gardening as this is usually the topic she wants most to talk about. Instead she went on to tell me that apparently women who wear bras are more likely to develop breast cancer. I have to say that I wasn’t sure if she was telling that she was going to start forgoing the donning of a bra or what. I know that she gave up under wire bras some time ago but I am just not ready for no bra altogether. I am sure that she will have to read some more on the topic before making a final decision. I can’t imagine her not wearing a bra at all.


Home gym…

Posted by The Inspector on January 17th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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We have been slowly acquiring the equipment we need to work out properly at home. I realize it would easier to just join a gym but I like working out at home. My wife would never go to a gym because she is intimidated by the body builders at most gyms. There was a time when I would have been completely happy to work out at a gym but I am older now. In my youth there was nothing I would have like more than to strut around without my shirt on sporting a gold chain and flexing my muscles. My now forty year old self is much happier in the quiet of my basement and has no need to strut my stuff. Right now we have pretty much everything we need to get in a good workout. The only thing missing is some free weights. I am on the fence about purchasing some kettle bells. Anyone have an opinion on these as opposed to traditional weights?


Smooth smoothies…

Posted by The Inspector on January 17th, 2012 filed in Uncategorized
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For about 3 years I have listened to my wife expound on the reasons why we need to purchase a Vitamix blender. If you are not familiar with these blenders be aware that they cost as much as our washing machine…. I really didn’t pay much attention to what she had to say about them. About a month ago I sat down and watch a million videos with her featuring people using these blenders on YouTube. I have to say my mind was changed about these blenders and we decided to order one when we found a good sale on them. Two weeks ago we ordered our new Vitamix and it arrived over the weekend. I have to say that despite my initial trepidation about such a pricey appliance I am very impressed. I even made soup in it this weekend and it was superb. It goes to show that some things truly are worth the price you pay.


Days in bed…

Posted by The Inspector on December 29th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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My poor wife has spent a week in bed. She came down with the flu over the holidays and is still recovering. The last time she spent this much time in bed was when she hurt her back. A few years ago she herniated some discs in her lower back. I thought we might end up at the Minimally Invasive Spine Institute but with time and therapy she overcame her injury. She still has some trouble with her back but has not been bedridden since then. Right now she is so sapped of energy and strength that I believe she might prefer an injured back to having the flu. I know in time she will be on her feet again but this has been a particularly vicious case of the flu.


Back on track…

Posted by The Inspector on December 29th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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The holidays are now over and our diversion from bad eating must come to an end. To be quite honest I didn’t enjoy all the holiday treat quite as much as I thought I would. You might think that after two month of clean eating and avoiding grains and sugar I would love the taste of cookies and pies. The reality was that eat bit tasted good but how I felt after was not worth it. My gut swelled and I felt so very sleepy. I can now draw a direct correlation between the foods I eat and the amount of energy I have. Clean eating leaves me with a high energy level and good digestion. Eating grains and dairy leaves me sluggish and bloated. Not worth it at all just to have a delicious taste in my mouth for moments.


Vacation time…

Posted by The Inspector on December 20th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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This week I got a notice from our human resources department indicating that I had vacation time that I need to use or lose. I would love to take some time off and sit around somewhere relaxing on teak wood patio furniture but it isn’t going to happen. We are so overwhelmed at work right now that taking time off would only put me further behind than I am. I need to see if I have the option of at least getting paid for the time I haven’t used or something. We accrue vacation time throughout the year which makes it easy to lose track of just how much time you have at certain point during the year. It would even be nice if I were able to carry over some of this time for just a while and use it after the start of the new year when things slow down a little.


Bird houses…

Posted by The Inspector on December 20th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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This year I decided to give the people in my life something I made with my own hands. Just about everyone in our family loves the outdoors. My son suggested that we make bird houses and give them as gifts. We sat down and came up with several styles of bird houses that we likes. After narrowing it down to 4 styles we then spent several weekends constructing them. In all we made 12 bird houses. My wife has been wanting some mason bee houses and we finally got these made as well. I decided to try my hand at making owl houses, which are significantly larger that bird houses, and have completed a couple of these as well. I really hope that people appreciate the houses that we are giving them and the thought that went into them. Even if they don’t care for them I know that my son and I had a great time making them together.


Always a surprise…

Posted by The Inspector on December 20th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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This weekend my brother-in-law and sister-in-law stopped by for a visit. We are still getting to know my sister-in-law and it is always a surprise to hear what is on her mind. This visit she surprised us by talking about wanting a child. She is a very high needs type of person and I have a hard time picturing her pregnant or caring for a child. The idea of her in maternity fashion boggles my mind. She has big issues with germs on many levels and won’t visit a hospital. I have no idea how she would approach motherhood given what I know thus far about her. I know that people do a great deal of growing and changing when they become a parent and maybe this will hold true for her. I only hope that they give themselves time to be a married couple before they embark on parenthood.


Holiday traditions…

Posted by The Inspector on December 20th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Do you have family traditions during the holidays? We try to incorporate as many traditions as we can into the Christmas holiday. The goal is for our children to not see the holidays as simply being about presents but rather to see it as a collection of shared experiences. Today we completed one of our main traditions which is baking cookies. Each year we make several types of cookies to share with family and friends. The children beg us to do this each year and get very concerned if it gets too close to Christmas and we haven’t baked. This evenings project was finishing our cookie baking. The last batch of cookies we made was gingerbread cookies. For some reason cutout cookies are their absolute favorite to make. We always have a blast making them despite the mess. I hope these are things are children will remember in the years to come.


Organizing…

Posted by The Inspector on December 10th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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This weekend I will be spending time organizing our front and back porches. We end up storing many things in these areas during the winter. In a few days we are expecting a delivery of a new washing machine and I need to have a clear path for the delivery men. One thing I have to move is my cider making equipment. Thankfully when I build my cider press I had the forethought to put casters on it. Had I not done this there would be no way I could move it by myself. I can only imagine what people who are not familiar with cider making think it might be. At least the weather is not too cold that my organizing project will be miserable. There is not much left to do outdoors besides this and I am looking forward to relaxing inside after I am done.


Protein powder…

Posted by The Inspector on December 10th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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I have never been someone who considered drinking protein powder or eating protein shakes. My wife has always consumed these type of products and has remarked on how good or bad some of them are. This week I broke down and tried making a protein shake with some of the powder she recently purchased. Surprisingly it tasted pretty good! I made a shake with coconut milk, protein powder, and a banana. It was filling and creamy. I didn’t feel like I was drinking something nasty. It is not something I would start using in place of regular food but it was nice to not be eating eggs and bacon for a change.


Relaxing holiday season…

Posted by The Inspector on December 7th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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This year we decided that it was going to be important to keep the holidays stress-free. It never fails that we put off shopping until the last minute and end up spending enough to consider our checking account a new source of merchant funding. This year we made a point to shop carefully and get all of our shopping done early. In addition to this we made a point to wrap the presents well ahead of time. Our family spent a day last weekend decorating our house for Christmas. This is something that we would traditionally not do until a couple of weeks before Christmas. Having everything done and ready has already alleviated a great deal of the stress of the holidays. I like knowing that my bank account will not be drained by last minute purchases and that no one will be nagging me to put up the tree or help wrap presents. The only thing that remains to do is a bit of Christmas baking. Given that we have given up grains, sugar, and dairy our baking should be dramatically simpler this year as well.


Working out…

Posted by The Inspector on December 7th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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We are now over a month into eating Paleo/Primal style. It has been a fairly easy adjustment. Having the diet aspect of the lifestyle in control our focus has now shifted to exercise. My wife has been walking on the treadmill everyday but this isn’t enough of a workout. We decided to invest in some basic workout gear for our house. The first thing we purchased was a set of resistance bands. These have proven to be a really easy way to get a quick workout in without a great deal of complicated gear. The other thing we ordered was a pull-up bar that adjusts to different levels and some ab straps. This will enable us to so some more intense strength training. It is nice to be able to workout at home and not drop a ton of cash on gear or gym memberships. I am sure we will add more gear over time but for now this is just fine.


Sport’s fan…

Posted by The Inspector on November 24th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Today we spent the afternoon with my wife’s family celebrating Thanksgiving. While there I got to learn a bit more about my new sister-in-law which was interesting. In my wife’s family there has never been a discussion ever about sports or watching sporting events. They simply don’t care about sports and never have. I once expected at least one of my brother-in-laws to have a collection of sport trophies but they didn’t. This isn’t to say they aren’t athletic but they simply never played in organized sports. My sister-in-law shocked me by asking to watch a football game while she was there so that she could catch up on the score. Never in my life would I have expected this to take place. I seriously thought I would go to my grave never having another person in the family to discuss sports with.


Shopping complete…

Posted by The Inspector on November 24th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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This year we are once again done with our Christmas shopping well ahead of time. My wife doesn’t like to procrastinate and wants nothing to do with fighting crowds in stores. She starts our Christmas shopping well in advance of the holidays and carefully scours the internet for bargains. We only have about 3 more gifts to buy this year and our shopping list is complete. I really don’t end up doing much of the shopping which is fine with me. There was a time when I enjoyed the thrill of shopping in crowded stores but that thrill is gone. I now appreciate quiet time spent at home much more that time spent in line at a store. Having my wife do the shopping frees me up to really enjoy the holidays.


A nice long weekend…

Posted by The Inspector on November 10th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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I am always thankful for three day weekends. I can’t imagine anyone who wouldn’t love a shorter work week. This has been a particularly stressful week at work and I am looking forward to relaxing. This probably sounds terrible but I am glad to spend some time away from my co-workers. The staff in my office is comprised of mainly women. In general they are great people but I often wish I had another guy to talk to. There really isn’t much I can contribute to a conversation about the shoes and the best eyelash growth product. My breaks and lunch are filled with this type of banter which is fine for them. I would just love to have someone to talk sports with once in a while. This is why I especially appreciate time away from the office and quiet time with my family.


Brewing hard cider…

Posted by The Inspector on November 10th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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This weekend we will be bottling our second batch of hard cider. This batch promises to be fairly strong considering we added too much sugar to the batch. There is such a learning curve when it comes to home brewing that I am amazed we have had any success. The cider should finish out to be very dry and likely we will need to back sweeten it quite a bit to make it suit our tastes. Right now it tastes very much like an apple wine. Hopefully, it will end of tasting okay after some aging.


Real life jobs…

Posted by The Inspector on November 6th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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I was surprised this week to look at the optional courses offered by my youngest son’s cyber school. One of the courses was centered around career choices. My youngest son is in kindergarten and he has no idea what choosing a career means. To him being a super hero is a great career choice. As much as I love the school our children attend I find classes like this a waste of time. I don’t believe anyone knows at such a tend age what they want to be in life. It wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I began to have real feel for why someone might pursue Dietician or Nutritionist Jobs. Honestly, it wasn’t until I had been out in the workforce for a time that I began to feel strongly about my career choices. Something sounds idyllic when you are selecting a college class but it is quite different to work in a profession. Kindergarten should be about exploring your world as opposed to selecting a vocation.


Eating like a cave man…

Posted by The Inspector on November 6th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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A little less than a week ago we embarked on a new lifestyle plan. This plan is to follow the Paleo lifestyle and way of eating. We came to the conclusion that allow we eat an organic diet we aren’t feeling as well as we would like to. Following the Paleo diet means eliminating grains, dairy, and sugar from our diet. Right now just my wife and I are following this plan but we hope to slowly transition our children away from grains, dairy, and sugar as a major source of their nutrition. There is a great deal of scientific evidence to suggest that the Paleo lifestyle is a great way to heal a variety of health problems and become a stronger person.


That time of year…

Posted by The Inspector on October 20th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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This is the time of year when our family starts to plan for the holiday’s. My parents are very intent each year on being given a list from each of us that specifies exactly what we want or need for Christmas. As much as I love being able to ask for very specific things and know that I will get them I always feel weird. I never know if I am asking for too much or too little. There is a part of me that would rather hint about vague things like a “metal detectors sale” or a certain golf store and leave the door open for them to decide what to buy. I think each of us likes that wonder that accompanies waking up on Christmas morning and guessing what is under the tree. I always know what is under the tree because it is exactly what I wrote down on my list and nothing more or less.


Brewing…

Posted by The Inspector on October 20th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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I believe I have posted a time or two about our home brewing adventures. In the past we have tried making both wine and beer. Our wines have never been good but our beer has been outstanding. A month or so ago we started to make hard cider. Last weekend we bottle our first batch of hard cider and have since started a second batch. I have to say that cider making is undoubtedly my favorite brewing process. Maybe it is because I built my own cider press and apple scratter. There is just something about a process that is so hands on and yet really simple that I like. I can’t wait until our cider has aged a proper amount of time and we are really able to tell what it tastes like. Right now it is pretty green and doesn’t have a whole lot of apple flavor. We have read that after 4-6 months the flavor will develop and it will taste significantly better.


Quiet time…

Posted by The Inspector on October 20th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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In the evening after the children are in bed my wife and I retreat to separate parts of the house for some alone time. After being married for twenty years we realize that we don’t need to fill every moment of each other’s day. My wife usually likes to watch a bit of television in bed. I, on the other hand, tend to sit in front of the computer and watch a youtube video download or two. After and hour or so we typically end up in the same room and watch a television show together or just talk. This works for us. I know some couples would see this as odd but for us it feels just right. We aren’t ignoring each other but simply respecting each other’s right to be alone with our own thoughts for a while.


Because I love her…

Posted by The Inspector on October 20th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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My wife is on a bit of a natural healing kick. I trust her and her medical background enough to realize that she wouldn’t ask me to take something that she hadn’t researched and believed would be truly beneficial to our health. We have started to take elderberry tincture that she made and I have to say I really like it. Elderberries are full of good things for you and are particularly good at warding off illnesses such as the cold and flu. If you do have a cold or flu elderberries can help you get over being sick quicker. Thus far we have had what we believed to be a cold in each of us. Taking the tincture left us feeling better within hours. I have to say I am sold on it thus far and see no reason not to keep taking it.


It is odd…

Posted by The Inspector on October 11th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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There was a time when my wife shopped exclusively and with abandon online. She would hunt for coupon codes for everything from free shipping from area grocery stores to victoria’s secret coupons using various websites. I have noticed a curious thing over the last couple of years in terms of her shopping. She has all but stopped shopping online. It is not that I don’t approve her shopping online. In fact I think shopping online is the way to go when you live in a small town like ours. It is really difficult to find many of the products that we use from local retailers and buying them online is our only option. It is just weird not to come home to a stack of boxes that need carried here or there. This leaves me wondering what happened to change her shopping habits or if there is something I need to know.


Bottling again…

Posted by The Inspector on October 11th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Tonight we will be bottling our first batch of hard cider. If you haven’t made hard cider before it is extremely easy to do. Hard cider is essentially comprised of cider and yeast. We added sugar to ours as well as a bit of back sweeteners once the fermentation was complete. The apples we used for this batch were very tart and the cider fermented out to be extremely dry. Back sweetening is a process of adding back in sugar or sweetener once fermentation has been stopped. Our back sweeteners consisted of apple juice concentrate and a little Splenda. Hard cider tastes best when it has been allowed to sit after bottling for a few months. I will keep you posted as to how our cider tastes in the months to come. We will be starting another batch tonight with cider from much sweeter apples which should end up not being quite so dry.


Career choices…

Posted by The Inspector on October 7th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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My brother-in-law recently took a bride. I am trying to be optimistic for them and their future but there are areas where it is difficult to do so. His new bride quit her job about 3 months before they got married. This isn’t a great financial loss to them because she was not working in a real career such as Houston web design or anything along those lines. In fact, despite having a college degree she was working as a cashier. What troubles me is the fact that she has made it clear that she will not be looking for a job at any point in the future. They do not intend to have children ever which makes her not working seem a bit odd. She also does not cook and leaves cleaning up to whoever she might be living with. I have been told that she will be working on a book she is writing rather than looking for an outside job. It will be interesting to see when or if this book nears completion. As long as they are happy it doesn’t really matter what I think but it leaves me wondering what my brother-in-law is gaining in this relationship.


Returned…

Posted by The Inspector on October 7th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Yesterday our two week sage with PayPal came to an end. Our money was returned to us in full. This comes as a relief considering the amount of money that was stolen. What is frustrating is to know that in all likelihood nothing will happen to the person who hacked our account and used are funds. The other thing that irks me is that we will not receive any sort of justice for our inconvenience. Had we not had funds to cover our bills this money might have been all we had in the world. Had our bank not worked with us on the issue we would have been slapped with overdraft fees. People who steal like think that they aren’t really hurting people but they are. Frustration aside it is this type of thing that tears away at our trust in our fellow human beings.


Funds returned…

Posted by The Inspector on October 6th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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After ten days of waiting our stolen bank funds have been returned. The experience although frustrating went surprisingly smooth. Having my PayPal account hacked and subsequent results of that hacking have left me feeling very wary of any online transactions. The thing that is hard is that we live in a nowhere type of town with few options when it come to shopping. I would like to be in a place where the things I need were all available locally but they just are not. Although this experience will definitely limit my online shopping I cannot say the it will eliminate it because I just have no other options for certain things.


Gifts…

Posted by The Inspector on September 30th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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My father used to be the type of guy who did not part with his money very easily. Over the last few years that has changed and he seems to buy anything and everything. Whenever he comes for a visit we can be guaranteed that he will come with a bag of gifts in hand. Our children end up with everything from water bottles to funny tshirts whenever their grandfather stops by. This week my father mailed my older son a Halloween cookbook. I am not quite sure why he thought our son needed a cookbook focused on Halloween but I am sure he had a reason. At least the recipes are something that my wife might be able to put to some use. The same cannot be said for every growing collection of luggage tags, calendars, and letter openers. Without fail my dad seems to bring us these on a regular basis. I think he gets them for free and it seems wrong to him to just throw them out and instead he brings them to us as a “gift”.


Free food…

Posted by The Inspector on September 30th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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There are quite a number of things I have learned over the last couple of years that I never thought I would have learned. I now know how to can, make soap, and raise chickens to name just a couple. We have been working hard to be as self-sustaining as possible. We grow whatever food we can and try to get the rest from local sources. One thing we have been learning to do accept free food when offered. By free food I mean apples and fruit from the trees or bushes of people who don’t want or can’t use it. This year we have gotten about 10 bushels of free apples and pears. This equates to almost a year’s supply of sauce, juice, and fruit for our family. The one thing we have learned to do it to take food even if we don’t really need it. Somehow we find a way to preserve it and this keeps us in the mind’s of people for the next year. When you don’t take stuff one year people are less likely to offer it the next time they have it.


Alone time…

Posted by The Inspector on September 30th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Now that the weather has turned cold and there isn’t much that needs done outside I am finding myself with time on my hands. This is a strange feeling after working so hard all summer long. You might think I would be kicking back with a drink in one hand and a leaf cigar bar in the other hand but that isn’t really my style. Mostly I spend my time catching up on a few television shows and reading. Generally I like to be busy but I will admit that it feels good when the evening rolls around and the kids are in bed to just spend some quiet time alone with my own thoughts. I know winter will fly by in no time and I will once again be busy outside. This allows me to appreciate those moments I get that are all mine just a bit more when they come my way.


You never know…

Posted by The Inspector on September 30th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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We are very frugal and don’t use credit cards at all anymore. We thought this was a safe thing to do and would eliminate the risk of identity theft for us. The only account we have for online shopping is a PayPal account and we thought this was a very safe way to shop. As it turns out this isn’t any safer than any other method of paying for things online. This week our account was hacked and fraudulent charges were racked up. It has been a mess to deal with and a frustrating experience. I am pissed beyond compare because the people who hacked our account didn’t use it for anything worthwhile but rather to pay for online gaming charges. My house payment is late because some loser needed to pay for his online gaming…


A different use…

Posted by The Inspector on September 21st, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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A couple of years ago we purchase a gaming system for our family. We thought this would be something that we would all enjoy and could spend family time together using. As it turns out we are not a family of people who play video games. This isn’t to say we don’t use our Wii or the wii black accessories that we own. Our Wii gets used extensively for watching streaming videos. We didn’t realize for the first year that we owned it that you could use it for this purpose. It has really added something to our home because although we don’t have a cable or satellite service we can still enjoy movies and videos streamed via the internet.


Cracked sweet potatoes…

Posted by The Inspector on September 21st, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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We finally got to harvest our crop of sweet potatoes. Never having grown sweet potatoes we had no idea what to expect in terms of yield. We ended up with about 25 pounds or maybe 2 pounds per plants. Not stellar results but enough that we were not sorely disappointed. Many of them we cracked which surprised us. As it turns out this is because of the drought we experienced this summer which was follow by constant rain in their final weeks of growth. There isn’t much we can do about that sort of thing. I don’t know if we will try sweet potatoes again next year because I can’t say yet if they justify space in the garden or not.


Chores…

Posted by The Inspector on September 21st, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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One of the things we have been working with our oldest son on is daily living skills. He could easily go about his daily activities without ever having picked up after himself once and not be bothered by this. He is simply unaware of how important taking care of your living space is. For last month or so he has had a schedule of chores that he is expected to complete each day. This might include cleaning our single bowl undermount sink or vacuuming the rugs in the house. I am hoping that if he sees how many little things there are in a home that need to be routinely cleaned that he will start to get the picture about how important it is for everyone in the home to do their part to keep it clean.


Working together…

Posted by The Inspector on September 21st, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Last night I took my son to work on a service project along with several members of his scout troop. I was very surprised to see my son display a horrible work ethic despite my prodding and lecturing about working as a team. I left the meeting feeling very exasperated with him and wondering how we can go about changing his attitude towards work. Laziness is not a quality we want to foster in our children. Our society is filled with people who has no desire to provide for themselves and expect the rest of society to carry them along. I have set a goal to work with my son more closely to instill in him pride in his work and in having used his skills to the best of his ability. I believe he has yet to experience how good it feels to set a goal and see it through to the end. I just need to find a goal that is attainable and motivating to him.


Career choices…

Posted by The Inspector on September 2nd, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Our older son is reaching the age where he is starting to talk about what he wants to be when he grows up. There are days when he talks about being a farmer. I think farming is a fine profession. I also wouldn’t care if he decided to look into Case Management Manager Jobs later in life. We hope that our children will go to college when they grow up but this is not something that we are going to push on them. I think too many kids are told from a young age exactly what is expected of them by their parents when they are adults and that this sets them up for failure. I want my children to be productive adults but also feel they need to experience the world and make decisions for themselves. As long as they are happy and able to support themselves I will be pleased with whatever they become in life.


Off to a wedding…

Posted by The Inspector on September 2nd, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Today is the big day! We are off to watch my brother-in-law get married for the first time. Considering that my wife and I have been married 20 years this is a momentous occasion that we never thought we would see happen. My brother-in-law is one of those guys that seemed like he was perfectly content to be alone and would stay that way until he left this earth. I am happy that he has found someone and hope they will be a good match for each other. I am a bit concerned that he will be in for quite an adjustment after never having shared his life or home with anyone before. Either way it is good to see our family expand and hopefully she will be a good fit for us and us for her.


Asking for advice…

Posted by The Inspector on August 19th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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This week a friend of mine asked my opinion about children having cell phones. It seems that her daughter has been asking relentlessly for a cell phone. She actually wants a very specific brand of phone and everything that goes with it such as . portable phone batteries. This friend is about to give in and get her daughter the phone because she considers it a safety issue. Her daughter has used the angle that in not having a cell phone is dangerous and she should have one in order to be able to reach her mother in an emergency. My friend says she would feel guilty if her daughter couldn’t reach her and something happened. While I can understand this point of view I don’t think that it should dictate the brand of phone purchased. A plain ordinary cell phone would work just as well in an emergency as a more equipped one. I think that her daughter is manipulating her emotions to get a new gadget she wants rather than a device for personal safety. What would you advise this friend to do?


Just peachy…

Posted by The Inspector on August 19th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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You likely don’t know this about me but I am into canning. Actually my wife is into canning and drags me along for the ride. It is a great way to preserve food you grow yourself or buy locally. This week I was off for a couple of days and we went on a canning binge. We put away a bushel of apples and peaches. These were preserved as apple sauce and sliced peaches. We also put away 5 dozen ears of corn and a bushel of tomatoes. Somewhere there were 45 pounds of potatoes and that made it into jars as well. Late one night I recall canning chicken stew and chicken soup. I have a vague recollection of canning carrots, sauerkraut, and onion marmalade. Like I said it was a hectic week of canning. Our pantry shelves are now completely full and we still have plans to process another 300 jars of food. At least I know the winter will be full of tasty or “peachy” foods to savor.


Vertigo…

Posted by The Inspector on August 12th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Since going to the fair last night I have had a bit of vertigo. My oldest son wanted to ride the rides but didn’t want to do so alone. My wife and I took turns riding with him. On one ride I hit my head very hard on the back of the ride and haven’t felt great since. Last night I was extremely nauseous and dizzy. If that feeling had persisted we might have needed to look up carpet cleaning raleigh nc in the phone book because I felt so sick. I went to bed almost immediately upon getting home and woke up feeling a bit better. My wife has a background in treating patients with vertigo and she says that a blow to the head can result in this feeling. Since it is improving I don’t think I need to see a doctor but I am quite positive I won’t be riding any rides very soon.


Volunteering…

Posted by The Inspector on August 12th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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We always try to teach our children to be kind to other people and to help our community when we can. I have been volunteering with my son’s Boy Scout troop for the last year. Recently they asked me to take charge of a project and I agreed without realizing what I had gotten myself into. Our troop collects pop cans at fairs and community events and then turns them in for cash. I didn’t quite grasp the volume of cans they collect when I agreed to be in charge of sorting and turning in the cans for the refunds on them. As much as I want to bow out of this job I realize that in doing so I would be sending a message to my son that it is okay to leave big jobs for other people. I am going to keep plugging away at the job but I am going to suggest that it be assigned to a couple of adults rather than just myself. Not having a truck makes transporting thousands of cans a big of a task.


My love…

Posted by The Inspector on August 12th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Last weekend we had the occasion to spend time with some friends who will soon be getting married. Although they are our age this will be the first marriage for both of them. We have already be married 20 years and they wanted to know how we have made things work for so long. I explained that one thing we have always shared is a vision of our future. We have always talked about growing old together and the life we intend to live during that time. The reality of life and aging never escapes us and we know that there is the likelihood that one of us will face memory problems or need incontinence products but that is part of life. When you truly love someone you love them for all that they are today and what they may become in the future. I think that committing to marriage means committing to someone who may be different from year to year and decade to decade. What always remains stable is our love for one another. Thus far it has seen us through an infinite array of joys and sorrows and I trust that will continue into the future. Knowing that we share a vision of our lives united makes it all work out despite hurdles along the way.


Fair rides..

Posted by The Inspector on August 12th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Last night we took our children to our local county fair. This is an annual event for our family. The children love to look at the animals and always look forward to this time of year. Normally we go on a night that is free and doesn’t offer rides. This year I thought I lucked out and got some free tickets for the night where the midway was available. As it turned out my youngest son wanted no part of the rides and neither did my wife. I rode a few rides with my older son but was very turned off they the long lines and rides that didn’t seem to be in good repair. As the evening wore on it became clear that coming on a night where rides were not offered had a clear benefit. There were fewer people and we really enjoyed ourselves much more. The rides not running eliminated any discussion of standing in lines and we spent more time together as a family. In the future I will remind myself to not give into the temptation of cheap tickets.


A good long soak…

Posted by The Inspector on July 16th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Coming home from camping is always such a good feeling. I think everyone should go camping if only for the reason of learning to deeply appreciate coming home. There is nothing that feels so good when you come home as a long soak in a clawfoot bathtub or any bathtub. Cooking over an open fire seems to seep into your skin and no amount of washing in the woods ever makes me feel clean. The other thing I appreciate when I come home is slipping between the blankets of my own bed. After nights spent either on the ground or on a lumpy camper mattress my own bed just feels perfect. Any complaints I might have had about my home slip away after camping for an extended period of time and I realize how truly fortunate I am to have a home.


Oddly good…

Posted by The Inspector on July 16th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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There are times when my wife tells me about things that she wants to “can” that I question why should would want to do that particular thing. For example she recently canned sausage. The resulting product was edible but not exactly tasty. I wondered why she embarked on such an experiment and she said that her goal was to make the meat immediately usable. This means that there would be no thawing or pre-planning to have a meal. My wife hates planning dinner and prefers to do things last minute when it comes to dinner. Yesterday she told me that she was going to be canning red onion marmalade. This was something I simply could not wrap my head around. Tonight she gave me a jar and instructed me to baste the hamburgers I was grilling with it. The resulting product was unbelievably good. It made me wonder why I had ever question her motive in making an onion based marmalade. I may just have to reserve all judgement in the future until I taste the finished product.


Family time together…

Posted by The Inspector on July 16th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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One of my favorite things about camping is spending the evening together. When we go camping we are forced to leave all of our technological gadgets behind us. We camp off-grid which means there is no way to use a samsung lcd television, game system, or even our cell-phones. Our camping location is so remote that cell phone service is impossible. Our children love to play board games in the camper or just sit around the camp fire singing songs. It is so nice to disconnect from the world and simply enjoy the company of one another. It makes me wonder how much happier most people would be if they had such an opportunity.


Camping exhaustion…

Posted by The Inspector on July 16th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Last weekend we went camping for about 4 days. This is an activity that our entire family enjoys and looks forward to. The weather was horrifically hot on this particular trip. The heat really saps the energy right out of you. There were a couple of days where we had to go somewhere cool for a few hours because the heat was so intense. What was weird is that we were actually cold a couple of nights. It is funny how the day can be so hot and the nights so cool. The problem with camping is that we are always exhausted for about a week afterwards. This is particularly true after our last trip. I cannot shake the tired feeling and want a nap even after having slept all night. I think it is because we sleep so poorly while camping. It is funny that despite the exhaustion we still love to go camping.


Green juice…

Posted by The Inspector on July 16th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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For dinner last night I was presented not with a plate of food but a glass of juice. This was not just any juice but a bright green juice with lots of stuff floating in it. I didn’t know what to say upon receiving the glass of green sludge. Part of me thought that I should quickly look up life insurance on www.wholesaleinsurance.net. Instead of running to the computer I decided to indulge my wife and gave the juice a small taste. Quite surprisingly it tasted much better than it looked. The taste was reminiscent of lemonade with a touch of something I couldn’t put my finger on. My wife quickly told me that the taste I couldn’t place was the flavor of kale. Not being a big consumer of kale I knew why I couldn’t place immediately put my finger on it. After drinking the beverage I felt surprisingly good and my stomach was full. It wasn’t the meal I was expecting but it was a good change of pace. I don’t know that I would substitute every meal with juice but once in a while would be fine.


Paleo dieting…

Posted by The Inspector on July 16th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Just when I think I have my wife’s diet plan figured out she switches game plans on me. This week she mentioned possibly going on a juice fast for a couple of weeks. The word fast implies that you are starving yourself but in her plan you can eat as much as you want of certain things. Today she has a book in her hand about something called the “Paleo Diet”. As much as I try to support her nutritional choices it always seems like they change faster than I can keep up with. I never know if it is safe to bring pizza home for dinner or if I should be looking for a side of beef.


Interesting idea…

Posted by The Inspector on July 13th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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We watched a video last night about a guy who embarked on an unusual weight loss journey. You might think of weight loss pills when it comes to someone dieting but this was how he lost weight. This man went on a juice only diet for an extended period of time. He only drank juiced fruits and vegetables for every meal. He lost an incredible amount of weight during this time and went on to maintain his weight loss. I am a bit intrigued by this type of eating style but don’t know if I could adapt to juiced vegetable like kale and chard. I would have to know a great deal more about what things taste good together before embarking on this type of diet. What he was drinking didn’t look good at all. I would also want to know more about other people who might have lost weight using this method and how well they maintained afterwards. Nonetheless it was an intriguing story that makes me want to learn more about juicing.


Rebound bunnies…

Posted by The Inspector on July 13th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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We found a litter of baby bunnies inside our fenced in garden. Apparently I fenced the babies inside and the momma outside. We kept seeing a rabbit inside the garden and decided to fence it off to keep the rabbit out. This it would seem separated her from them as we found them while watering. We thought we removed them all safely to a place where we see her frequently hiding. Tonight we found two of them back in the garden. Once again we removed them from the garden and hopefully this will be the last we see of them. As cute as they are they grow up to be horribly destructive pests.


Double standard.

Posted by The Inspector on July 9th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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The office where I work has a dress code. For some reason there is double standard in the office as to how this code applies to women versus men. For some reason the women in the office are able to get away with wearing much more casual clothing than the men are. It would be much simpler if we all just wore hospital scrubs but we don’t. The women often wear capri pants that really look like long shorts to me. They also wear tank tops, sandal, and mini skirts. Considering that I have to wear slacks, dress shoes, and a button down shirt it doesn’t seem fair that they dress in the manner that they do. I feel like the men in our office should be granted some leeway when it comes to summer attire as well. Our office is poorly cooled and it would be really nice if I could be a little more comfortable in the heat. This policy is not likely to change very soon because there are only 3 men in our office and around 35 women.


A fish to fry…

Posted by The Inspector on July 9th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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This weekend we have a great many activities planned. Aside from going camping we are taking the children fishing. We have gone fishing a few times this summer but have yet to catch a decent sized fish. Our oldest son has his heart set on frying a fish over the camp fire. It would just be nice to catch a fish that I don’t have to throw back in the water. We have a back up meal planned in case we don’t end up catching a fish. It is just nice to see the children as into camping and fishing as we are. I can’t imagine having children who don’t enjoy these activities and complain ever minute that they are out in the great outdoors. We have friends with children like this and it literally sucks the joy of each trip.


Out on the water.

Posted by The Inspector on July 2nd, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Tomorrow afternoon we will be heading out to attempt kayaking for the first time. We have always wanted to try this but our children have never been quite the right age. We will be making this into a combined fishing trip as well. We are hoping to do some bird watching with our Nikon binoculars and possibly spot some other wildlife. Our family loves the outdoors and learning to navigate the water via this method should add a great deal to our outdoor life. I only hope our children are as excited by being on the water as we are. I remember being quite scared of the water as a child and will understand if they aren’t keen on the idea. Hopefully it all goes as planned and we have another wonderful day in the great outdoors.


Family time…

Posted by The Inspector on July 2nd, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Holidays are always a juggling act in our house. We have people on both sides of our family that travel into town to visit us each holiday. The problem is that most of the time they are only here for a couple of days on the same days. This makes it hard to see everyone as much as we would like to. It would be simpler if we could get everyone to come for a gathering at the same time but this has proven to be quite awkward in the past. So, we continue to have short visits with each and hope that no one walks away feeling hurt. We used to be the people travelling into town to visit and know how irritating it can be to drive hundreds of miles to visit only to have people be tied up with other plans.


Another chance…

Posted by The Inspector on June 22nd, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Last night we decided to give our older son another chance at having a computer in his room. The last time he had a computer in his room it was one of the pc desktops issued to him by his cyber charter school. We found at that time that he just wasn’t mature enough to handle a computer in his room. He didn’t exactly treat it as a piece of valuable equipment. We were constantly finding stuff piled on the computer and liquids near it. Ultimately we removed the computer and placed it in a more secure area of the house. It has been a couple of years since then and we decided to let him try again to demonstrate that he can be responsible with his computer. The school has now issued students laptops rather than desktops which make things much easier. He will still need to show us that he will treat the computer with care in order for it to remain in his room.


New road…

Posted by The Inspector on June 22nd, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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The road in front of our house is being replaced. This has been quite a thing to watch. It all began with the replacement of the water pipes running under the street. After that crews began ripping out the street and curbs. To accomplish this most of the trees on our street had to be cut down. Right now I barely recognize our road. Today they came through and put up new curbs. I have no idea what the road will eventually look like because these curbs are at least a foot or more higher than the old road. It seems like these high curbs will make parking cars in the street difficult because there will be no way to open doors without smacking the curb. I suppose we should be glad that the road is being replaced because it was in terrible shape but it all sure looks weird right now.


Two decades…

Posted by The Inspector on June 22nd, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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A week from today my wife and I will celebrate our 20th anniversary. It really doesn’t feel like we have been married for two decades. It seems like only yesterday that we met and went on our first date. We were engaged after only 3 months of dating and have had quite and adventure since then. I need to figure out something to give her for our anniversary but I have no idea what. I want to do something special to mark this milestone in our lives. I suppose I could look up something like Glendale flowers but that just doesn’t seem like enough. My wife has been with me through so many ups and downs and we have been together for more than half our lives. What do you give someone who means so much to you? She doesn’t wear jewelry and aspires to live a simple life. My mind is drawing a blank right now and I could use any suggestions you might have.


Yo Gabba Gabba…

Posted by The Inspector on June 22nd, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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While I am typing my youngest son is sitting next to me watching one of his favorite television shows “Yo Gabba Gabba”. I have to state here and now that until now I had thought that the “Teletubbies” was the most bizarre children’s show I have ever seen. “Yo Gabba Gabba” has now taken that title. There are some characters on the show that I just don’t understand. In particular there is one of the characters that looks like a giant sex toy. I am sorry to be so graphic but I can’t look at the giant, one eyed, red torpedo shaped object without any other thought coming to mind. This character obviously was not put up for approval by a parent committee because I know of know adult who would have said that this character is an appropriate shape for children’s television.


A sense of humor…

Posted by The Inspector on June 22nd, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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I just finished reading an article about the attire that Bethanie Mattek-Sands arrived for Wimbledon wearing. The article detailed a jacket she wore that featured fringe and tennis balls. Personally I could care less if she wore a jumpsuit made entirely out of cordless barcode scanners to the match. The reality is that she took the ball covered jacket off prior to playing in the match. It wasn’t as if she attempted to play with the hideous jacket on. Who really cares what she wears as long as she is able to play without being a spectacle? Someone stated that her attire showed disrespect for the sport. Seriously, do we now have to respect a sport? I think it is great that she has a sense of humor and isn’t taking herself too seriously.


My day…

Posted by The Inspector on June 22nd, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Tomorrow is my 41st birthday. I am not someone who really cares much about birthdays and tend to see them as just another day. There is one tradition I have maintained for several years in regards to my birthday. Each year I take a day off for myself in recognition of my birthday. This is a day that I use to do whatever I want to do. Some years I lay in bed until noon and other days I head out to the golf course. This year I believe that I am going to go out metal detecting. I have yet to devote many hours this year to this particular hobby and it seems like a good way to spend “my day”. There was recently a huge festival at one of our local parks and it seems like this might be a good place to find some coins or whatnot. Whether I find something or not it will be nice to have quiet time to myself and not be sitting behind my desk.


Posting property.

Posted by The Inspector on June 3rd, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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This weekend we will be spending time hiking in the woods. This particular hike is not solely for fun but has a purpose. We will be putting up “No Trespassing” signs on the perimeter of my in-laws property. They have noticed a great number of tracks from ATV Tires allover their property. Because their property butts up next to a national forest I believe believe to do not realize they are on private property while riding. Because my in-laws don’t want their property to be used for this purpose they have asked for our help in posting the property. It will be interesting to actually find out where the boundaries of their property are because I have never actually walked over the entire property.


Raising insects…

Posted by The Inspector on June 3rd, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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My children love bugs and insects of all kinds. Each year we allow them to raise a “crop” of beneficial insects for our garden. Without fail they always choose the same type of insect to raise. They both love to raise praying mantis egg cases. These truly are fascinating critters to raise. For weeks the egg case will just sit there doing absolutely nothing. Then one day the jar holding the egg case will be absolutely filled with thousands of babies. One year we let them keep them for a while but learned the hard way not to do this. Praying mantis will eat everything imaginable and eventually they devour one another. We now look at them for a few hours and quickly release them into the garden. I have no idea how many live to actually benefit our garden but we have fun either way.


Feeling old.

Posted by The Inspector on June 3rd, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Last night we attended a family gathering. It has been a very, very long time since we have seen anyone in my wife’s family. I couldn’t help but feel old when I realized that the people in her family who are our age have children who are graduating high school or already in the military. Considering that our youngest is just about to start kindergarten you can imagine why this would make me feel old. Having young children who are more interested in Spider Man pajamas than hip hop clothing gives you a different perspective on your own age. I don’t regret having children at an older age but I can also see how having older children at this stage of life would be nice as well. I can only hope that raising teenagers in my 50′s won’t age me dramatically.


Digging the soil.

Posted by The Inspector on June 3rd, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Today I am taking a half day off from work for a rather atypical reason. Most people take days off for doctor’s appointments and the like. I am using this time to work in the soil. Specifically I am going to spend the afternoon tilling our garden plot at the community garden. We have not been able to get into the garden until today because the soil has been to flooded and wet to work. This means that we are getting a late start on the garden by at least two weeks. My hope is that this won’t have too much of an impact on things. The main problem will be if the weather continues to be this wet all season. We will likely loose everything is this is the case because the area is prone to flooding especially where our plot is located.


I want abs…

Posted by The Inspector on May 28th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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I am a forty year old man but don’t feel any different than I did in my late twenties. The one thing that feels different is my waistline. In my twenties my waist was 4 inches smaller. This might not sound like a big deal but to me it is. I have always been thin and have never had a need for stuff like enzyte. Looking in the mirror I see a middle age waistline stuck on an otherwise decent body. I want the abs that I had in the middle of my life. It would be good to feel strong everywhere once again. I have a long term goal for getting back to the physique I once had and realize it won’t happen over night. Being active and eating healthy are a start but I need to seriously get back into strength training.


Just waiting…

Posted by The Inspector on May 28th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Half of our garden has now been planted. This is a great feeling because it seems as though we are finally on our way to growing some food. The weather has been downright sucktastic and we have been behind the ball on getting stuff in the ground. By next week we should be able to plant the other half of our garden provided it doesn’t rain too much in the coming days. I don’t remember such a wet and sloppy spring season in such a long time. I am so concerned for those who farm for a living given the ground conditions around the country this year. I feel as though we are just waiting to see if Mother Nature keeps hurling stuff at us or if the season will turn around. I can only imagine what it must be like to be staring out at your fields watching money be washed away in the rain.


Planting flowers…

Posted by The Inspector on May 22nd, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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My children have true passion when it comes to gardening. This really came as a surprise to me. When we started gardening I really thought they would quickly loose interest but they haven’t. This year we decided to give them their own garden bed and let them plant whatever they want in it. Considering both children are boys I expected them to choose vegetables but they did not. Both of them selected several types of flower seeds and bulbs. My oldest son envisions using them in various floral arrangements that he will create when they bloom. They spent the afternoon working in their garden bed planting. It was really neat to see them working together and with a clear plan in mind. When everything was said and done they planted gladiolas, nasturtiums, violas, and several types of sunflowers. Our youngest son doesn’t quite understand the time frame involved between planting the flowers and being able to enjoy them. As we tucked him into bed tonight he asked if he could pick flowers in his garden in the morning. I am half tempted to buy some blooming flowers and stick them in the ground just to make him happy. Everything that we usually plant is edible which makes a flower garden a nice change of pace for all of us.


Liking it…

Posted by The Inspector on May 22nd, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Last summer when my wife proposed that we start a garden I have to say I wasn’t thrilled with the idea. It seemed like something we would put a great deal of effort into and then give up on after a while. I was proven wrong in our first year and can now honestly say I love gardening. Most of our gardening plans are not mine but I enjoy them nonetheless. My wife carefully researches every proposed planting and plan for our garden. Some of it works and some of it doesn’t but we always learn something and have fun. This year our garden is at least double the size of last years. We have also added quite a number of fruiting plants to our yard and several annuals. It is something our entire family enjoys doing. We quite literally cannot keep our children out of the soil. There was a time when I love my vacant green lawn and couldn’t envision it any other way. Today I love the raised beds and things growing in every corner. I was clearly wrong about the notion of gardening and my family.


Budgets and more budgets…

Posted by The Inspector on May 21st, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Making jerky…

Posted by The Inspector on May 21st, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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About two weeks ago my wife bought a new dehydrator. We had a sort of crummy one that we got from a thrift store. It worked okay for some things but had no temperature control system. Given that our garden often produces food at various time we find ourselves with produce that we can’t use at that time and isn’t really enough to can. Having a decent dehydrator means that we can dry small batches of produce as they come in. My son has been itching to try making jerky in the dehydrator. Tonight we are embarking on that journey using a jerky gun and grass fed ground beef purchased from a local farmer. My son is beside himself with excitement about this process. Having never made jerky before we are going to go with the USDA safe food guidelines and cook our jerky first given that our children will be consuming it. I will let you know how it turns out. It should prove interesting.


Almost a teen…

Posted by The Inspector on May 5th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Our oldest son is just about 12 years old. In the last couple of months we have begun to see a real change in him. Not only does he look older but his attitude is changing. He is more aware of his own need for privacy as well as that of others. We have had to have a few discussions with him about mature topics because he was clearly confused about certain things he had heard on the radio and on television. I know it won’t be long before I have to talk with him about shaving and how to get rid of whiteheads and whatnot. I sometimes cannot believe that he is almost a teenager. It really seems just a couple of years ago that we brought him home from the hospital. Part of me is happy to see him maturing and another part is just a bit sad to see the child in him disappearing.


Possible strike…

Posted by The Inspector on May 5th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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This morning when I got into the office I was immediately draw into a conversation about the union at my office. I am obligated to be a member of the union and try to stay aware of happenings within it. Apparently there was a meeting last night to discuss our upcoming contract negotiation. I missed the meeting but my co-workers were more than happy to fill me in on what happened. The word on the street is that our union will strike if the negotiations do not proceed as they would like. I can’t say that this thrills me. I believe in light of things that have taken place in the economy that we have to give concessions that we might not like. It would seem that most of my co-workers feel as I do which makes me wonder how the union makes decisions?


It is a deal!

Posted by The Inspector on May 5th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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My wife and I have struck a fitness deal. The deal is such that we hope to keep each other motivated to work out. I have promised to bike to work as often as the weather permits. In turn she has agreed to get up and walk each morning that I bike to work. This way we will both be getting in a decent workout without taking time out of the evening to do so. She is lucky in that the weather will not impact her at all. She can listen to music or read an seo link vine review or a book while working out. I will not be able so fortunate. For safety reasons I can’t listen to music as loud as I would like and the only thing you can do on a bike is look around. There will be no reading for me but at least I will be spending time being active and saving money at the same time. With the price of gas the idea of biking is even more appealing to my wallet.


Biking to work…

Posted by The Inspector on May 5th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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This morning I rode my bike to work for the first time ever. It is something I have been meaning to do but the weather has just not cooperated. It didn’t take me nearly as long as I anticipated. I don’t really know what I was thinking but I left for work an hour early. Considering my ride to work is only about 2 miles it only took me about 20 minutes to get there. I am lucky in that there is a great bike trail that runs from near my house to my office. It means I don’t have to ride in traffic. I am glad I finally made the decision to give biking to work a try because it was actually fun!


Penalities…

Posted by The Inspector on May 5th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Our oldest son was caught lying to us this week. He has never lied to us in the past which made this a bit of a huge deal. In response to his lying we decided to invoke a fairly stiff punishment given the proportion of the lies he had been telling. For the next month or two there will be absolutely no television service in our house. He can stare at the television and tv stand all he wants but nothing will happen. We put our television service in suspension for at least a month. If his attitude does not improve the service will not be reinstated. Hopefully, he will learn that it is better to be honest than dishonest because the punishment is much harsher when you don’t tell the truth.


Kindergarten…

Posted by The Inspector on May 5th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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This morning was a big day for our youngest son. This was the day where we took him to enroll him in kindergarten. It is hard to believe that he will be 5 years old in a few months. I can’t believe that he is already of the age where enrolling him in school is something that we don’t have a choice about doing. He is going to be going to the same cyber school as our older son. We absolutely love our experience with our oldest son’s school. It is a difference of night and day between our experience with traditional public schools. I can’t wait to see how our little guy transitions to a regular school day.


Bachelor party…

Posted by The Inspector on April 26th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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In a couple of months I am going to have to host a bachelor party. My brother-in-law is getting married for the first time. He is not the sort of guy that you would have ever expected to get married but he is. I am guessing that the duty of hosting a bachelor party for him will fall to me. I have no clue what to do for him because he isn’t a guy who would appreciate a night of partying and black & mild cigars. The wildest thing I have ever known him to do it go white water rafting. He doesn’t drink or smoke and I have never known him to go into a bar. His circle of friends is fairly small which makes it very likely that i will be the man who has to host a party for him. It promises to be a very exciting time for everyone involved.


The repair man…

Posted by The Inspector on April 26th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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It is funny how things change over time. In the twenty years we have been married I have slowly transitioned in my role in my wife’s family. Once upon a time I was seen as the bumbling guy who didn’t know how to do anything. I don’t really know why this role was assigned to me because I have always been pretty handy. In the last few years it has somehow become clear to her family that I am indeed a capable guy. Since then I have become the guy who can fix things. It seems like on a weekly basis my mother-in-law is bringing me things that need repaired. I felt flattered at first because it made me feel like they finally could see that I wasn’t some an idiot. Today, I feel a little put off in the fact that it is just assumed I have the time and inclination to fix everything and anything.


History lessons…

Posted by The Inspector on April 26th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Our oldest son absolutely loves history. He reads his history books just for the fun of it. Sometimes you would think that he is reading a comedy novel rather than a history book. During the course of the day he will read out loud things he finds particularly funny. I love that he finds humor in the fact that women were once seen as inferior. It shows just how far our world has advanced. A child today looks up the notion of women not being allowed to vote as antiquated and dumb. It makes it seem unreal that it wasn’t that long ago that women were wearing corsets and fighting for equal rights in our country. I tried explaining to my son that there are still countries where women are considered second class citizens but he just cannot wrap his head around that fact quite yet.


Up all night…

Posted by The Inspector on April 26th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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My neighbor stopped me this morning to tell me that there are bears in our neighborhood. I have no idea why he thinks I need to know this. There are always bears in our neighborhood. I honestly think he tells me this thinking that we will quit gardening. There are so many things to attract bears into our neighborhood besides our garden. People leave trash outside in cans and barbeque. Most of the damage caused by bears are because they are trying to get into trash cans and bird feeders as opposed to vegetable gardens. My neighbor stays awake all night and is quite aware of what goes on outside during the evening. If he would sleep at night like the rest of us he wouldn’t care whether bears are roaming in our yards.


Moving time.

Posted by The Inspector on April 15th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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This week the state began work on the road in front of our house. They will be entirely ripping out the road and replacing it. To add to the mess the water company is also replacing the water lines in front of our house. As you can imagine getting to our house is nearly impossible. We have decided to move our camper to another location for the summer because the road is in such bad shape. I have no clue if motorhome insurance would cover damage to the camper from hauling it up and down a very rough road. We decided it would be better to just move the camper than to risk damaging it on the road. It should make things much easier when camping season finally arrives.


Weird projects…

Posted by The Inspector on April 15th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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My father-in-law is the king of strange ideas. He comes up with strange projects on a routine basis. For a long time I didn’t think much of it because it didn’t really concern me. A few months ago for some reason he started thinking that I would like to be a part of his grand schemes. It started with a boat he bought that he thought we could restore together. The problem is that neither of us knows anything about restoring boats. The boat is in such bad shape that there are small trees growing out of it. As you might guess we haven’t made much progress on it. Yesterday he stopped by and told me that he wanted me to help him mount a solar panel onto a lawn mower. I don’t think he realized that you can just use a solar trickle charge to accomplish the same task…


Road work…

Posted by The Inspector on April 9th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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This spring work will begin on the road in front of our house. The road is in terrible shape and truly does need replacing. The state will be tearing out the entire road and replacing it entirely. We are on one hand happy about this and on the other hand not looking forward to it at all. Prior to the road work commencing the water company will be putting in new water lines to all the houses on our road. This means that our yard will be tore up for the second time since we moved in 3 years ago. Because of all this work we have decided to park our camper at my in-laws for the duration. There is no way I am going to be hooking the camper up to my trailer hitch each weekend we go camping and attempting to navigate our road. As the road is right now it is almost impossible to drive on it without ruining your alignment. I cannot imagine what it would do to our van or camper to routinely try to drive on it when we wanted to go camping. It is going to be a long season of construction for our neighborhood. Hopefully it will all be worth it in the end.


Dude… move on.

Posted by The Inspector on April 9th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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I am a capable kind of guy. No, I didn’t grow up with a father to teach me how to build things and fix things but I do alright. My wife would say I have a natural gift for this sort of stuff when you consider that I was raised as an only child by just my mom. I suppose this is why it irks me to have people offer unsolicited advise as to how I could have or should have done something. My neighbor lives with his parents. He is in his late 50′s and is one of those guys who has done everything and knows everything. I cannot step outside to work on something without him coming outdoors and somehow deciding that I need some of his sage advice. At first I thought he was being friendly but I now just think he is annoying and he needs to get a job or go smoke somewhere else. I can use a sledge hammer quite well without supervision or advice as to how I might use it differently.


Belated gifts…

Posted by The Inspector on April 6th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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My mother had a birthday last week. Typically we get together to celebrate her birthday. We were unable to do this because she had to travel out of town due to the death of someone in our family. I did send her a nice card complete with a pretty red envelope but that was it. I feel bad that we didn’t get to do more but it was unavoidable. The funeral kept her out of town for over a week. My mom lives alone and I am her only child which makes it important that I make her birthday special. This weekend we are going to surprise her with a visit and some gifts that we let the children pick out. Hopefully we can still make her birthday special even though we are a bit late in celebrating it. My wife is going to make her a cherry cheesecake which happens to be her favorite dessert. I intend to work on some projects around her house that need completed as my gift. The kids have made her some drawings in addition to the gifts they have to give her. I am sure she will love whatever the children give her simply because it comes from them.


Just about enough….

Posted by The Inspector on April 6th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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This winter has been one of the roughest I can remember. Just when we think it is over along comes another snow storm. Today we received a couple of inches of snow. I have never seen more unpredictable weather than what we have gotten for the last couple of years. Anyone who lives here and doesn’t admit that something is going on with our climate has to be crazy. This week the weather has gone up and down by about 20 degrees every other day. When it is not snowing it is raining and when it is not doing either of these it is flooding. We have plants that need to be put in the ground but we simply can’t predict when it is going to be safe to plant them. From what I read this is happening all over the world. At least we can be thankful that we are dealing with what the people in Japan are enduring.


Biking to work.

Posted by The Inspector on March 30th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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We are now a one vehicle household. Last weekend we turned in our lease vehicle and elected not to lease or buy another vehicle. After assessing how much we drove both our vehicles in the last year it became clear that the mileage we put on both vehicles combined was less that we used to drive on a single vehicle. A couple years ago we moved closer to my work and began home schooling our children which dramatically changed how much we drive. My plan is that once the weather turns less snowy I will begin biking to work. My job is only a couple of miles away and there is a nice bike trail that runs between our house and my office. Right now the only thing keeping me from biking is the fact that it won’t quit snowing! Every day I think I will head out on the bike the sky decides to dump snow on us. I wish it would just be spring for real already.


Awesome gifts~

Posted by The Inspector on March 30th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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When it comes to giving gifts I am the king. I give awesome gifts! Of course it helps that my wife has simple needs and wants from life. Today, I decided to give her something she has been asking me for over the last couple of weeks. I went to the garden store and bought her 10 bags of composted manure. She is happy as a clam. I know many women would prefer a day at the spa getting the best cellulite treatments but not my wife. She is lady who is interested in compost, dirt, and plants. I have never come home to find out that she spent the day at the beauty salon having her hair done or investing in a manicure. Instead I come home to find she had dug a new asparagus bed or planted some raspberry bushes. I am sure their are men who would happily lug home compost if their wives had such simple tastes. I cannot imagine being expected to bring home jewelry and other gifts to show my love.


Vaccinating a dog.

Posted by The Inspector on March 30th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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We have embarked on a new level of self-sufficiency. For a couple of years we have given our dog her vaccination for kennel cough. This was no big deal because it is a nasal spray. This weekend we realized that our dog is scheduled for a much overdue grooming appointment and that she is due for her regular vaccinations. We decided to try giving her these shots ourselves with supplies from the local Tractor Supply. Had we waited for a vet appointment it would have been another month and we would need to reschedule the groomer. I have given shots before and it seemed like no big deal until we had the needle in hand. Ultimately we decided to use a smaller insulin needle and this proved to be a painless procedure for everyone involved. The cost of the vaccination was about $6.00 as opposed to $50.00 and two hours of waiting at the vets office. I am glad we decided to save our time and money and do this ourselves.


Lucky day?

Posted by The Inspector on March 17th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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St. Patrick’s day has been on my oldest son’s mind for quite a while. Now that the day is actually here I believe he is a bit letdown. He has been plotting a way to trap a leprechaun for several weeks. He keeps telling me that if we could trap a leprechaun we would never have to worry about money again. I’ll admit I find the idea of a life free of credit cards, online cash advance, and budgeting quite appealing. It is hard to support his creativity and yet keep him grounded in reality. He is a child who wants to believe in the possibility of everything from aliens to leprechauns. His face was so sad today when he found his leprechaun trap did not contain a single leprechaun nor even a gold coin. I considered leaving his a fake gold coin but I decided that might be an even bigger letdown than finding an empty trap.


A Boy Scout at LAST!

Posted by The Inspector on March 17th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Tonight is a big night for our oldest son. This evening marks the point where he becomes a full fledged Boy Scout. He has been a Webelo for quite some time and has now completed the requirements to move up to being a Boy Scout. I cannot tell you how proud I am of him for all the hard work he has put into this moment. He joined Webelo’s a bit late in the game and had to do double the work this year in order to become a Boy Scout along with the other boy’s his age. For the last year he has attended two scout meeting a week in order to complete everything on time. Tonight the entire family will be present to mark this big occasion in his scouting career.


A warm day!

Posted by The Inspector on March 17th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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The temperature outside right now is about 20 degrees warmer than it has been for the last few days. Almost all the snow is melted and the crocuses are up in our yard. My youngest son was so excited to see bright sunshine. He ran around shouting and jumping because seeing the ground again means he can ride his bike. I seriously think he would have had a parade complete with steel drums to mark what seems like the end of winter. This has been a long and tiresome winter for us all. Being outdoors even in the mud is a good feeling for everyone in our house.


Vacation is over…

Posted by The Inspector on March 17th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Today was my first day back to work after having about a week off. I accomplished a great deal during my vacation and feel good about how I used the time. We managed to get a hoop house built for our garden and get dirt into it. This was one of the main things we needed to accomplish before spring really settles in. We also built an apple press for use this fall. We hope to make lots of apple cider and hard cider from the trees we pruned this weekend. It feels good to know that the time I took off was used for good things and not just sitting around watching television.


The push is on.

Posted by The Inspector on March 5th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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We are not the type of parents that try to push our children to become something in particular when they grow up. All we want for our children is to be happy, productive, and self-sufficient people. I was a little bit surprised this week when our older son’s cyber school hosted a course focusing on college preparation. Our son is in 5th grade which makes college seem like a distant thing to us all. Our son has no clue what he wants to become when he grows up. To him everything sounds like the ideal career choice. One week he might want to be a farmer and the next he will tell you that he wants a finance job. Both my wife and I feel that an education is important but we also feel that children are pushed into decision they aren’t ready to make at such tender ages. Honestly, the career I believed I wanted at age 18 is very different from the one I would chose today. I almost believe that if we all had a little more life experience under our belts before embarking on pursuing a career that we would ultimately make more informed decisions for ourselves.


Sticker shock.

Posted by The Inspector on March 5th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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We buy most of our baking supplies in bulk because this is the most economical way to do it. My wife bakes just about everything we eat from scratch and this requires a great deal of things like flour and oats. This afternoon we decided to trek out to the Amish bulk food store to make some purchases. The Amish store traditionally has much lower prices than our local grocery store. The last time we bought 50 pounds of flour it was $13.50. This time we were a bit surprised to find the price was $25.00 for the same size bag. This is an almost 50% rise in just about 6 months. The Amish lady who owns the store told us that she has never seen food prices jump so high so quickly. I can only hope things level out soon.


Purging the closet.

Posted by The Inspector on February 26th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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This week we decided to clean out one of the closets in our basement that had become a bit of a dumping zone. This was a place where all the stuff that we didn’t use or couldn’t find a place for got shoved. I can’t tell you all the stuff we found in there. There were cell phone chargers, security cameras, and every imaginable cord or cable possible. We put together a huge box of stuff to take to Goodwill and another box that was destined for the attic. I try to use a the rule that if we haven’t used something in six months to a year that we should think seriously about hanging onto it. Obviously, there are certain exceptions to this rule but we certainly don’t need stuff like outdated computer operating systems and cables to printers we no longer own.


Storing food.

Posted by The Inspector on February 26th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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One thing we have spent this winter learning about is how to store food. When I talk about storing food I do not mean buying prepared food at the grocery store and sticking it on your shelves at home. What I am talking about is using methods of preserving like canning, drying, and using a root cellar. We have a closet in our basement that we would like to convert to a root cellar of sorts but don’t really know how. We have cleaned it out and are trying to decide the best method to go about stabilizing the temperature in it. It would be awesome if it had a window to the outside but it does not. Without an air exchange I am not sure if we could keep the temperature low and humid enough to properly store fruits and vegetables.


Amazing Bread

Posted by The Inspector on February 26th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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My wife has been experimenting with making bread for a very long time. If you haven’t made bread from scratch before I urge you to try. Succeeding at this task is very rewarding. Making bread is a very inexpensive process that can save you a great deal of money. The smell of freshly baked bread is incredible. Obviously you wouldn’t want to bake a ton of bread if you are taking an appetite suppressant because fresh bread is irresistible. We used to rely on a bread machine to make bread but were never truly happy with the results. The newest tool we are using in our bread baking arsenal is a Pullman bread pan. This is a bread pan that has a cover you leave on while baking the bread. The resulting bread is perfectly sized for sandwiches and has an excellent crust and crumb. Seriously, give bread baking a try! An easy bread to start with is something like a no-knead recipe. In about 5 minutes you can have a dough that produces and excellent bread similar to Italian or French bread sold in your local supermarket.


Monster omlette.

Posted by The Inspector on February 26th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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We have about two dozen eggs sitting in our refrigerator. These are eggs produced from our own chickens in our own backyard. We only have three chickens and only two of them are laying eggs. They collectively will lay the perfect amount of eggs for our family of four. Because they only recently started laying their eggs are a bit on the small side. That means to make eggs for the family we need to save them up for a while. To make a decent sized omlette or “monster omlette” as my son calls them requires 8-10 eggs. We could probably use a full dozen but I hate to waste them. These eggs are the most beautiful things you have ever seen or tasted. Our chickens lay deep brown eggs with vibrant orange yolks. I wasn’t very sure about getting chickens at first but now that they lay eggs I am convinced that this is a worthwhile family activity. My stomach is even more convinced than I am.


Research

Posted by The Inspector on February 26th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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You might guess that being a typical man I spend all of my free time watching sports on television. The truth is that I spend about as much time watching sports as I do researching diet pills that work. When I have time to myself I prefer to spend it learning new skills or information that I can employ to improve the life of my family or those around me. Just to give you and idea of what I am talking about let me share what I researched this morning. My in-laws have some very old and overgrown apple trees. These trees still produce a great deal of apples but they aren’t the prettiest things around. My in-laws have simply have been unable to take care of the trees and keep them pruned. Never having pruned an apple tree, I have been researching what I need to know to do this for them. We would all benefit from improved apple production and any restoration that might take place in these heirloom trees.


Sick puppy…

Posted by The Inspector on February 26th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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This has not been a good week for the pet’s of the people in my life. Our neighbor told me this morning that she had to have her sweet old dog put to sleep this week. Her dog had not been doing well for a long time but that didn’t make it any easier on her. She is pretty broken up about it. My friend recently got a puppy that is a few months old. They absolutely love this puppy and have pampered him in every way imaginable. Somehow the little bugger found some mouse poison they had long ago put out when they bought their house. The puppy ate the poison and has been very sick ever since. The vet is doing everything he can to save him but the little fellow has been bleeding quite a bit. My friend feels terrible because she thought she got everything prepared for this puppy but somehow this mouse poison escaped her sight. I feel horrible for her entire family.


Chasing Leprechauns.

Posted by The Inspector on February 26th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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I have some very imaginative children. My oldest son has spent the day putting together a backpack full of supplies he deems necessary for capturing leprechauns. He keeps reminding me that leprechauns migrate around St. Patrick’s Day and it is very important that he be prepared. It would appear that tracking leprechauns is a very rigorous process. I might even wager it is one of the best fat burner‘s around based on the supplies in his pack. Everything in his backpack implies that tracking leprechauns is a much more rigorous activity than one might think. I honestly had no idea that you needed half the tools that he says are a required part of the task. I have to say I admire his careful planning and creativity towards the entire event. I do however worry just a tab because he will not admit that leprechauns are real only in folklore and legend.


Sources of sugar…

Posted by The Inspector on February 26th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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In an effort to be more sustainable we have been looking into various ways of producing sugar or sweeteners on our own property. Bee hives are illegal in our city. My in-laws live on 75 rural acres nearby which makes having bees a possibility but a bit inconvenient. Other sources of sugar include processing sugar beets or making maple syrup. Again the syrup would rely on trees on my in-laws property. Making syrup is a pretty time intensive process. I have only read a little bit about making sugar from sugar beets but it also sound fairly time intensive. So, we don’t really know what is the best option for our zone 5 climate and limited knowledge of all of these processes. I suppose if our ancestors figured it all out without the benefit of the internet and eBay for supplies and information then we can as well.


Finishing touches.

Posted by The Inspector on February 26th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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This evening I am going to be putting the final touches on a project that I started last year. The project really wasn’t supposed to take an entire year to complete but that is the way it worked out. I started installing new molding throughout our house last year before my car accident. After the accident I was unable to do all the physical work needed to put in the molding. Other tasks piled up that were more important while I was recuperating. The molding somehow ended up at the bottom of the list of things to do. I finally got around to putting the molding in a couple of weeks ago and am now almost finished. I really don’t have any other pressing indoor projects once this is complete. This isn’t to say I am going to sit around reading magazines and pondering weight loss pills that work fast or the meaning of life. In fact I have a couple of outdoor projects that I am itching to get to work on as soon as the weather warms up. One of which is building an outdoor pizza oven. How cool does that sound?


The edible hedge.

Posted by The Inspector on February 26th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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This morning we discussed the idea of putting a hedge between our house and the neighbor’s. We have a variety of gardening projects going on and hadn’t really given much thought to traditional landscaping. My wife recently learned about the idea of planting edible landscape plants as opposed to traditional landscape plants. The thought occurred to us that we could plant some sort of bushy plants that would not only provide us with a bit of privacy but also some usable food for our family. We now need to research what would be the best type of plant for our needs and purposes. We are presently considering either blueberry bushes or hazelnut shrubs. I know that either has unique needs and I am not sure which would give us better bang for our buck.


Road work.

Posted by The Inspector on February 26th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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It was announced in the newspaper this week that the road in front of our house will be taken out and replaced. This is good news and bad news. The good news is that the gigantic pot holes that line our street will be fixed. The bad news is that getting in and out of our driveway will be difficult. Traffic will be backed up in front of our house and there will be a great deal of dirt and dust. My children are very much looking forward to watching the construction take place. I imagine myself spending most of the summer slathering myself in cheap tanning lotions and sitting in the front yard with them watching all the big trucks. My youngest son is particularly fascinated with construction equipment and all of this will give him a front row seat. I will just be glad when it is all over. The road right now is almost impossible to drive and has damaged many a car in our town.


Sad events…

Posted by The Inspector on February 26th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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This is a week where I find myself just feeling bummed out and disturbed by our world. I can’t even begin to tell you how angry I am about the situation in Wisconsin. I am a union employee. This isn’t to say I am a die hard liberal or a fan of every action by unions. I do however believe in the right of people to organize and bargain for fair pay and benefits. A friend of mine and I got into an argument over this the topic of unions this week and I believe our friendship is now over. This person only listens to an believes what Fox News offers in the way of political information. This person believes that the unions are refusing what the state has asked of them in terms of pay decreases and increases in their portion of benefit contributions. If you research the truth you know that the unions have given in on every demand and only want to maintain collective bargaining rights. The governor of Wisconsin is using the budget as a scapegoat for what is in reality an effort to break or bust unions entirely. My friend refuses to see any other side of the world nor recognize that Fox News has been shown (like other news stations) to twist facts and lie to put a particular spin on a story… I am sad by what is going on in our country and that what is going on with my friendship is really just a symbol of what is happening in our country.


Library love…

Posted by The Inspector on February 17th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Visiting the library is like a trip to an amusement park for my children. We can literally get them to do just about anything if it means they get to go to the library. My youngest son hates to take a bath or shower. He also hates to wear socks. Knowing that we were going to go to the library tonight was all it took to get the child bathed and dressed today. I honestly do not know children with a passion for books that compares to that of my children. My older son will read literally anything from gps reviews to car repair manuals just to have something to read. The librarians dote on our children whenever they visit which makes their time there all the more special. They make sure to help them find books on whatever they are currently interested in and also suggest new books that have come in. I sincerely hope that as my kids grow their love of reading does not wain. It is an interest I never had as a child and I really wished it had been.


Bigfoot fascination..

Posted by The Inspector on February 17th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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My son’s have a new fascination with Bigfoot. You would think that at a young age the notion of Bigfoot would scare them just a little bit but it doesn’t seem to. They have spent every evening this week pulling up Bigfoot documentaries on Netflix and watching them with glee. I remember watching movies about Bigfoot and Sasquatch as a child but they always left me a tad unnerved. The thought that a manlike creature was lurking in the woods just seemed spooky. Maybe this was because we lived in a rural location. The possibility that Bigfoot was looking in my bedroom window was more of a reality for me than it probably is for my urban children. I will be interested to see if they consider Bigfoot at all when we go camping this summer. The area where we camp is fairly isolated and happens to be along what is called the “Bigfoot trail” in our neck of the woods. This trail is really just a ploy by local businesses to drawn tourists but my children are oblivious to that fact.


Spoiled girls…

Posted by The Inspector on February 4th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Last night we ran into our friends at the library. In the course of the conversation the topic of our chickens came up. In describing how we take care of our chickens I started to realize how spoiled our chickens are. While they don’t drink from silver bowls or have mini chandeliers in their coop, they do have it very nice. They essentially have a chicken condominium that is complete with a covered run. Their coop also has heat and a regulated supply of light. We give them treats daily as well as clean their coop each day. These chickens have it about as good as any chicken could. It might sound silly but we appreciate what they provide for our family and want them to be as happy and healthy as possible. I know that chickens will produce eggs under far worse conditions but we have ours so that at least a couple of them don’t have to do so for our family.


Finally finished…

Posted by The Inspector on February 4th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Last year I started to paint our living room ceiling. Then I was hit by a car and the world stopped for a bit of time. For the last year we have looked at a splotched ceiling with areas that still needed many coats of paint. Last weekend I embarked on the task of finishing what I started. Our ceiling is now completely white and the remains of the cigarette smoke left by the last owner are now gone. Tomorrow I will begin putting down the molding on the floor that was planned for last year. Our floor have needed this for a very long time but we didn’t want to put it down until the rest of the rooms were done. Tomorrow I reclaim time in a sense and pick up where I left off exactly one year ago. It might sound silly but until you loose time due to the actions of someone else you cannot appreciate how it feels to be stopped in your tracks.


A mountain…

Posted by The Inspector on February 4th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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We have had one of the worst winters that I can remember in the last 10 years. It seems like every single week we are hammered by one storm or another. This morning I realized that I could not see the road past the mountains of snow in my front yard. Our driveway is such that we have to back up into a busy street to exit it. We have been trying to shovel the snow into the yard because shoveling it onto the curb is pointless. The plow just comes along and pushes the snow into the driveway. The ice storm that came this week covered our snow mountains in 2 inches of ice. It is so slick the dog can’t even stand up in the yard to do her thing. The poor thing almost needs grappling hooks to navigate the yard. I seriously hope that we get some warm weather in the near future because I don’t know where we will pile any more snow.


School across the miles.

Posted by The Inspector on February 4th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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When I think about the manner in which my children attend school I am always amazed. To think that my children attend school with kids from across the state right from the comfort of their own home is really incredible. They submit assignments to their teacher via the internet and by using scanning software to make digital copies of their assignments. In the course of the day my gets the opportunity to interact with people from all walks of life that he would otherwise not meet in our small town. He takes courses that would not be offered in our local middle schools like robotics, Spanish, and investing. When people say that children who are home schooled are sheltered from the world I have to laugh. I honestly think my children are exposed to a more diverse world that other children their in our local public schools.


A year later….

Posted by The Inspector on February 4th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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On this day last year I was in a situation that I never thought I would find myself in. That situation was being trapped in my car and unconscious while waiting for the rescue squad to cut me out of my car. My wife was home waiting for me with dinner on the table. Homemade pizza- a Friday night tradition in our house. It grew later and later and she began to worry… She got a call to get to the hospital…quickly. It was a horrible night for us all. One that has made us rethink our lives and the way that we make our choices. As I sat enjoying my Friday night dinner of homemade pizza with my family I can only hope the kid decide to text and drive has made new choices in his life as well because he almost took mine.


Office dress code.

Posted by The Inspector on January 24th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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The office where I work has a formal written dress code which all the employees are expected to follow. It is pretty straight forward when it comes to areas like men’s clothing. Essentially we are expected to wear dress shoes, slacks, and a button down shirt. The same cannot be said when it comes to addressing what women are allowed to wear. I have seen women in my office wearing everything and anything in an attempt to test the limits of the dress code. Just this week someone was sent home for wearing a very low cut shirt. One of our clients complained and she was asked to go home and change. There was a time when I thought dress codes were unnecessary in a professional office where people should be trusted to use appropriate judgment. I now realize that clear rules are a good thing. I am just glad, that as a man, my choices are so clear and there isn’t a great deal of room for interpreting the rules.


The girls are ladies now.

Posted by The Inspector on January 24th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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We started raising backyard chickens in September. I have to be honest and say that at the beginning of this project I was not entirely on board. Needless to say I agreed to build a coop for our little chicks and hoped it wouldn’t turn into a big problem. As things have played out the girls have been fun for the entire family and really easy to keep. They aren’t messy and have become pretty docile. This weekend we realized that we can no longer call them “girls” because they are now ladies. We had the great thrill of finding eggs in our nest box at long last. I realize that 4.5 months isn’t that long to wait but it sure felt like it at times. Not all of the them are laying but I am happy that at least one of them is doing what they are supposed to do.


Competition…

Posted by The Inspector on January 19th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Our office is having a competition to see who can loose the most weight in a specific period of time. I have thought about competing but I really don’t have much weight to loose. What I really need to do is tone up more than anything. I know many of the women in my office are doing anything and everything to loose weight. Some I suspect are taking fat burning supplements and others are on low carbohydrate diets. It is interesting to see how they are all trying to work to loose weight. There are a couple who are clearly using dirty tactics to win because they are bringing in donuts and sweets on a daily basis. I decided to just sit back and watch them to see how it all plays out. The person who looses the most weight is supposed to win about $200 and a day at a local spa.


Hump day.

Posted by The Inspector on January 19th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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The place where I work has a unique approach to “hump” day. On Wednesdays we have what is called a quiet day. The means that we switch our phones to voice mail and do not schedule appointments. We instead are to spend the day getting caught up on paperwork. I have worked in this type of profession for a very long time and have never gotten a quiet day no matter how much I needed one. As frustrated as I get with the overwhelming amount of work we are asked to accomplish I do appreciate that someone had the insight to institute “quiet day”. I can only hope that this is one thing that does not change in our office over time. This day makes the rest of the week doable and keeps us all sane.


Setting an example.

Posted by The Inspector on January 19th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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We try to live in such a way as to set an example for our children. For the most part we think before we speak or act. Most parents know their children learn by what they live and what goes on around them. I know this is not new information and likely you were hoping I would have something more enlightening to share but I don’t. I work with people and families who for whatever never got this message. These are people who don’t consider parenting to be something you have to work at or give consideration to. In fact the only thing many of them seem able to do is watch television or text on their phones. They spend no more time parenting their children than it takes to click here for vitamins. There are the rare cases where people are trying to make a better life for themselves and their family. I wish there were more people like this on my caseload but there aren’t. It does remind me on a daily basis to be the best parent I can be when I walk in the door after a long day at work and be deliberate and considerate in my actions and words.


Summer plans.

Posted by The Inspector on January 19th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Last summer I seemed to have more projects than I had time to complete them. By the end of fall I had just about everything complete. We built raised garden beds, compost bins and tumblers, a rain collection system, and a chicken coop. I am looking forward to significantly less in terms of building projects this summer. I do have one large scale project that I want to complete for my wife. She has wanted an outdoor oven for a while but has never really asked for one. She bakes a tremendous amount of bread and is really incredible at it. I know that an outdoor oven would add an entirely new level of skill to her bread baking abilities. It would also be really nice to be able to make pizza and other meals in during the hot summer months without having to heat up the house cooking inside. I am in the process of collecting building ideas and a list of supplies we will need. I am hoping to get started as soon as the ground thaws. It is likely going to be an ongoing project that will need to be built in stages but I hope to have it done this summer.


Workplace conversation.

Posted by The Inspector on January 19th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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The staff at the organization where I work is comprised mainly of women. It is a little bit odd being one of only a couple of men who work there. The women often feel comfortable discussing topics that I would rather not hear about simply because they are in the company of other women. Generally the topics are fairly tame such as what is the best type of weight loss tablets or what store has a deal on shoes. This week for some reason they have all felt the need to discuss menopause. I really don’t need to know who is having hot flashes and who is not. I wonder what they might think if I decided to start rambling about some sort of male issue? I am pretty sure they would complain to our boss if I did because it would be deemed inappropriate.


Tax time.

Posted by The Inspector on January 19th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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This is the time of year when we all start looking at our taxes and preparing to file them. We generally file our federal taxes fairly early because we usually get a decent return. My mother prepared taxes for years for H&R Block and never understands why we like getting a return. In her mind we should have our deductions adjusted so that we owe nothing and expect nothing back. I understand that she believes the money we are getting back is money that we could be using throughout the year. Our standpoint is that this return is an unexpected bonus that we can use like a savings account of sorts. We learn throughout the year to live on less and make do. When tax season arrives and we get our return we have always used it to pay off bills. This is the first year that we don’t have any bills that it needs to be directed towards. We intend to put it into a true savings account and leave it for a rainy day.


Not meeting my goals.

Posted by The Inspector on January 18th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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One of my goals for the this year has been to work out on a regular basis. I have many reasons that should be motivation for me to do this but I have yet to firmly commit to these goals. I have a family member with heart disease who has been monitored with a holter and is always facing one health crisis or another. My mother and grandmother are both candidates for pace makers which has bothered me quite a bit. As strong as my family history of health disease is I am yet to find the internal drive I need to get into a regular workout routine. I tell myself that my health is fine and I am at a healthy weight. The reality is that my family tends to be on the thin side and yet they seem to be plagued with heart problems. When I picture someone with heart disease the picture that comes to mind is not a thin person. I need to give myself a good talking to and get on the treadmill tonight.


The car is done.

Posted by The Inspector on January 18th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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About 30 minutes ago we completed work on our entry for this year’s Pinewood Derby. I have to say that this is indeed the most complicated car that we have ever built. I have no idea if it will perform well but at least we gave it our best effort. In looking back at the cars that I entered when I was a child I have to say mine were pretty pathetic. I should give myself a break because I built my cars without any adult input. My father was not in my life on a regular basis and only provided sporadic input on my various attempts at building a car. At least my son will look back and remember that I was keenly involved in his life and his scouting experiences. Even if his car doesn’t win the race he will hopefully not laugh in hindsight at his entry.


Almost a year…

Posted by The Inspector on January 15th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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It occurred to me this week that it has been almost a year since I had my auto accident. It doesn’t seem possible that last year at this time my world evolved around casts, crutches, and ultimately compression stockings. Prior to my accident I had never broken a bone in my body. I had no idea what to expect when the doctors told me that my leg was broken and would need surgery. To be honest I worried that I might never be the same active person again. Here, I am one year later and happily I feel almost back to where I was prior to the accident. I admit that my leg is not what it once was but it isn’t holding me back from most of my daily activities. I can’t run like I used to but I am getting there. I don’t know if I ever will run a marathon but at least I can ride bikes and chase after my children. It is amazing the perspective I have now versus last year at this time. I am so thankful for where I am today and everything that I have because someone almost took it all away from me.


A long weekend.

Posted by The Inspector on January 15th, 2011 filed in Uncategorized
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Over the last year I have used very little if any vacation time. To be honest my work load tends to be so overwhelming that taking time off is a problem. Not being at work means that I get behind and have to work twice as hard to catch up. I finally decided the time had come for me to take a couple of days off. Today is my second day in a row of doing absolutely nothing. It feels great! I laid in bed until almost ten o’clock for the last two day and enjoyed every minute. Laying in bed is not something I get to in the course of my regular schedule. There always seems to be something going on each day of the week that requires me to be up and moving at an early hour. Our weather here is so miserable today that there just hasn’t been an overwhelming reason for me to be doing anything indoors or out. I would much rather be off in when the weather is nicer but I also appreciate the fact that warm weather means projects that need completing. A true vacation day seems to be attainable only when the weather nears zero or colder in my world.


Out of date.

Posted by The Inspector on December 27th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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There was a time when I felt that we needed to have the latest trend in every electronics gadget to hit the market. Over the last couple of years we have shifted our focus and realize that there are just some things that we don’t really need. My father is one of those people who doesn’t understand my change in thinking. He is forever telling me how much better having a high definition television is. He doesn’t understand how I can keep watching the same old television and DVD player. He goes on and on about how great his entertainment center is. Listening to him talk is almost like reading bluray reviews online. I suppose to him having a great entertainment system is very important because television is his main source of entertainment. I have so many projects that I am working on that the last thing on my mind is sitting in front of the television. There may come a day when this is more important to me but for now I am just going to be happy with what I have.


Chaos…

Posted by The Inspector on December 27th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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We are a family that likes order and predictability in our lives. Clutter drives both my wife and I crazy. I sometimes wish we were the type of people who dealt with clutter a little bit better than we do. The reality is that both of us like to know where things are in our house and don’t appreciate disarray. I guess this is why we work so well as a couple. I can’t imagine either one of us being a slob and the other one putting up with it for very long. The holidays are odd for us because there is so much clutter to deal with. If you asked either of us I am sure we would tell you that if given the choice that we would take our tree down the day after Christmas. There is just something about having the furniture all crammed together to accommodate the tree that makes everything feel weird. I won’t even get started on the umpteen packages and toys laying around the room right now.


What a haul…

Posted by The Inspector on December 27th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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When it comes to Christmas I don’t usually find myself with a ton of presents with my name on them. For some reason this year instead of being given money or gift cards I was given actual presents. This was a nice change of events. My parents went crazy with buying stuff for me and I am very pleased with the results. They gave me quite a bit of clothing that reminds me of blac label clothing. They also gave me some much needed tools for my workshop. I needed a new winter coat and somehow they new exactly what I would have chosen for myself. I always appreciate whatever I am given for Christmas but this year seemed especially nice. Somehow whenever I am given gift cards they always seem to end up being used on things we need. I am not saying I feel bad about this but it is nice to feel just a little bit spoiled this year.


Odd jobs…

Posted by The Inspector on December 27th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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I am a city kid and have never spent much time in the country. My wife on the other hand is a farm girl. She has never made much of a fuss about missing living in the county. I have begun to realize that she really does long to live on a farm. Over the last year she has slowly built our home and yard into a small urban farm. This has created for me a variety of jobs that I never thought I would find myself doing. For example, I have built compost tumblers and rain collection systems. This then led to building a chicken coop and getting chickens. Tonight I will be helping my wife clip the wings of our chickens because apparently they are hatching a plan to escape. Things I never thought this city boy would be doing…


So spoiled.

Posted by The Inspector on December 27th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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As I write this post I cannot help but wonder if other children are as spoiled as mine at Christmas? We don’t spend time with many other people at the holidays who have children and really have nothing to compare our holidays to. There is not a toy that my older son asked for that he did not get this year for Christmas. Keep in mind that our children are not the type of kids who ask for things like a psp. They asked for toys like building sets, chemistry kits, and books. I am really glad that they love the sort of presents that test their minds like these sorts of gifts do. The only thing I wonder about is how they will react when the day comes that they don’t find everything they ask for under the tree. Hopefully, their interests remain the same as time progresses and their wishes are easy to make come true.


Toy fear.

Posted by The Inspector on December 27th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Our youngest son is four year old. When it comes to most things the child is pretty fearless. There have been times when I have wondered if there is anything that the child won’t do or try. We were pretty surprised to find out that there is something he is afraid of and it is a particular type of toy. For the last two years he has been given toys that move when you press a button. In particular these are toys that roll forward and backward when you press a button. Last year it was a toy tractor that he insisted I hide in a closet. This year it is a toy forklift. Every time someone presses the buttons to make it move forward or backward the child leaps onto my lap or onto a chair to get away from it. Funny… and odd.


Big boy toys…

Posted by The Inspector on December 25th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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I came to the realization tonight that my family is a boy in the body of a 68 year old man. Just when I think I know him and have a clue as to what makes him tick I am proven wrong yet again. You would think that a man his age would want something like fine wine or cigars for Christmas but he did not. The one thing he wanted this year was a remote control helicopter. In fact he wanted one so much that he decided to buy it for himself. He was so excited by the idea of this particular helicopter that he also bought one for me. I would never expected my serious and businesslike father to take an interest in this type of thing. He told me that he saw a teenage in the area where he lives flying one and he just thought it was the neatest thing. So, it goes to show that even when you think you know someone there is always room to be surprised. Tomorrow my father and I will be getting together to fly our helicopters. I only wish this is something we had done together about 30 years ago.


So sleepy…

Posted by The Inspector on December 25th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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I can’t recall a Christmas where I have been so tired by the end of the day. I am not necessarily complaining because our Christmas was just wonderful. We are truly blessed to have such happy and healthy children and a loving family to spend it with. The days just seem so long when you are running here and there but I am glad we are able to be running like this. We have friend’s who are in the midst of a serious battle with cancer and haven’t gotten to spend the holidays anywhere except the hospital. Their youngest son is fighting for his life and is just three years old. Whenever I look in the faces of my children I am reminded that no matter how tired I might be that it in no way compares to what this family is dealing with. I am glad my children wake me up far too early on Christmas morning and stay away far too late on Christmas Eve. They are healthy and full of life and that is a wonderful, wonderful thing.


Supplements.

Posted by The Inspector on December 18th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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A few weeks ago my wife started taking about 4 different supplements. In looking at the bottles I assumed they would be good for me to take as well and so I have been. In talking with my wife I realized that she was taking these supplements for entirely different reasons that those listed on the bottles. I just guessed she was taking them to promote healthy bone or maybe mild acne or something. As it turns out she was taking them to help her sleep better at night. I had to laugh when I found out because I have been having the toughest time staying awake at work this week. As it turns out the combination of supplements I have been taking should be taken at bedtime instead of 8:00 am in the morning. I have learned my lesson about just taking vitamins I see in our cabinet. Certain supplements when taken together can produce interesting results.


The things I have to do.

Posted by The Inspector on December 18th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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When my wife asked for chickens a few months ago I realized there might be issues. I didn’t expect that we would have problems with a rooster because we were getting all hens. Over the last couple of weeks I have become suspicious that one of our chickens is a he and not a she. Of our four chickens this one is the only one that is a different breed. It didn’t become clear to us that he might be a she because we have nothing to compare him or her to. Now that this chicken is 12 weeks old it is pretty clear that it is not a female. He is huge and looks exactly like pictures we looked at online of other roosters of this breed. I am now left with trying to figure out what we are going to do with this rooster because he is showing aggressive behavior and we just can’t have that.


Blizzard = online shopping.

Posted by The Inspector on December 10th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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On Sunday I was supposed to go out to finish my Christmas shopping. As it turns out our weather has other plans for me and I will be staying home. A powerful winter storm is supposed to hit our area on Sunday. Predictions are that it could potentially be the worst storm of the season. I typically enjoy getting out amongst the crowds of last minute shoppers but traveling in blizzard conditions is not my thing. Instead I will be spending the day shopping online. This year’s shopping will be quite different for me because I don’t typically shop online for Christmas gifts. Instead of waiting in line and browsing point of purchase displays I will instead be sitting at my desk with my credit card in hand. I know there is still time left to possibly get to the store to shop but our winter seems to have started off with a bang and shows no sign of stopping. I am not going to take a chance and find myself unable to get to a store if I wait closer to Christmas.


Roku.

Posted by The Inspector on December 10th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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We have had a Roku system for about a month or so. I have to admit I was bit skeptical about exactly what it could do for us that our Wii could not do in terms of streaming programing from the net. After having used it for a month I am pleased to say I think it is an awesome device. We subscribe to Netflix and have loved it. After paying an arm and leg for satellite television it was refreshing to feel like we were really getting something for our money with Netflix. The Roku system expands our viewing options well beyond Netflix for little to no cost. We are currently also giving Hulu Plus a one week trial to determine if it has any capabilities beyond what is offered by Netflix for the same price point. As we are only in our first day of the Hulu trial I don’t feel I can comment quite yet on the service. Even if we kept both services our total out of pocket cost would be less than half of what we were spending on Directv.


Physical education.

Posted by The Inspector on December 10th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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I believe I have mentioned this before but just to keep you up to speed I am mentioning that our children are home schooled. More specifically they attend cyber charter schools. As part of their educational requirements we are expected to maintain some sort of regular planned physical activity. During warm weather we are typically able to take hikes or go on bicycle rides to fulfill this requirement. When cold weather and snow come our way it is a bit tougher to come up with indoor activities. This requires a bit of creativity on our part because it is not like we can do high school wrestling or flag football in our basement. We have tried doing workouts on our Wii fit but the kids tend to loose interest. Right now we are simplifying things and simply asking them to walk on the treadmill for a set amount of time each day. We walk on it as well because that only seems fair. After the holidays are over we will brainstorm for some different types of indoor activities but for now no one is complaining about things.


Shoveling the roof.

Posted by The Inspector on December 10th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Do you want to know what is on my schedule for tomorrow? Well, I have an exciting project ahead of me. I am going to be climbing out my upstairs window to shovel snow off my roof. Yes, you read that right. I will be spending my Saturday morning shoveling snow off of my house. Our area has been literally dumped on by the forces of nature. We received somewhere around three feet of snow over the last week and there is no end in sight. We cannot see out of some of our upstairs windows because the snow is so deep. We are expecting another foot of snow on Sunday which makes our predicament troublesome. I have no idea what the weight of all that snow is doing to our roof and I am not wanting to find out. I know that a couple of our porches are not sloped steeply enough to allow the snow to work off of them adequately. To prevent any issues I feel my best option is to climb out there and scoop off what I can in order to prevent potential problems should the rest of the winter continue this way.


Holiday spending…

Posted by The Inspector on December 6th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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For some reason I always find it interesting to listen to people talk about how much they spend around the holidays. I am always amazed at the volume of cash that some people spend on Christmas presents. There was a time when we were caught up in being “consumers” and spent far beyond our means at the holidays. It didn’t faze us that we were sometimes very close to needing debt settlement programs the rest of the year. We ignored the reality of our financial situation and simply put presents on our credit cards. This spending was justified by telling ourselves that our family deserved a nice holiday. The reality is that we needed an excuse to give into the desire to buy things we wanted rather than what we actually needed. Earlier this year we payed off a tremendous amount of debt and no longer use credit cards to make any purchases. I cannot tell you how this has shifted our ability to determine what we really need versus what we are being told by the world we deserve to have. The pile under our tree will be significantly smaller this year but that is fine. Each and every gift will have been paid for with cash we have already earned rather than borrowed money.


Plots and plans.

Posted by The Inspector on December 6th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Each night it seems like I find my wife with her face buried in a gardening book. Although it feels like our gardening season only just ended I realize that now is the time to plan. We are keenly interested in expanding our garden and increasing the amount of food we grow next year. We are doubling our backyard gardening space next year. I have already built the raised beds that will allow for this. In addition we have planted several bushes and plants that will provide food for years to come. These include a peach tree, strawberry bed, rhubarb bed, grape vines, walking onions, honey berry bushes, and mushrooms. In the spring we will add both red currant and gooseberry bushes. What I have to chuckle about is that it seems like each and every day my wife has drawn up a new schematic of what will be planted in each space. I understand planning but does it really need to be quite this intense?


All fixed.

Posted by The Inspector on December 1st, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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This week I logged onto my computer to find out that that for some reason my virus software wasn’t turned on. After freaking out for a moment I ran a quick check of everything and at first it all seemed fine. After running a couple of other virus and malware programs I was able to find the problem. Somehow we had gotten a virus on the computer. Apparently it was not able to actually do anything because the program it preys on needs to have software that is not current. It essentially finds a loophole in computers that are not kept up to date with the latest versions of that particular program. I was really glad the problem was a simple fix because I am well past my 3 year laptop warranty and don’t want to have to pay for a new computer right now. How my anti-virus software got disabled is beyond me but I suspect that the children might have been playing on the computer. My youngest son has a bad habit of clicking randomly on things without any clue what he is doing.


Sunshine dreams…

Posted by The Inspector on December 1st, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Summer feels like it just ended and I am already daydreaming about next summer. We sat down this week and ordered some of our seeds for the garden next year. We are going to plant the standard things like carrots, potatoes, peas, beans, and tomatoes. There are going to be a couple of new additions to our lineup like some Arganaut squashes and sweet potatoes. We are hoping to find a deal on some asparagus crowns in order to get a nice bed started. I have a couple of non-garden projects in my mind such as a brick bread oven and a rocket stove. We think it would be great to be able to do all of our cooking outdoors instead of inside when the temperatures are sweltering. I also think it would be great fun to invite friends and neighbors over to have a pizza cooking party in our brick oven. I intend to spend the next few months collecting the perfect plans and supplies for my projects in order to start building at the first sign of spring weather.


Living naturally…

Posted by The Inspector on December 1st, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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In the last year we have made a number of changes to our lifestyle. Many of the changes we have made are centered around living more sustainably and treading lightly on the earth. A great many changes have been made to our diet in the process. We eat primarily local foods or food we have grown ourselves. This means that much of our food is organic or very close to it. I have noticed an improvement in our collective health over the last year. We are sleeping better and find ourselves experiencing fewer colds and sickness. My children are calmer because they are no longer being pumped full of processed foods and chemicals. Aside from this living this way is empowering. We have figured out how to do so many things ourselves and no longer immediately turn to commercial fixes. If we need a cleaning chemical there is a recipe online to make at home. I have learned that there are tons of things you can make at home. We now know that if we need the best home remedy for acne we can find it online. Using online resources we have learned to make soap, cheese, preserve food, raise chickens, and garden. Over the last year we have learned that there is an amazing community of people out there willing to help you learn just about anything you want to about living independently in this world.


Expanding the coop.

Posted by The Inspector on December 1st, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Our chickens are now 2.5 months old. They will begin laying eggs in another 1.5 months. The type of chicken that we have are a hybrid bred specifically for early and highly productive egg production. It is hard to believe that that are as big as they are considering that they are only a couple of months old. I now realize that it is important for them to have room to stretch their legs a little further than they can at this point. They are currently housed in a very nice multi-level coop built into our garage. When I built it I figured that they would mature at a slower rate than they have and that I would have time to expand the coop to include a run. I now realize I need to finish the run sooner rather than later. They haven’t begun to show any bad behaviors you might expect from being cooped up and I don’t want them to. I am going to be building a run for them this weekend. They should be able to enjoy it for a while before the temperatures drop too much.


Encouraging fitness.

Posted by The Inspector on December 1st, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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My wife and I have been working out on a pretty consistent basis for the last few weeks. We have been trying to encourage each other to spend time each day on the treadmill. Our plan is to now encourage our older son to do the same. He is generally in good shape but tends to gain a little weight during the winter. I believe it is important to encourage healthy habits now so that he won’t need to worry about needing the best slimming pill later in life. We are taking our turns on the treadmill and then telling him it is time for his turn. We don’t set a speed or duration that he needs to stay on the treadmill but simply encourage him to go until he is tired. My thought is that as time progresses it will take him longer and longer to become tired. I hope that in the process he starts to realize how good exercise can make you feel. I know that I feel great about myself when I know that I have put in a nice long workout.


Time to get to work.

Posted by The Inspector on December 1st, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Winter is officially here in our part of the world. We have woken up to snow fall for the last few days that does not fade by the middle of the day. I don’t really consider winter here until the snow falls and stays there for the day or a couple of days. My children are absolutely beside themselves planning all of the fun outdoor activities made possible by the introduction of snow. There will be all the obvious things like snowmen, sledding, and snowball fights. My youngest son is quite intent on building an igloo in order to pretend to be a penguin. Television has convinced him that penguins do indeed live in igloos. I have been unable to convince him otherwise and have given up trying. He is also quite convinced that the snow means that Christmas is coming. He was very dismayed when he woke to snow, last week, only to have it melt away during the day. He was inconsolable for a while because he was convinced that Christmas went away because the snow was gone. I suppose it is a good thing we don’t live in an area that doesn’t get any snow at all during the holidays.


The things I need…

Posted by The Inspector on November 24th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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When it comes to asking for things for myself for Christmas I have a very short list. I tend to think of only the things that I really need as opposed to the things I dream of owning. This year I really need some new work clothes and some workout gear. When I daydream about the things I would like to find under the tree the list is equally short. I would love a pair of steiner binoculars to use when we go camping and a couple of pieces of equipment for my metal detector. There was a time when I would think nothing of asking for the moon for Christmas but we live a different life now. We weigh our purchases carefully and meaningfully. Our first priority is making the holidays special for the children and our family. The smiles on their faces is really enough for me right now. I leave the big dreaming for them to do instead of spending time on it myself.


A bit bummed.

Posted by The Inspector on November 24th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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This week, at work, someone forwarded some photos of a bear that her family member had shot during hunting season. I will admit right now that I am not a hunter. I understand people hunting to feed their family and have no qualms with that. I don’t really getting killing stuff just to kill it but am not going to argue the point. Getting back to the point these were photos of what ended up being the second largest bear ever shot in our state. It weighed in at 774 pounds! This thing was mammoth. The story behind the bear was pretty incredible and it had actually been tagged by the forest service and relocated in prior years. All I could think of when looking at the pictures was how bad I felt for this bear. It seemed to me that a bear that had reached that size had obviously lived a life worthy of respect instead of being killed and stuffed. I know that not being a hunter there is likely some good argument out there for killing this amazing creature but I just can’t see it from where I stand right now.


Thankful…

Posted by The Inspector on November 24th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday of the year. I think this is because the focus of this holiday is simple. This holiday simply reminds us to be thankful for what we have been given. We aren’t expected to show this with gifts but merely with a sentiment in our hearts. We try to stress this value to our children throughout the year but especially around the holidays. We memorialize our special holidays with my Canon camera each year. My children love to look back at the photos we take of special visits with family members that we don’t get to see very often. We try very hard to get pictures of everyone enjoying this special family time together. This year we are especially thankful that we are all here once again to spend time together. I learned the hard way earlier this year that you just never know when that gift might be taken from you.


Please survive!

Posted by The Inspector on November 24th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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I just returned from spending time in the garden finalizing a few projects. We have planted several things in the last few weeks. I want to give them every possible chance to survive and keep adding protective things to them. We planted a peach tree, raspberry bushes, honey berry bushes, strawberries, rhubarb, garlic, walking oninons, and blueberries. All of the varieties that we planted are supposed to be winter tolerant but I can’t help but worry about them. This is the first time we have planted these types of things and I have no doubt that we are over thinking the process. Plants are a big investment to buy and involve waiting to see results on the investment. It they succumb to the winter weather all of our efforts with be for naught.


Simple shopping.

Posted by The Inspector on November 21st, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Each year I have very few gifts that I am in charge of buying. After 20 years of marriage it has been established which people each of us is responsible for buying gifts for. We typically wait until Cyber Monday to do the majority of our shopping. It is just so easy to shop from home and avoid the crowded stores. I have never been able to see the draw that Black Friday has for so many people. The few times that I have gone out on Black Friday it seems like most of the really good deals are gone by the time you get into the store. Cyber Monday equalizes the playing field in my opinion. There are no lines to stand in and you don’t have to worry about being trampled in a rushing crowd. Simply pull up a chair and snag up the deals.


Games…

Posted by The Inspector on November 21st, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Yesterday was my wife’s 40th birthday. The day passed exactly as she ask for it to. There was not a party nor a cake. In fact aside from my card there weren’t any cards. She did have lots of good wishes via emails and whatnot. I have to say that it irks me that her own parents never acknowledge her birthdays. I suppose after 20 years of being in their family I shouldn’t expect them to suddenly change but I wish they would. It hurts me to know that secretly it hurts her that they don’t really care about her. I hear her mother talk about calling her brother’s and sending them cookies and cakes on their birthdays. I feel pretty confident that the lack of acknowledgment of my wife’s birthdays is entirely intentional. I would love to say something but that isn’t mine to do. Instead I simply honor the request that is asked of me and let the day just pass by.


Cookies and cake…

Posted by The Inspector on November 19th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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I came home yesterday to find that my wife had been on a baking binge. Our kitchen counters are lined with cookies, granola, and other snacks. To top things off we went to a cake auction last night. I am seriously going to need to find out what is the best diet pill is if this continues. We ended up buying a fairly large cake at the auction. The auction was a fund raiser for my son’s Boy Scout troop. It is pretty much expected that if your child participates in the troop that you must buy a cake. I like that scouts are encouraged to do things like cooking. I don’t remember this being a component of camping when I was a scout. It was really cool to see the various themes people came up with for their cakes. Now, if I can only keep control of impulses and not over indulge in all the goodies lying around my house.


Slobber…

Posted by The Inspector on November 19th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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We are just about ready to rack of first batch of home brewed beer. The name of the beer we have been brewing is “Caribou Slobber”. Not a very attractive name is it? This beer is actually a clone of a beer called “Moose Drool”. This is our first home brewing experience. I have tried brewing wine a few time in the past. Wine is a bit more tricky than beer and my results have been so-so. We decided to give beer brewing a chance because it seems to have more uses in cooking than wine. Beer can be used in soups, stews, and bread. We bake a ton of bread and love beer bread. If this batch goes well, we hope to try more complicated recipes. I will say that home brewing is not that cheap to get into unless you have a source of free beer bottles. It is pretty hard to come by because most beer makers use twist off beer bottles. Twist off bottles are not recommended for home brewing. We ended up buying pop top beer bottles and having them shipped to us. The cost per bottle of finished beer is going to be about $2.00 per bottle. Of course this will go down significantly as we reuse the bottles and equipment.


Wound so tight!

Posted by The Inspector on November 19th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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What is it about the thought of the weekend that makes people get giddy? Our children are wound tighter than a drum today. You would think that we had some big plans for the weekend like heading off to luxury new york city hotels or something. The reality is that the only thing we have to look forward to is laundry and working on our bathroom remodel. I suppose that even home schooled children look forward to the weekend and just sitting around doing nothing. The problem is that we can’t get them focused on school on Fridays. We have considered shortening our school week to four days but I know that it wouldn’t change anything. They would just start acting the same way on Thursday that they do on Friday. I am actually looking forward to not having to hound them to get their school work done for a couple of days.


Winter camping…

Posted by The Inspector on November 19th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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We are trying to get items together for our son to head out on a camping trip. Camping in November is a foreign notion to me. I have no idea why someone would want to camp in temperatures below 40 degrees. Apparently it is important to the powers that be in Boy Scouts that young men be subjected to these types of conditions. I realize that it important to have the type of skills to enable you to survive in tough conditions. The thing is that I am 40 years old and have never been stuck in the outdoor without choosing to do so. I have never willingly went camping in a temperature below 50 degrees. I just fail to understand why people choose to sit and be went and uncomfortable when they don’t have to. Is there really something wonderful and beautiful about the world covered in snow and all dark and gray?


In search of ideas…

Posted by The Inspector on November 19th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Tomorrow is my wife’s 40th birthday. She is one of those people who really doesn’t enjoy birthdays and would prefer they go unnoticed by the masses. I still feel like I need to do something to mark her special day. I have no idea what to get her because she really doesn’t need or want things. She isn’t a large woman so I can’t buy plus size lingerie and she doesn’t wear jewelry. The only things really ever asks for is kitchen gadgets. We own pretty much every cooking implement imaginable which makes buying more a bit impractical. The one thing she really wants is something I cannot build at this time of year because of the weather. She has been asking for an outdoor brick bread oven. Maybe I could get her some supplies for the bread oven with the promise that construction will commence in the spring?


Half day…

Posted by The Inspector on November 19th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Today I am going to take a half day off from work. The weather isn’t that great and I don’t have any big plans but I just need to get out of the office. Everyone at work is absolutely miserable and their attitude is like a contagious disease. It is really hard to be positive when everyone around you is mumbling and grumbling about finding a different job or counting the days until retirement. I decided to just make a short week of it and leave them to their miserable state. Hopefully, everyone will take a deep breath over the weekend and come back at least slightly happier. The good thing is that next week is a short week for everyone and that should lift the mood a little bit.


Space problems…

Posted by The Inspector on November 17th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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People keep giving me stuff. I appreciate their gifts because they are usually items I can really use. In the last couple of months I have been given a riding lawn mower, table saw, push mower, and numerous other things. The problem is that I don’t have a bit of room left in my garage. I am going to have to look into metal buildings for storing these things if I am going to be able to walk through my garage. I have to wonder if these things are making my life easier or more complicated. I reconsidering the notion of borrowing these types of things when I need them rather than owning the items outright. When you borrow or rent something you then return it to the owner and don’t have to deal with storing the items long term. On the other hand you don’t have the convenience of working on a project at the spur of the moment. Borrowing or renting things takes planning and requires additional time. I can’t decide whether I need to just buckle down and buy a storage shed or turn down all future free gifts of any size.


What is old is new…

Posted by The Inspector on November 17th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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I have posted many times that we do not subscribe to a cable or satellite television package. About 4 months ago we started subscribing to Netflix and have never looked back. For less than $10.00 a month we have an unlimited supply of programs to choose from. I am amazed at the stuff this is available for such a low price. What I find really funny is what my children choose to watch given this selection. Quite often I will find them watching shows from my childhood like the “Munster’s” or “Buckaroo Bonzae”. One day my son thought that “Fat Albert” was the most fascinating program he had ever seen. I had to laugh when he asked questions about why the show feature an episode about not taking drugs? He said that everyone knew drugs were bad to take and wondered why anyone in the cast would be this dumb? On one hand I love the innocence in the question and on the other I wonder why we are still trying to get this message across 30 years later. He then wanted to know why these kids played at a junkyard and if we could go and play at one someday soon…


Interesting perspective…

Posted by The Inspector on November 17th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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We have taken to watching quite a number of documentaries lately. The other night we watched one that focused on human happiness. It raised a number of interesting facts about what does or does not make us happy. I was particularly interested in this gentleman who described how his life changed after he changed his profession. He said there was a time in his life when the only thing he was focused on was getting the best possible managerial roles in everything imaginable from business to accounting finance jobs. He equated his happiness and the happiness of his family with how much money he brought into the family. What he didn’t realize was that his pursuit to climb the career ladder was making him a miserable person to be around. He came home dead tired and completely drained each and every day. He had no patience for his family and only to be left alone each night. The things that he was providing his family meant nothing because he wasn’t actively enjoying them with him. He ultimately changed jobs and realized that his family could be happier with fewer things and that having more time together was where his happiness truly existed.


Good times…

Posted by The Inspector on November 17th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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This is the first year my older son has participated in Boy Scouts since we moved two years ago. His last scouting experience was less than great. His previous troop was just not very well organized. I have to say that the troop he belongs to now is extremely well organized. It seems like they have an activity just about every week or weekend for the boys. This weekend we will be going camping with his troop. Although I am not really looking forward to camping on a cold and rainy weekend in November I am thankful that he will have these experiences. Children need to see the outdoors during less than favorable conditions to appreciate all of the wonders of our world more fully. It is the cold and wet camping trips of my youth that allowed me to really appreciate the warm and sunny ones. The world is a different place on a mucky November day than it is on a sunny one in June.


Packing her up…

Posted by The Inspector on October 27th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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This afternoon has been incredibly warm and beautiful. I decided to spend my time off getting a few last minute outdoor projects completed. The weather is supposed turn cold and even snowy in the next few days. One thing I managed to get done was to winterize our camper. Because our camper is very old and we don’t have anything like a 5th wheel warranty it is really important that we pack it up properly. We make sure to take just about everything out of the inside of the camper and store it in the attic for the winter. The ports in the camper get plugged with steel wool to keep critters out and the entire thing gets put on jacks to protect the wheels. I then cover the entire camper with tightly wrapped tarps to protect it as much as possible from the elements. I would love to have an indoor place to store it but we just don’t at this time. I do as much as I can and then we just hope the vermin and the weather are kind to us.


Starting slow…

Posted by The Inspector on October 27th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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It has been a long time since I spent any time focused on working out. I am a pretty active guy and always on the go but I don’t work out. This has been true since I broke my leg last February. To be honest my leg just doesn’t feel like it used to. I can’t put my finger on it but working out feels weird. I am now realizing that if I want to be able to enjoy the activities that I once enjoyed like biking and hiking then I am going to need to start working out and strengthening my leg. Tonight I have made a promise to myself that I am going to spend 30 minutes on the treadmill. I realize this isn’t very long but I also am going to trust my gut and recognize that I need to build up slowly. The pins and bars in my ankle just aren’t used to anything super strenuous just yet.


Smart choices

Posted by The Inspector on October 27th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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I have several co-workers with college age children. It always interests me to find our students in today’s world are choosing as career paths. It kind of gives you an idea of how young people today see the future. Three of my co-workers have children who are pursuing healthcare jobs. Two of them have sons who are finishing up nursing degrees. I think it is really wise to make the choice to enter nursing. I also think it is great that young men today see nursing as a career aspiration. It shows how far we have come in terms of tearing down various stereotypes. When I was a young man the career of nursing was not something we were given or encouraged to pursue as a profession. The reality is that nursing is a great job offering numerous career opportunities. If I had it too do all over again I would pursue a career in nursing.


Out early…

Posted by The Inspector on October 27th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Today is what is called our “quiet” day at work. This is a day when we send all of our calls to voice mail and dedicate ourselves to catching up on our work load. Our supervisor’s decided that today would be better spent having meetings. Instead of having one big meeting and covering everything that needed to be said they decided to have 3 separate topic specific meetings. These meetings were broken up such that we had maybe 30 minutes between them to return to our desks. There is nothing that I can accomplish in 30 minutes. I would just get a case started and organized when it was time to head to another meeting. Finally when everything was over we had a couple hours left in the day. This was the point when everyone just decided to use personal time and head home early. So much for our quiet day…


Winter is coming…

Posted by The Inspector on October 26th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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We have been intently watching the weather in our area because there are currently tornado warnings in effect. In looking at the weather that is predicted for the coming week I saw that snow is a possibility in the coming days. I am not looking forward to winter in slightest. For me it means shoveling snow, being cooped up inside, catching colds, and probably needing eczema treatment. Winter is the time of year when I catch one cold after the other and my skin just becomes a wreck. I think it is the dryness in our house that gets to my skin but I am not sure. I have to constantly treat my skin with tender care to keep it healthy. My kids love winter which makes it somewhat more easy to endure. I just don’t have the enthusiasm I once had for all that fluffy white stuff. Right now I will glad to get through our yearly tornado season safely.


Say what?

Posted by The Inspector on October 26th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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For as long as I can remember our oldest son has always said the prayer at dinner in our house. In about the last month our youngest son has started to want to take over this task. He is only 4 and I am quite sure has no idea what the prayer is for or why we might be saying it. We have decided to give him a chance at saying it and find his version absolutely adorable. Honestly, we can’t understand most of it but he tries so hard that we all just sit and try to keep a straight face. The parts I can make out relate to cheese being great and we thank you … This is followed by a very loud Amen. I have to believe that whoever might be out there listening to our little prayer appreciates the sentiment of the effort. I also honestly think our little guy is somehow thinking that our dinnertime ritual of prayer is actually a moment to praise the power of cheese in our lives. Cheese does play a huge part in our lives… maybe he is onto something?


Yearly tasks.

Posted by The Inspector on October 26th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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This is the time of year when I do my annual housekeeping in regards to my websites. I always make sure to renew my registrations, update my software, and switch up my templates. If I have time I try to do a few manual directory submissions and other tasks. I look at these as routine tasks that are no different from taking care of things around my home. You don’t renew your home owner’s insurance without considering what is covered and things like web hosting should also be analyzed. I try to make sure that what I am paying remains competitive and the services offered are maximizing my potential. I see maintaining a website as an investment that I need to protect as carefully as I can. I like handling this is the fall because my schedule tends to lighter and I can pay better attention to details.


Whittling down…

Posted by The Inspector on October 26th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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This morning I received word that yet another of my co-workers is leaving. To date this month 5 of my co-workers have given notice that they are leaving the office. Some of these were expected because the people are retiring but the rest came as a surprise. I am really happy that people are moving on for their own needs but I am bummed because what it means in our office. Because of where I work we are currently under a hiring freeze. The budget situation in our nation means that there is a trickle down effect throughout agencies that are somehow associated with the government. The hiring freeze means that the vacated positions will likely not be filled any time soon or possibly at all. It means that we will have to do the same staggering amount of work with fewer people handling it. I have no idea how we will ever take care of the needs of the people we are charged to care for with a possible doubling of our work load. This is when things fall through the cracks and people ask later “how it could have happened”.


Food fest…

Posted by The Inspector on October 21st, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Over the summer I had seriously begun to question if my wife had forgotten what meals were. When you are used to someone cooking dinner on a regular basis it can throw you for a loop when dinner is non-existent. This isn’t to say she didn’t cook or provide food but it certainly wasn’t what I would call a dinner. I will say that we didn’t have to worry about how to reduce belly fat during the summer. Our meals consisted of a great many salads, sandwiches, and bowls of cereal. To tell the truth my wife cooked each and every day but it was in a pressure canner. She put away over 500 jars of food so I shouldn’t complain about the lack of meals. I will say that I am really happy to report that she is back in the habit of cooking and baking and it is like a non-stop buffet around here. Fresh muffins, bread, and granola are sitting on the counter. Tomorrow night’s meal is started in the refrigerator. Life is good again!


A bit weird.

Posted by The Inspector on October 21st, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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This week has been a crazy week at work. It started out on a bad note and has just gone down hill. It began with one of my co-workers calling her husband to come get her from work. She had been in a meeting with our agency head and her immediate supervisor. The meeting apparently went very badly and left her a distraught mess. When her husband got there he was so upset with the state of his wife that he called the police to file harassment charges about both of the people involved in the meeting. My co-worker is in a position that is not a union job. This means that in meetings like this that the people in her position have no one to argue on their behalf when situations like this arise. None of us really knows exactly what happened in the meeting but it involved 3 women so we doubt it was sexual harassment. What has made it bad is that now everyone is walking on eggshells no one knows what went down and all 3 people involved still work there. There hasn’t been a bit of information as to how the police handled the situation or if it was resolved. It just makes for a really crappy environment right now.


Am I really that old?

Posted by The Inspector on October 16th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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I turned 40 years old this summer. It is not something that I really think too much about. There are times when I am reminded just how old I am. This week was one of those times. A friend of mine from high school sent me a birth announcement for his first grandchild and invited me to stop by and smoke some Black and Mild cigars with him. I will admit this threw me for a loop because I can’t imagine being old enough to have children who could make me a grandparent. Apparently the reality is that I am in fact this old. My wife and I have been married just shy of 20 years. If we had children early in our marriage is it very possible that we could have a child who would be old enough to have children. Thankfully we waited until much later in our marriage to have children and this is not a worry I will face any time soon.


My list is done.

Posted by The Inspector on October 16th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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This is the time of year when I have several projects that need to be completed. These are typically things that are related to preparing our home and property for the onslaught of snow. I am happy to report that everything on my list is now complete. We enclosed our screened in porch to keep out the snow. The storm windows and doors have been put up. The older windows in our house have been covered with 3M film. The thermostats have been programmed. Our camper is now home and ready for whatever winter may bring. The chicken coop is done and the chickens moved in a couple hours ago. I have the snow shovels out and near the doors. I am now just waiting for the leaves to fall from our one tree so that I can rake them up and compost them.


One car next year?

Posted by The Inspector on October 15th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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The lease on our second vehicle runs out in about 6 months. We have been seriously debating about not replacing this car and sticking with one vehicle. We really needed two cars when both of us were working and our children were in public school. Now that my wife works from home and our children are home schooled having two cars is not such an issue. I would really like to direct the money we are spending on car insurance and lease payments to other things. It kills me to have a car sitting in the driveway most of the time that is not being used. There are only a couple of days a month when having a second car would be an issue for us. I am now torn as to whether we should just keep our older vehicle and use it as our primary vehicle or replace it with something newer when we switch to one vehicle.


Coop builder.

Posted by The Inspector on October 15th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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I am finally reaching the end of the phase of my chicken coop construction. After a great amount of deliberation about where to locate the chicken coop we ultimately decided to dedicate a corner of the garage to this project. Living in a very cold climate we knew that no one would want to trudge into the middle of the back yard to collect eggs. Building the coop in the corner of the garage serves several purposes. It protects the chickens from the elements and also from various predators. It gives us the ability to be out of the elements to care for the chickens and collect the eggs. The chickens will not be exposed to the diseases carried by wild birds in our yard. We will have electric handy for heating and cooling them as necessary. The run that I am going to build will not become muddy and nasty from rain and water build up which means healthier chickens over the long run.


Out of the elements…

Posted by The Inspector on October 6th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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I have so many things I need to accomplish before the weather gets nasty. First and foremost I have to go and get our pop up camper and get it ready for winter. I am planning on renting a space to store it for the winter to protect it from the elements. I don’t know if I should call and get an rv insurance quote in advance or not. I have no idea if the rental space would have insurance to cover our camper in the event something terrible happened at the storage facility. I always wonder exactly what our auto insurance covers when we have the camper on the road. My first priority is to get it out of my in-laws yard, where it is currently parked, before the weather turns really bad. I need to empty all of our camping gear out of it and put it away in the attic. This is a job I dread but it has to be done. I just keep telling myself it is only a few hours work each year to protect our investment.


Projects a’plenty…

Posted by The Inspector on October 6th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Last weekend I sat on my butt and did nothing. It felt good to do nothing. I watched television and played with the kids. Now I am looking at my list of things that need doing and realized that I should have made better use of my time last weekend. There is a chicken coop that I need to finish and apples that need picking. I have to dig a few holes to do some late planting. For some reason a peach tree that we ordered arrived today instead of next spring. I am hoping that it will somehow survive the elements. I also have a broken television that needs taken to the transfer station. My wife needs me to go pick up another bushel of pie pumpkins and I need to run to the butcher to pick up that half a hog that we ordered. Think I will be busy enough?


Maybe next year…

Posted by The Inspector on October 2nd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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There were a great many projects that I wanted to complete this summer but didn’t get around to doing. One thing I wanted to do was build a brick oven in our backyard. My wife has been drooling over them online and I know it would be a great addition to our outdoor lifestyle. This is something I hope to get started next spring. I also had hopes of finishing some remodeling work in our basement. I need to repaint the ceiling and add some new lighting. It is very dark down there right now and feels more like a cave than an inviting family space. I have had my eye on something along the line of those Casablanca fans. I don’t know if that is what we will ultimately end up with. The first step is going to be to get the ceiling freshened up. I think it is shame that we have a finished basement but hardly ever use it because it just doesn’t feel inviting.


Cheap eats!

Posted by The Inspector on October 2nd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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In our attempts to become more sustainable we have been looking for cheap and healthy food in a variety of ways. One thing we have done is taken advantage of offers of free garden produce whenever offered. We have also found out that fresh produce is much cheaper when you buy it in bulk or by the bushel as opposed to smaller amounts. This is work to process either by canning or freezing but the savings is substantial. For example this summer corn was $4.99 a dozen in our area but if you bought a bushel at the farmer’s market it was just $10.00! We put up 32 pints of corn for just $10.00. We canned 50 pounds of potatoes that are amazing at a total cost of $10.00. Today we picked up a bushel of pie pumpkins that were $12.99. Before finding this deal we paid $3.00 for one pumpkin at the farmer’s market. It goes to show that with budgeting and planning and work you can eat really well for not a great deal of money.


Moving ahead…

Posted by The Inspector on September 23rd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Today we learned that based on some test results our older son just received that he is a much more advanced learner than we initially thought. We knew the child was bright but apparently he exceeds our expectations in some areas. After speaking with his teacher today it was suggested that we let him move ahead in his curriculum at a much faster rate than we had been. This is a wonderful thing because our previous teachers did not want us to do this. We have always felt that he needed to be more challenged in school in areas related to language and science. At last we can offer him the opportunity to advance at his own pace rather than trying to reign him in. It should be interesting to see if he seizes this chance or prefers not to be challenged with tougher material.


A little shocked.

Posted by The Inspector on September 23rd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Our kids attend birthday parties for other children on a pretty routine basis. When our first son was little and we were naive there was a time when we expected to receive thank you cards for the gifts our son gave his friends. After never receiving a thank you card from any of these children or their parents we gave up on the idea. We decided that we must be old fashioned or something and didn’t get the memo about no longer having to send a thank you card. Recently our son received an unexpected card in the mail. In it was a hand written note for a gift he had recently given. I have to say we were shocked. We really thought that we were the only parents left who make our children write thank you notes. I am happy to see that gratitude is still being taught to some children out there. I believe this is a good personal characteristic to have.


Lists…

Posted by The Inspector on September 23rd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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My wife loves to make lists… I don’t know what it is about lists but it seems like she is always making them. She is very particular about her lists and how they are organized. What is really funny is she gets bent out of shape if someone marks on her lists. For example if she makes a list of things that need to be done around the house and I mark something that I am going to do on it off she gets irked. She isn’t irked that I am helping with things on the list but rather that I am marking something off because I intend to do it rather than because I have actually done it. I have to laugh because she will erase my check mark or rewrite the list. She also doesn’t like it if you write on her lists in a different colored ink or make the check marks backwards.


Up too late.

Posted by The Inspector on September 22nd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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For the last week we have been staying up far too late. There have just been so many projects that needed completed and the best time to do them is once the kids are in bed. I am quite sure I have dark circles right from not getting enough sleep. Just when I thought we had gotten everything done and would go to bed early last night something came up. We went downstairs to feed our chicks and noticed one of them wasn’t acting right. She was panting and acting quite ill. After a bit of research we found a couple of treatments for her and after a couple of hours she was acting more normally. Thankfully, this morning she seemed completely fine and has been ever since. I am now hoping to get the kids tucked in and head off to bed myself. Eight to ten hours of sleep would be greatly appreciated right now.


Win a cow?

Posted by The Inspector on September 22nd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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In planning to attend the Mother Earth News Fair this weekend I am considering a number of things. I am considering what to pack and how much cash we might need. I had not considered that they might be giving away stuff at the fair. My mother-in-law reminded me of this fact when she asked what vehicle we would be taking to the fair. She said we should take the bigger vehicle just in case we win something big. I decided to look up and see what goodies might be given away and indeed there will be freebies. One thing I don’t think I will be trying to win is a cow. Apparently they are giving away a heritage breed cow to some lucky winner. As much as I would love a farm with a cow. I don’t have a farm and thus have no home for a cow. A goat maybe…


Maturing…

Posted by The Inspector on September 22nd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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When we go away this weekend we are putting our children in the hands of their grandmother’s. This should prove to be quite and interesting weekend for everyone involved. Our children have never spent a weekend away from us at the same time. The little guy has never spent a night away period. Our older son doesn’t bat an eye at the idea and seems to care less. I can tell already that it won’t be long before he is a pimple popping teenager because he is maturing before my eyes. He has asked me half a dozen questions today about certain things he knows will need to be done while we are gone. Just asking me about who will attend to these tasks makes me realize that he is not oblivious to certain aspects of keeping our home running. I admit there are times when I have wondered if he even realizes how much work adults have to do but I am now seeing that he is conscious of life around him. It is good to see these changes in my young man. He is such a great kid.


Driving to buy milk.

Posted by The Inspector on September 22nd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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We drive 26 miles to buy our milk. I realize that this is not an environmentally friendly thing to do but we don’t have a choice. Milk in our state is regulated to be a certain price. That price is two full dollars higher per gallon that milk in the state next door. Considering that our family drinks between 3-5 gallons per week this is a costly price to pay. We have tried using powdered milk and one of our children has no problem drinking it but the other child won’t drink it at all. Buying powdered milk online allowed us to purchase milk for about the same price as making the drive but it isn’t good for your health. Apparently there are health risks that have been reported as a result of high ingestion of dried milk products. I don’t know if there really is truth to these claims but I have elected to just make the weekly trip to buy 5 gallons of milk when we can. We use the dry milk in between our milk runs.


Waiting…

Posted by The Inspector on September 22nd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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No one likes waiting. I am no exception to this rule. But we have to wait and that is just life. Tonight I had an appointment for routine work to be done to our car. Nothing major and nothing time consuming. I figured that at the worst I would be there 30 minutes. I went prepared to read a great deal of old magazines and watch a television with the volume turned off. This is my typical experience when waiting in the garage. I was really surprised to find a clean waiting area with a new television that I could hear and new magazines. There were new chairs, fresh coffee, and free cookies. This waiting room was so pleasant that I could have waited there all day if I had to. I wouldn’t have even cared if the only thing to read was advertising about buying hgh spray here or tanning products. The chairs were comfy and not covered in the typical layer of grease you find in a garage waiting area. Sadly, it only took them 20 minutes to complete the work on my car. I find myself wishing they had slowed down just a bit. I really wanted to finish that television show and have another cookie.


Old is new again…

Posted by The Inspector on September 22nd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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This afternoon we sent our older son to his room to clean out his closet. He tends to be like any other kid and just throws stuff in his closet rather than put it away. I have to laugh because the process of cleaning his room should take an hour tops. Somehow with him it ends up taking hours because he has to stop and play with everything his hands touch. There is always some toy he discovers that he has forgotten he owns and today was no exception. His discovery this afternoon was his Furbee. Since finishing his room he has been playing with Furbee nonstop. The funny thing is that when we purged his room a few weeks ago I actually considering donating Furbee to a charity because he never seemed to touch it. It goes to show that what is old is always new again at some point.


Touchy subject…

Posted by The Inspector on September 22nd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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My in-laws stopped by this week which was a bit unusual because this was on a Friday night. Usually when they come by it is late morning or early afternoon. I wondered immediately what was up and why they were here. As it turns out they had just come from an auction. If you knew my father-in-law you would know that him attending an auction is never a good thing. It typically means that he bought some random thing he doesn’t need with some wild dream of restoring it or using it. This auction was no exception. Upon entering our door he immediately started talking about his most recent acquisition. My wife sense some discord between her mother and father and began talking about random things, with her mother, like vitamins for weight loss while her father talked to me. The thing he bought ended up being a very old 20-30 foot boat. He has plans in his head for restoring the boat and spending his free time on it fishing. He asked me to help him with the project which is quite unusual. I am not sure if that is a good of bad thing yet because I haven’t seen the boat. I couldn’t read by my mother-in-law well enough to judge the condition of the boat by her mood.


Interesting…

Posted by The Inspector on September 22nd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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On a rare occasion I look through my spam mail folder to determine if anything important has slipped through the cracks. Often I find this to be a complete waste of time. Sometimes I do find that one important email that I would have otherwise missed. Then there are the emails that just plain make me wonder. For example, there are half a dozen emails in my box detailing the fact that some hip replacements have been recalled. I guess I might sound dumb but are enough hip replacements being done that there is a big need to spam the free world with the news? You would think that this would be something that someone somewhere would have a pretty good handle on. What I mean is wouldn’t there be some sort of registry for exactly who received what hip replacements that are impacted by the recall?


Not packed yet?

Posted by The Inspector on September 22nd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Being prepared is something that my wife prides herself on. I can’t remember a single event or trip that she has ever waited until the last minute to pack for. She is one of those people that you can count on having considered every possible event and made preparations for it. You can understand my confusion when I realized that there is not a single bag that has been packed in preparation for our trip. I would have taken a bet that by this time she would have carefully considered the weather reports and have already chosen the perfect attire from all of her various women’s apparel. This doesn’t bother me in the slightest but just has me wondering. I can typically judge her outlook on a trip by the manner in which she packs. I can begin to guess why she hasn’t begun packing already. I know that she is beyond excited about this trip. Maybe she is just not worrying because she really only has to pack for herself and not for the entire family?


Just the grownups…

Posted by The Inspector on September 22nd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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We are a family who does almost everything together. It doesn’t occur to us not to include our children in things. We plan activities that are family friendly or we don’t do them. This weekend is a rare exception to that rule. My wife and I are going away for the first time in a decade without our children. We will be enjoying 3 days away from our children at a cabin in the woods. It should be really fun to spend some time just being us again. I think that is something we have been missing. Sure, we spend time alone after they go to bed but it isn’t the same thing. I am really looking forward to a meal, with my wife, that doesn’t come from a fast food restaurant.


Already excited…

Posted by The Inspector on September 22nd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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It is a little over a month until Halloween. Our children are already talking about Halloween and what they are going to do to celebrate. We bought our costumes last year and everyone in our family is going to dress up. Our theme is going to be centered around super heroes with each one of us being a different character. Our kids have always dressed up but this will be the first year that the adults are dressing up. We even got a costume for our dog. I don’t know if we will actually take the dog out trick-or-treating because she is quite excitable. We should have some great pictures of us all either way. I figure that our children are growing up way too fast and we need to savor each event of childhood when it comes. I want them to look back and remember that their parents did goofy stuff with them like this.


validation…

Posted by The Inspector on September 22nd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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The decision to pull our son out of traditional school and home school was not one that we took lightly. It was only after a dismal school experience in two different public school that we decided to pursue other educational avenues. When we moved we found out that our state had several cyber charter schools. I will admit that I did not want our children to be home schooled when we first started do it but I couldn’t come up with a reasonable alternative. Now that we are entering our 3rd of this schooling method I have to say the difference is night and day. Our son loves school! We received test results today that indicate that he is off the charts in his reading ability across the board. He is just starting 5th grade and is testing above 12th grade in all reading areas assessed. He is on grade level for math which is great because this is an area that he struggle with. I now am convinced we made the right decision. If we weren’t doing our job teaching him there is no doubt in mind that his scores wouldn’t be this high.


Budgeting time.

Posted by The Inspector on September 5th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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We live a pretty simple life and have worked very hard over the last year to cut back on our expenses as much as possible. Paying off debt has been a big focus of our lives for a very long time. Now that we have for the most part achieved that goal we are moving on and looking towards our retirement. The truth is that we are a good deal behind in terms of putting money away because of our previous debts. Now we feel that we need to put everything we can into our retirements to make up for this. Fairly frequently we sit down and analyze our budget and determine if there are areas where we can cut back. One thing I noticed this time was that our home owners insurance had risen in price. I am considering spending some time on http://www.wholesaleinsurance.net to research other insurance options available to us. I have to think that there is an insurer out there that can offer us similar coverage at a better price. I might be wrong but from the looks of things this is the only remaining area in our budget where we can make further cuts.


There are days…

Posted by The Inspector on September 5th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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We don’t have cable television and rely on Netflix for our entertainment or online programming. I do try to keep up with current events via online newspapers and such. There are days when I wonder why I even bother. It really seems like it would be better for my outlook on people and life to not be aware of some events in this world. Yesterday I looked through the CNN website and couldn’t find a single positive news headline. Is it because we only care about travesty and disasters? I have to think that there are people out there that are also looking for something to inspire them. My thoughts stray to wondering if there aren’t more positive news reports because the news simply reflects the state of our world? I have to believe that not everything occurring in this world is centered around hurting, stealing from, killing, and disfiguring people. This isn’t to suggest that I want to live in a bubble and pretend this stuff isn’t happening but I would like to believe there is some natural balance taking place in the world. What I mean is that there is indeed good occurring that is keeping all this evil in check.


First long car trip.

Posted by The Inspector on September 5th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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This week we will take our first very long car trip as a family. Our youngest son is not a good traveler by any stretch of the imagination. He is just the type of kid who likes to be moving and doing things. Sitting in the car is his idea of slow torture. He isn’t quite to the age where you can hand him one of those fancy ipods and trust that he will be entertained for hours. My hope is that we can break the trip up into shorter trips and stop frequently. We have put off taking any long trips until now because we just knew that it would be more stress on us all than it would be worth. This particular trip is not optional so we are just going to do the best we can and hope it is somewhat enjoyable. Our older son started taking long car trips from birth and there was never an issue. We didn’t have to travel anywhere after our younger son was born and I think this might be contributing to his problems with traveling. Hindsight is always 20/20 isn’t it?


Short weeks.

Posted by The Inspector on September 5th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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This is an unusual month for me because I will not be working a full week at any point this month. We have something booked each week that required me to take a day off each week. I haven’t really used any vacation time this year so I certainly have the time to take off. I like the idea of long weekends and would love to work a 4 day work week all the time. It is nice to have a schedule full of fun things to look forward to for once. We have been so busy doing projects for so long that we have had few truly relaxing times. I imagine it will be hard to go back to a regular work week once my “vacation” month is over. At least that will be about the time when the weather starts to turn cold and we are stuck indoors anyway.


Big plans.

Posted by The Inspector on September 3rd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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My father-in-law is a dreamer. He is a man who comes up with these plans or schemes to turn a little investment into wads of money. The problem is that many of his plans never make sense. For example he is constantly buying stuff at garage sales that he is convinces he can resell for more than he paid for it. His newest plan involves buying new stuff at stores like Wal-mart and then trying to resell it for more money at our local auction site. I try to tell him that it might work to sell used books and stuff like that but people wanting new stuff will just go to the store themselves. He won’t listen and is convinced that he is onto something big. Tonight he is heading to the auction to pick up the proceeds from his last sales attempt. I can only hope he at least breaks even on the items that he tried to sell. I am interested to hear how it all turns out for him.


A solution.

Posted by The Inspector on September 3rd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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I just found a solution to my Facebook problem. I do not have to unfriend the person who has been pestering me to no end. What I did do was go in and create a limited profile and viewing experience for this person. By editing my settings I am hoping that this person will not see each and everything that I post. I feel this is a more tactful way to handle the situation. By not allowing this person access to my general posts this person will not be able to make annoying comments and generally pester me on Facebook. I am hoping that because I have been posting on Facebook that much that this person will not realize any difference in their viewing experience when it comes to my Facebook page. I will keep you posted on how it all pans out. I am just tired of worrying about what I can or can’t say because I know this person is going to lecture me on the subject.


Unfriend?

Posted by The Inspector on September 3rd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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I am not really active on Facebook anymore for several reasons. The fact is that I don’t like the way this website keeps changing the rules. If you don’t read tech news frequently it is very likely that Facebook will have made changes to the system without alerting users. The other reason I don’t use it that much is because I have people on my friend page that I really don’t want knowing my day to day business. When I allowed them in as my friends I didn’t realize that this would be giving people a means to know my day to day business. There is one person in particular that I totally regret allowing access to this information. I am now torn as to whether I should continue to let this person pry into my life or whether to unfriend them on Facebook. I am considering letting them only have a limited view of my information. Have you ever unfriended someone?


Almost over.

Posted by The Inspector on August 22nd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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At the end of the week our children both officially start the new school year. This really drives home the point that summer is about over. We spent a couple of weekends camping but for the most part we stayed home. I really would have like to get away and take one of those Branson vacations but it didn’t happen. We are scheduled for a couple of weekend trips in the next month but that is about it. This summer we decided to spend less on than we normally do on travel and focus on living within our means. This isn’t to say that we didn’t have a fun summer by any stretch. We took a number of day trips and spent time as a family working on projects. I do hope that next summer we will be able to take a nice vacation if everything works out as we have planned. I don’t mind forgoing a trip every other year if it means we can take a great trip occasionally. Convincing the children about this plan hasn’t been too hard since we have been too busy to get bored. My older son actually commented that next summer we should take thing a bit slower and relax a little more.


I really get it now.

Posted by The Inspector on August 22nd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Okay, I am going to admit here and now that I don’t always understand some of the things my wife wants. It took me a while to understand how rain barrels would lower our water bill. I had to actually see her canning food before I could believe she would fill our pantry and all of the jars she kept buying. For months she has been hinting that she wanted a couple of chickens which I thought was crazy since we live within city limits. Once she found out is was legal to have chickens her hints became all out requests. We now have 3 chicks ordered and I will at last admit that I understand her reasoning. After watching a video about factory farming and the news reports about the latest egg recall I am fully supportive of her getting a couple of chicks. She really wants to do the things that she believes will be the best choices for our family in terms of health and happiness. I am starting to question less and just trust that she isn’t throwing out ideas on a whim.


Hooked.

Posted by The Inspector on August 17th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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A couple of months ago we canceled our subscription to satellite television. Honestly we have not missed it one single bit. For the majority of the summer we were so busy that sitting in front of the television didn’t occur to us. On a whim we decided to try Netflix for a month. Several years ago we had tried it but just weren’t that impressed. I have to say that things have really changed in the last 5-6 years at Netflix. We are absolutely hooked on it. There is something for all of us to watch and we have yet to run out of shows we like or want to watch. The kids can watch cartoons galore without all of the advertisements telling them what they should want or need to have. I have to say I love not listening to all of the whining about needing this or that. Less whining and decent entertainment is well worth the price of subscribing to this service. I am especially impressed with the fact that it costs about 1/5 what we were spending for satellite.


Should we care?

Posted by The Inspector on August 10th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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The area where we now live is a nice neighborhood and we are really happy here. Our neighbors are normal everyday people who leads pretty average lives. This is a very nice change from our old neighborhood where we quite literally installed security cameras on the house because the neighbors were so awful. Between the police raids and the loud parties there was rarely a quiet moment. We are now contemplating getting 4 female chickens for our backyard. They would live in an enclosed space. Our family thinks we should ask for the neighbors blessing prior to getting them. I am not convinced this is necessary since we are within the scope of the law. At our prior house our lives were very controlled by the antics of our neighbors and I hate the thought of once again being controlled by the will our a neighbor. My belief is that if the hens are clean and quiet and within the law it should not be a matter of asking permission or not. What do you think?


I am a farmer.

Posted by The Inspector on August 10th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Over the last year we have developed a number of new interests. Individually they are very different but when looked at collectively they form a much bigger picture of our lives. The realization hit us that the lifestyle that we are striving towards very closely mimics that of a large scale farmer albeit on a much much smaller level. This week I stumbled across the term “biointensive micro-farm” and realized that this very adequately describes our daily life and the direction to which it is headed. As much as we would like to live on a farm in the country it isn’t going to happen any time soon. Therefore we are making the best life possible right where we are and that is slowly turning into a teeny tiny little farm.


Don’t get me wrong…

Posted by The Inspector on August 4th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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I realize after my last post that I might have come off sounding a bit disrespectful to my wife. You might get the impression that my wife spends her day whining about the things she wants and waiting for me to get them for her. The truth is that she is really a low needs type of woman. If you asked her right now what she wanted most aside from chickens she would likely request a couple of fruit trees or an additional raised garden bed. My wife doesn’t care about having a closet full of clothes or the newest fashions. She is typically more interesting in tracking down heirloom vegetable seeds than seeking out the newest trend in ugg boots. I wouldn’t change this about her for a second. Having a wife who wants a simple life makes my life simple and I love it. It just cracks me up sometimes that we have endless conversations about how vastly improved the quality of our compost would be if only we had fresh chicken manure to add to the compost tumbler. This is one of those topics that I just have to have a little laugh over every now and then.


I knew it was coming…

Posted by The Inspector on August 4th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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For several months my wife has been talking about how nice it would be to have some chickens. She currently buys our eggs from a local farmer for a hefty price. I really didn’t think much of the idea of having a few chickens because I imagined that it probably wouldn’t be legal in our town. We live within city limits and it just seemed like someone somewhere would have at some point raised a stink and made it illegal. As it turns out after a couple of calls to city hall that keeping chickens is most definitely legal. I called city hall thinking that getting the final word would put the talk of chickens to rest but it has not. Now that we know they are legal it makes the idea seem not quite so crazy. Apparently people all over the country are catching onto the idea that having chickens in the backyard means healthy fresh eggs whenever you want. It seems that I will now be listening to how much we need some chickens of our own for the time being. I am on the fence about the idea right now and might be convinced of the idea once I know a bit more about the cost versus the benefit for our family.


Test run…

Posted by The Inspector on July 30th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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We received notification that the cyber charter school that one of my children attends is doing a trial run of issuing iPads to students. This year they are only issuing them to a handful of students but are hoping to expand the use of them once the trial is over. I have to admit that I don’t know much about the product but am intrigued by the idea. My son is already reading everything imaginable about them including the ipad warranty and user’s manual in order to be prepared for if and when he is issued one. I think it is pretty cool that the school is fearless when it comes to technology and is willing to try anything to make learning more accessible and interesting to their students. This is one of the reason why we think cyber education is leaps and bounds ahead of the traditional public school system.


Farm dreaming…

Posted by The Inspector on July 30th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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It is funny how a wee bit of success can begin to drive your dreams. We planted a couple of gardens this year for the very first time. We had tried container gardening in the past with little success but that was mostly due to lack of enthusiasm. This year our gardens have flourished! Seeing the vegetables grow has been a great family activity. We are now planning to expand our gardens next year and hopefully double our crops. Our long term dream would be to take the hundred or so acres owned by my in-laws that were once farmed and begin farming it ourselves. It is a ton of work but honestly it seems like a doable goal considering the area and what we already have going for us. My in-laws still have a great deal of farming equipment and the land is already prepared. We are a long way off from putting seed in the ground but it is fun to dream about.


Too much baking.

Posted by The Inspector on July 22nd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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When I came home today I expected to find my family lounging about in the living room. Much to my surprise they were all out and about for the afternoon. I did however find our kitchen stocked to the gills with fresh baked goodies. My wife must be buying stock in irvingia gabonensis supplements or something because she is trying to fatten the world up. She baked several loaves of cinnamon bread, dozens of rolls, brownies, and at least 5 pounds of granola. The house smelled amazing and I couldn’t help myself. I am pretty sure my dinner consisted of brownies, cinnamon bread, and granola followed by a large brownie sundae. I am going to have spend of serious time working this off this weekend. My wife is going to have to spend less time in the kitchen in the comingdays if we are going to stay at our current weight for the foreseeable future.


So delightful.

Posted by The Inspector on July 22nd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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A couple of months ago we had our satellite television service turned off. It simply had become ridiculous in both price and programming. The fees had become almost double what we had originally paid and the children were watching videos most of the time. Last week my wife signed up for Netflix and started streaming videos to our Wii. We also had our internet upgraded from DSL to cable. The cable speed is about 8 times what we were getting with the DSL. I have to say we are absolutely delighted with the increase in speed and bandwidth. Being able to find tons of the shows the kids love that are free of commercials and stream them to the Wii is just short of awesome! Paying $9 a month for stuff we really want to see is a value that I didn’t expect.


Fun new stage.

Posted by The Inspector on July 15th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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For a long time I wanted to have a big family. Over time it became clear that my wife and I were not destined to have that particular dream. A couple of years ago we permanently closed the doors to the wonderful world of prenatal vitamins, newborns, and sleepless nights. Most men won’t admit it but I was little sad to know we would never had another baby. I see things differently now and realize that my children are gifts. I am growing to appreciate them right where they are in life. Now that my younger son is starting to really be interested in the world around him it is amazing to see the world through his eyes. He will turn 4 in a couple of weeks and shortly thereafter will start preschool. I cannot wait to see how he grows and changes as he begins his life a student. I realize that starting school ends one phase of his life but another is just beginning which undoubtedly will be amazing.


He begged.

Posted by The Inspector on July 15th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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It is really cool when your children love to read. For awhile I wondered if the reading bug would ever hit our youngest son. He simply had no interest in sitting to have a book read to him. Slowly but surely I have seen a change in his attitude about books. He no longer just picks the same book to have read to him over and over and over. I am so thankful to not have to read the “Cars” book 20 times a day. Now he wants to have several different books read and is beginning to know words by sight. This week he has begged me to take him to the library. Tonight we did just that and you would have thought I was taking him to an amusement park. He said “I love the lie-berry”. I love the way he says it like it was two different words but I really love that he is beginning to recognize that books and reading are a wonderful thing.


Busy boys.

Posted by The Inspector on July 15th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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We learned this week not to give our children free use to print whatever they like on the computer. Apparently they decided that every single thing that interested them online needed printed. I now have a stack of scrap paper 2 inches deep to use because of all the paper they used for printing. I also need to track down some new ink for the printer. First, I need to figure out what kind of ink to buy. For some reason I remember it having a serial number along the lines of 108r00727 but I am not sure. Usually the school they attend provides us with ink but I feel like we should buy it since they used up the school ink printing nonsense. Maybe I should have them earn a portion of the money to buy the ink they use for printing stuff unrelated to school?


Mowing at break neck speed.

Posted by The Inspector on July 15th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Did you ever get a wild hair? I don’t mean like having a bad hair day. I mean just a reckless feeling like you needed to kick up some dust. Well, I did just that and it felt good. You see I needed to mow the lawn as well. It occurred to me to combine the two needs into one activity. My riding lawn mower usually only sees life at 1st or 2nd gear. I decided to mow the lawn in the highest setting and see what would happen. Well, I felt the wind in my hair and kicked up a great deal of dust. My wife laughed hysterically at me and then proceeded to give me a lecture. She made me promise not to do it again. I suppose she didn’t appreciate the example I was setting for my children nor the fact the neighbors were staring at me curiously. That was the most fun I have had mowing a lawn in a long time. For now I will stop but the next time everyone is out the house you can bet what I will be doing.


Things I miss…

Posted by The Inspector on July 15th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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I have spent some time lately reflecting on my life. There is something about turning 40 that makes me feel like half of my life is gone. I suppose I could look at it as I have half of my life to look forward upon. There are things in my past that I do not miss but there are a few things that I do wish I could do again. If I had to do things over I would not go into the same profession but would instead build my own business. I don’t know what exactly it would be but it would be mine. I have always been drawn to places that sell stuff wholesale or liquidate things. I am a guy who like to pick up a bargain and turn it around for a profit. One thing I wouldn’t change is picking my wife. We are good for each other. I do however miss is being carefree. You know that feeling that you can go anywhere you want and take as long as you want to do it? I like living life on my own timetable. I suppose that is the freedom of youth and adulthood doesn’t always offer that. Maybe it will seem that way when I retire. Oddly enough retirement seems so far away even though my life seems half over. At least I don’t have to worry anymore about finding a girl to like me or fitting in with the right crowd. I like myself and am happy with who I am which is just enough. At least I am not turning 50 any time soon.


Do they really care?

Posted by The Inspector on July 15th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Over the last year I have become interested in a few different topics which have led to a slightly more political stance on my part. For example I care very much about food safety and the rights of farmer’s in our country. It would be very sad if our food chain became owned entirely by big business. Another thing I care about is educational choice. We should be able to send our children to the school of our choosing and direct a portion of our tax dollars to these alternative educational situations. As part of this political stance I have sent a few emails to political leaders. In response I have gotten a general reply that my email was received. You have to wonder if any of these emails actually have an impact. My gut tells me that it is merely a means for people to feel like they have had their say. My bet is that the common man really had very little influence on any of the political decisions that take place in government. When we elect representatives is likely the only time our voice is heard.


Chill, lady!

Posted by The Inspector on July 9th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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There are times when I just have to bite my tongue. I am quite sure you all fee this way but it doesn’t make it any easier. We have a few friends who do not believe in doctors or using conventional medicine. This week we took our older son to the doctors because he is constantly going to the bathroom. My wife happened to mention to one of our doctor hating friends that our son might be trying a new medication to help him. This friend immediately began spouting off all these natural treatments we should try first. I wanted to scream because she has no idea what we have been dealing with or worrying about. It isn’t like we are just buying random drugs like human growth hormone or whatnot online and attempting to treat our son ourselves. We have been to the doctors many times for this problem and are finally narrowing in on the problem. I honestly believe that if this person were visiting the bathroom every 5 minutes that she would get sick enough of it to break down and see a doctor. Our poor son cannot participate in his summer camps because he is spending more time in the bathroom than in class. Tell me what herbal treatment is going to fix that?


Up, up, and away.

Posted by The Inspector on July 9th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Last week we called to upgrade our DSL service to a faster plan. For the last year we have been trudging along with a 1M plan that really provided us with about half that speed. When we called to up the plan they told us that the only plan available to us was the 3M plan and we readily accepted. Upon test driving this plan we found that it really only provide us with speeds of around 1.5M which although and improvement was not what we anticipated. Today my wife checked our online account and for some odd reason there was now an opportunity to get a 7.1M plan! We didn’t hesitate to sign up because it was only a few more dollars than our “3M” plan. Even if it also only provides half the speed it promises we should still be infinitely happier than we are right now wouldn’t you think?


Transitioning

Posted by The Inspector on July 9th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Over the last few months I have started to see my older son transitioning from a child into a young man. He is growing not only physically but also emotionally. I am not eager for the days when he is hormonal and in need of acnepril but I realize that they are coming closer. We are building a different type of father and son relationship that I hope will only grow stronger as we venture into the future. Our activities are starting to be more team like in nature and less about him watching me work. I can only dream that our relationship will evolve in a different way from that of my relationship with my own father. It would be lovely to have the close father and son bond, with my child, that I never experienced with my dad nor will in the future. I know that there will be tough times as he goes through his teenage years but my hope is to keep the door open that he always knows we love him and support him totally.


Rocket stove.

Posted by The Inspector on July 9th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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For a few weeks the only thing my wife could talk about was building a cobb oven in our backyard. I tried to ignore her because I knew that the project would take on a life of its own. After a while the topic transitioned from building and cobb or earth oven to building a rocket stove. I have to admit the idea of a rocket stove intrigues me because it uses very little fuel and is fairly sturdy. Building a rocket stove and easily be accomplished in a day whereas an earth oven is a long drawn out process. The rocket stove requires little upkeep but the earth need shelter and rebuilding over time. I am hoping that we can collect the materials for the rocket stove for free and have it up and running in the next couple of weeks. If you like the idea of an outdoor stove that take little fuel look into building a rocket stove.


Rural joys.

Posted by The Inspector on July 6th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Today I decided the time had come to break down and call Verizon to upgrade our DSL package. Living in a rural area there aren’t many choices as to what type of high speed internet that is available to us. We tried a cable connection but the DSL surprisingly was ultimately faster and more reliable. When we first signed up for dry loop DSL there was only one speed choice available. Over the last year a couple of other packages kept showing up as being available to us. Whenever I tried to use the Verizon website to upgrade I was for whatever reason not able to complete the transaction. After attempting an online chat with Verizon on two different occasions I finally gave up trying to upgrade for a little bit. This morning I decided to give calling Verizon a try. I hesitate to do this because my past experiences have been less than favorable because the customer services agents were clearly overseas and nearly impossible to understand. This time I am pleased to report that I was not transferred 11 times and that my agent was clearly a United States citizen! Yeah Verizon!


Take a vacation.

Posted by The Inspector on July 6th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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I came to a realization last week that my boss needs to take a vacation more often. Whenever she goes away for a week I have a great week. For some reason I am twice as productive when she is gone than when she is there. There is something about this woman that make getting my job done incredibly hard. I believe the reason is that she is impossible to approach when I have a question or need assistance with a case. She simply will not just answer a question but turns it into a quest for me to solve. The other supervisors in the department will just answer a question and move on but not my boss. She instead points me to a manual or online resource for the answer despite the fact that she knows how to answer my question. I am not quite sure what her reasoning is for the way she handles things but I don’t like it. I do however enjoy each and every week that she is gone so immensely that it is as if I myself had a taken a vacation. Give the woman a few more weeks is all I can ask for…


So mature.

Posted by The Inspector on June 25th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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This week I was asked to give a friend’s child a ride home for a few days from the summer camp our children attend. This child is the same age as my son but seems several years more mature. I don’t know if mature is the right world as opposed to worldly. This child asked me is I had an unlocked phone or a regular cell phone? I have to admit that I just didn’t think 11 year old children knew the difference. She went on to explain that her mother recently bought an unlocked cell phone to replace one she lost. This child as wanted to know if I avidly used a texting package with my cell phone. She apparently frequently uses a cell phone for texting and seemed to know more about it that I do. She was flabbergasted when I told her that we have one cell phone that we share and only use when we travel. I then told her that I have never sent a text message in my life. She didn’t have many more questions for me after that because I am apparently not very hip or cool.


Old and happy man.

Posted by The Inspector on June 25th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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This week I was fortunate to celebrate a milestone birthday. I consider myself fortunate because I realize that I could very easily not be here to celebrate this birthday. Just 4 months ago I was in a very serious accident that made me realize how precious life is. This was a milestone birthday because I turned 40 years old. This week I will also celebrate my 19th wedding anniversary. I will have spent almost half of my life as a married man. That is an accomplishment in this world. I have two wonderful and healthy children and a life that I feel lucky to have. There are so many people in my circle that are coping with issues that make me remember on a daily basis how blessed I am to be living the life I am. My birthday was completely uneventful and quiet and nonetheless wonderful because I am here and healthy.


Energizer bunny neighbor.

Posted by The Inspector on June 17th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Across the street there is a rental building. Since we have moved in the people who live there have changed multiple times. Recently an older woman stopped in our drive and asked if we were getting ready for a garage sale because she wanted to buy some of the thing she saw sitting in our drive. We were getting ready to at some point have a garage sale and decided to sell her some stuff. In fact we pretty much gave it to her just to get rid of it. I have to admit that I was a little weirded out because she was looking in our garage while we were in the house. It turns out that she was moving into the apartment building across the street. Since she has moved in she has now started to become a bit of a pest. She has been to our house almost every other day asking to use the phone and claiming her cell phone was dead. On another visit she wanted me to hook up her dryer vent for her. I went over and did it but kind of rudely explained that she really needed to ask her landlord or family to do this. She does have family who visit routinely. She has asked for rides places and was going door to door in the neighborhood wanting something tonight. She came to our door and ran the bell multiple times but we elected not to answer. I feel sort of bad but I am beginning to sense that she is not going to stop or take the hint. There is a certain liability I am not going to accept in handling household tasks for her in a rental property. I also don’t like the fact that she clearly has boundary issues and the fact that she told my wife her grandchildren will “rob you blind if you let them”.


Busy summer.

Posted by The Inspector on June 5th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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This summer’s calender is filling up very quickly. I can’t believe how fast it went from being a blank slate to booked solid. We love to be active and out in the great outdoors. Our children are not couch potatoes and want to be kept busy. Our hope is that, by teaching them health habits now, that they never have to worry about going on a quick weight loss diet when they get older. We want them to see hiking, camping, gardening, and being physically active as a way of life and not a chore. I can’t tell you the number of people we know who are raising the next generation of couch warmer’s. These will be the people who only connect with the world via their television or computer. I remember my summer’s being just full of good fun and that is what I want my children to remember. I don’t look back on my childhood and think of all the good times I spent in front of the television.


I hope it works.

Posted by The Inspector on June 5th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Our family is on a path to living as sustainably as possible. Part of this plan requires that we eat locally and provide as much food as we can ourselves. My wife has very big plans for canning a great deal of the food that we will eating in the coming year. She has invested a great deal of money and time learning everything that she can about canning. If you are not familiar with the process I must let you know that pressure canners, water bath canners, and canning jars are not cheap. Unless you can get tons of jars for free you can expect to shell out a lot of money for them. To have enough jars to put away food for a family of four means you need hundreds of jars. She has been buying them new and used for several months. Tomorrow she is going to put all of this planning to the test. We picked up a half bushel of peaches today and the plan is to get them canned tomorrow. I really, really hope it works.


Pretending…

Posted by The Inspector on June 5th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Since the neighbor lady screamed at me for mowing her lawn she seems to have become blind. Even though I feel her behavior was really inappropriate I still make it a point to speak to her. For whatever reason she pretends to be engaged in reading whenever she is sitting outside. I know that she is likely just staring a magazine advertisements or diet pill reviews in an attempt to avoid me. Our lawns are set up such that you could not miss a fully grown man standing or working a few feet away from you. My suspicion is that she has either decided she was inappropriate and is embarrassed by her behavior. My wife tends to think that the lady feels that her behavior was acceptable and is now just giving me the cold shoulder to make a point. I don’t really care and find it humorous. I am going to continue speaking to her just to make my own point.


Peas in a pod.

Posted by The Inspector on June 5th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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My children are almost seven years apart in age. They are different in so many way that I absolutely love. They are also alike in so many ways it is funny. You would think that children that far apart in age wouldn’t have a great deal in common. When it comes to clothes they like to wear, food, and television they are like two peas in a pod. It makes it very easy to shop for so many things. They also play really well together despite their obvious difference in abilities. My older son engages his little brother in whatever he wants to play no matter how silly he might think it is. Our little guy tries as hard as he can to keep up with his older brother’s antics. I can only hope the relationship that they have continues to thrive as the age differences become more apparent when the teenage years come to our house.


Driver in training.

Posted by The Inspector on June 5th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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I really couldn’t tell who was more excited about getting the lawn mower running my older or myself. He was quite literally jumping up and down when he heard the engine take off. I think it is because he knew that he was going to be taught how to use it. The child is just growing up so fast! Before I know it he is going to be shaving and needing an acne treatment for his face. He couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel and take the mower for a spin around the yard. He is a bit of a distracted driver making it a bit worrisome to let him loose behind the wheel. I can only hope that I can teach him some skills that will transfer to the time when he get behind the wheel of an auto for the first time. Right now we are working on being aware of what is in front of you at all times. How many driver’s on the road today could use a refresher on that particular skill? I must spot at least a dozen a day who seem to be doing anything but paying attention to the road in front of them. My opinion is to start small with something like the lawn mower and implant some very clear driving rules now that will be cemented in his mind over time.


Mission accomplished.

Posted by The Inspector on June 5th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Have you ever had something that you just needed to get done? I am talking about the type of thing that is more about proving you can do it than really needing to get it done. This happened to me this week when I was gifted a riding lawn mower. This particular lawn mower was one that my in-laws asked me to help fix. I told them what needed to be done to it and tried to assist. My father-in-law refused to accept any of my suggestions and ultimately declared the lawn mower to be junk. When it was all said and done they wanted to get rid of it and offered it to me. For the last week I have tested various theories about fixing the lawn mower. After trial and error I have reached success. Tonight the lawn mower is running like a dream and the lawn is mowed. I love my in-laws and they are good people but for some reason they always seem to think I don’t know anything about anything. I don’t know whether to keep the mower and tell them I fixed it or give it back. If I give it back it will seem like I am saying “there I told you so” don’t you think? They have already bought a new riding lawn mower and have little use for a second one at this time.


Cool and unexpected.

Posted by The Inspector on June 3rd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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A few weeks ago my wife completed an online survey from our power company. The purpose of the survey was to evaluated the energy usage in your home and offer ideas for reducing energy consumption. The survey took some time and my wife completed it just to see what might be suggested. There were a lot of good ideas like wrapping our hot water heater and installing new low flow faucets. Most of the ideas were things that we were already doing. Today a box arrived in the mail from the power company. When my wife opened it she found it was full of neat things. The box contained led nightlights, CFL lightbulbs, low flow faucet heads, and smart power surge protectors. All in all there was about $75.00 in free goodies in the box. Even better is that fact that we were able to put all of them to good use immediately. I have to say that when you are offered the opportunity to take a survey you might want to agree. This was definitely one we feel was worth the time it took to complete.


Goofy people.

Posted by The Inspector on June 3rd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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There are a couple of things about myself that I think are good qualities. The one that comes to mind right now is that I am a good guy and will help anyone I can. This week I learned that some people will just let you help them until something tees them off and then they turn on you. Over the two years we have lived in this house I have cleared snow and leaves for my elderly neighbors countless times. I have also given them fruit when we went picking it and taken over bake goods my wife has made. Mowing a portion of their lawn is something I have also done. For whatever reason this has made them mad. The neighbor lady decided to scream at me out her window and inform me that I needed to know where my property lines were and that I was in her yard. So, what have we learned here? We have learned that people are unpredictable and weird. We have learn not to cross the imaginary line dividing our properties and that being kind is not always appreciated. Who really knows what the issue is but you had better believe I am done doing what I have been doing.


Buggin’ out

Posted by The Inspector on June 2nd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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So my neighbor has decided that the spiders are coming to get her as she calls me over at least twice a day to kill one that is crawling on her wall or computer. She swears that someone must be giving them soem form of human growth hormone supplements as she always seems to be describing them as,”the size of my fist”. Funny, the instructions didn’t say they would get that big. The size of a quarter maybe but the size of your fist? Oh well one can dream, especially of the cubicle that they want.


Out with the old…in with the old

Posted by The Inspector on June 2nd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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So to make up for not hiring a a new person, state in its infinite wisdom has decided to upgrade our computer system to the most affordable OS on the market right now. So one at a time, each computer is having VISTA uploaded on it I guess they didn’t get the memo that windows has since come out with a new OS that makes VISTA obsolete. And didn’t VISTA suck in the first place making most of the world wish they could downgrade to XP?


Hottie you ain’t

Posted by The Inspector on June 2nd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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So my neighbor came back to her cubicle, she took half a day to go to the beach. She is a pretty women but says she knows her limitations with beach wear and tries to be as modest as she can. I sometimes wish more women would do this. I realize that summer is here more or less but that does not give you an excuse to try to squeeze a size 25 body into a size 5 tube top. If they would do something like exercise or look into some of the best weight loss products rather than Mountain Dew and Snickers, tey may eventually be able to fit into it, then again maybe not.


Bad Spider…No Touchy Touchy

Posted by The Inspector on June 2nd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Our office is now infested with spiders as it is every spring when they hatch in drove. I think my neighbor in the next cubicle was carried away by spiders during lunch which wouldn’t bother me because it would mean I could have a cubicle with an air conditioner. Supposedly they are going to wait longer this year to spray the office i order to save money and do it once rather than twice like they normally do. I have a huge one outside my window I have named Stewy from Family Guy. I am waiting to see if there are any remains of my neighbor left in his web as I will need verification of her death in order to get her cubicle.


Deer in the headlights

Posted by The Inspector on June 2nd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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So the word came down that not only are they not going to replace our retiree but they are not going to replace the next two people that quit or retire or jump out the third story window due to frustration. The woman next to me has had this dazed look on her face all day like she is standing in line at Walmart staring at the point of purchase displays but for hours rather than the 5 minute it takes to get through the line. We had a meeting about this with our department supervisor who says we need to just keep doing what we are doing and not let it bother us. Easy for her to say, she isn’t doing renewals from last month still.


More with less than less.

Posted by The Inspector on June 2nd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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My office is now smaller by one. I suppose that if I had been there for 30 years I could easily look at the pile of work increasing in size on my desk and say it was time to retire. So now the question is will they replace her. The initial answer to this has been no and that we will all have to pick up the extra work. So we have another lucky few who can retire the following year as the contract is renewed. If they feel that they don’t need to replace them then they may lose a few more to frustration.


Retirement…

Posted by The Inspector on May 20th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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My job, as I have mentioned on numerous occasions, is a pretty thankless one. I work for a public service agency serving needy populations. It is the type of job that many people retire from because the benefits and pension opportunities are so good. We have several people retiring this year in our office. It struck me as odd that one of them made quite a fuss about refusing to let anyone in the office acknowledge in any form that she was retiring. She made it very clear that even though she has spent 35 years in the same office with many of the same people that she did not want a party, a cake, or even a card. Maybe I will feel differently when I reach that stage of life but it strikes me as unusual. Who knows in 30 years if I won’t be telling them to ignore my retirement and just get me a discount cigar to smoke on the way out the door! Right now I just feel that 35 years of service would make you want some sort of pat on the back or something.


Man thoughts…

Posted by The Inspector on May 20th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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What is it about women that makes them need to have conversation at the oddest times? My wife is not much of a talker during the day. She is a thinker and like to have her mind actively pondering the world around her. The problem is that she waits until we are in bed to talk and talk. It is not that I don’t want to talk to her but must it always begin to occur at 11:00 at night? It must have something to do with feeling like she has a captive audience or that I will focus on what she is saying because there is nothing to distract me. All I really want to do at that hour is to sleep. I don’t want to discuss earth ovens or homemade grooming products. I just want a deep relationship with my pillow.


The talk.

Posted by The Inspector on May 20th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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We have noticed over the last several months that our older son is maturing. He is acting much more like a teenager and less and less like a child. We see that he is starting to be interested in girls and sees them not as just other human beings. I am being told I have to have “the talk” with him soon. I am not worried that he is going to get himself in trouble or that we will be getting baby shower invitations at any point in the future but we still need to talk. It is just hard because it seems like only yesterday we were sending him off to preschool and today we are heading toward middle school. I never really believed people who said your children will be grown before you know it but I can now see the truth in the statement. Does anyone have a good website to teach you what to say to your child about this subject?


One project after another.

Posted by The Inspector on May 20th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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We are a fairly green family. This isn’t to say that we are going off grid anytime soon but we are inching closer. The thing about really choosing to go after a sustainable type of lifestyle is that you can’t sit on your butt. There are projects to be done and it doesn’t seem to end when you first get started. I suppose if you made one little change and then another a bit later it would be less work. We jumped in with both feet and have never looked back. There are rain barrels to be built and raised garden beds to be tended to. There is food to make and cleaning supplies to attend to. It can be a bit much until you get a system going. Once the system is going it can take on an entertaining aspect because you never have to worry about being bored. Our kids are starting to think of it as everyday life and that is pretty cool. I love that they will not feel that they have to rely on someone to provide for them and will know how to do it themselves. We are getting there but I would still love the occasional mindless day of television.


New options.

Posted by The Inspector on May 15th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Last month was a big month for us. We were able to be able to pay off a significant amount of debt that had been hanging over our heads for a number of years. It is really neat to see how a world of possibilities becomes available when you are not living under the threat of debt. I no longer have to stay in my job because I have so many obligations that I won’t be able to pay bills if I don’t stay in the same job. I am now looking into other jobs that will enable me to actually do something that means something to me. I am not worried about debt or what type of employment screening that I may have to endure because I feel empowered to make different choices. It is hard to describe but I no longer that I am stuck into a job that drains me just because it pays well and has great benefits. I can now work from home or go back school part-time because I know that we will be alright.


Metal detecting finds.

Posted by The Inspector on May 15th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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This week I took my older son out for a session of metal detecting at a local park. The park is an older one that not many people visit. I was fairly certain that no one had been metal detecting in this area recently. There was a great deal of standing water that made it pretty nasty because of all the bugs and mosquitoes. After searching the entire park we netted about 75 cents. Not much for an hour of work but that wasn’t the point. What we did manage to do was spend some great time together talking about whatever came to mind. It is interesting see how my son’s mind works when there is nothing around to distract him. The child is absolutely amazing in what his brain is thinking about. I have to say even if all we ever find is quarters and dimes that is just fine with me because what I find when we go out “hunting” together is even more valuable. I find the kid that is sometimes hidden when there are cartoons and video games for him to focus on.


Good eating…

Posted by The Inspector on May 15th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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We have been trying to eat as naturally as possible for several months now. After watching the movie “Food Inc.” it became clear that we needed to make some changes in our views and attitudes about food. The changes we have made have involved making as much of our food as possible from scratch. You would think that all of this natural eating would lead to some sort of weight loss but it hasn’t. The fact is that if it weren’t for my goal of eating naturally I would be seriously looking into phentremine or something to help me get this excess weight off. The reality is that good and healthy weight in excess amounts will make you gain weight just like eating too much junkie processed food. What I need is self-control and somehow I need to summon that because my summer clothes are just way too tight this year. You really can eat too much homemade granola, sourdough whole wheat English muffins, and other natural goodies.


Glue or velcro?

Posted by The Inspector on May 15th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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We don’t watch a great deal of television. For some reason this does not stop us from perpetually losing our television remote control. The decor in our house is pretty simple and you would think that loosing something like the remote control wouldn’t happen. There isn’t a day this week that I haven’t asked someone in our house where I might find the remote control. I realize that I could just get up and change the channel but that is not why I pay so much money each month for a special remote for our satellite dish subscription. I pay money so that I can sit on my rear and flip through channels to my heart’s desire without moving from the couch. When I do find the remote I am giving consideration to putting velcro on it and sticking it to the arm of the couch. I know that would look great but it would lower my frustration level just a bit.


TMJ…

Posted by The Inspector on May 15th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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For about a month I have been having terrible pain in one side of my jaw and around my ear. I finally bucked under the pain and went to see the doctor. I have been a little concerned that since I hit my head really hard in the car accident, in February, that maybe I had somehow damaged my jaw. The pain was waking me up at night and I couldn’t chew comfortably. I even gave consideration to tracking down the best sleep aids just to see if I could get a bit of rest. The doctor looked me over and listened to what I had to say. He said he doubted the accident caused the pain and that it was likely more stress related. His diagnosis was that I have “TMJ” and he prescribed me steroids and muscle relaxers. Between the two the pain has lessened and I am at least able to eat comfortably. I am wondering what will happen when I don’t have muscle relaxers to rely on. My stress level is not any greater than it has ever been so I doubt that is actually a factor in what is going on. I suppose the passage of time is the only way to know what is really going to happen.


Less technology.

Posted by The Inspector on May 15th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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This was one of those days where I spent it doing everything except relaxing. I started a project first thing this morning that sounds like it should be pretty cut and dry. Of course it turned out to be anything but easy. The project involved taking out our 22 year old dishwasher and replacing it with a simple storage place. My wife had realized that she would prefer hand washing dishes to putting them in a dishwasher that used 15 gallons of water and ran for over an hour each time. Our water bills skyrocket each month we rely heavily on the dishwasher. I decided to go along with her suggestion because our kitchen is really small and extra storage space would be great. Removing the dishwasher and building the shelves ended up taking about 6 hours because the previous owners had rigged absolutely everything imaginable in that area of the kitchen. I ended needing new pipes for the sink, new wiring for the outlets that were for some reason running off the wiring to the dishwasher and many other things. At long last the project is done and everything works. The wife is happy and I can now sit down to enjoy what is left of my Saturday. Did I mention there was also a lawn that needed mowing today?


What a water bill!

Posted by The Inspector on May 12th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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For almost a year we have fervently hoped that our youngest son would finally be potty trained. It seemed like no matter what we tried to coerce him into using the toilet he simply would have nothing to do with the idea. We watched videos about potty training, tried bribing him, and even showed him every imaginable toilet that was with in reason. I am sure the child has looked at more toilets than a Saniflo toilet salesman. Finally, when it seemed like we really would be sending him to school in diapers something clicked and he started using the toilet. Within a week I would say the child was completely potty trained. In hindsight this is not atypical behavior for him. He really has done everything on his own schedule. Once he gets it in his mind to do something he does it completely. The only thing I wasn’t prepared for when he was finally potty trained is how it would impact our water bill. Because of hid new found fascination with the toilet he is forever flushing it just for the sheer pleasure he seems to derive from the experience. I guess I have to weigh the saving of no longer having to buy diapers against the extra money we are spending in water consumption and realize that his fascination will eventually fade.


Metal detecting find.

Posted by The Inspector on May 12th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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I am finally reporting that my metal detecting efforts have been paying off. Having a decent metal detector makes the process infinitely easier than using my old cheap metal detector. I no longer have to waste my time digging up every stray pop tab or scrap of metal to find out what the detector is reading. This particular metal detector has different reading for various types of metals. You know before you start digging if what you are going after is silver or some other metal. Last week I found a silver dollar that was dated 1899! This was a pretty decent find for just about 10 minutes of actual searching in that particular location.`My family is now keenly interested in metal detecting with me because we no longer waste tons of time digging up useless garbage. It would be really nice if I could find enough coins and jewelry to reimburse the cost of the metal detector. This shouldn’t take too long if I can just find the right location to search.


Handy billing.

Posted by The Inspector on May 4th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Given that my job is pretty stressful I am always trying to find ways to remind myself that this job does have certain perks. One thing that I really appreciate is being able to take part in group discounts on auto and life insurance. We are able to have these bills directly paid via payroll deductions. This is a really handy thing to have because I never have to worry about my bills being paid late. This is one less thing we have to worry about taking care of each month. I almost wish I could have all of my bills handled this way. We are also able to save money this way because of taking advantage of the group rates available to us. This almost means we don’t have to write checks or run to the post office for stamps. Can you tell I am trying to convince myself just how great this is? This is a pretty busy time at work and we are all under a great deal of pressure to meet our deadlines. I need all the encouragement I can get right now even if it means making a real stretch to look for the good things about my job. When everyone around me is complaining and griping I find it even more necessary to look at my cup as being at least halfway full.


Metal detecting.

Posted by The Inspector on May 4th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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About a week ago my new metal detector arrived in the mail. This is something I have wanted for a very long time. The metal detector is absolutely amazing for finding coins and jewelry. It is a pretty pricey piece of equipment but I can already tell that it will pay for itself many times over in the coming years. Last night within 5 minutes of going outside I found an 1899 silver dollar. The value of this one coin can range from $30.00 to over $200.00 depending on a number of factors. I haven’t had time to look up the exact value of this coin but figure it was a great find either way. Given that I only spent about a half and hour looking for coins last night I think I did pretty well earnings wise. I would love to be able to find my wife some jewelry or something along those lines. About 16 years ago I lost my wedding band during a softball game and think it would be really great if I could go back to that field and find the ring. It would be a great find considering our 19th anniversary is just about a month away. She was skeptical of spending so much money on a metal detector but I think she is slowly seeing exactly why a more sensitive piece of equipment can pay for itself many times over. I almost wish I had bought it sooner and not spent so much time with an inexpensive metal detector.


Ten years.

Posted by The Inspector on May 4th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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The government has a plan for public service employees that allows student loans to be forgiven. The basic idea is that those people who work in public service will be eligible for student loan forgiveness after ten years in the field. You have to make student loan payments in a timely manner during this time and remain in full-time employment. For someone with significant amounts of student loans like myself this is a great program. As much as my job stresses me out there is no way I will be sending out resumes any time soon. The amount of loans that I could potentially have forgiven would make it foolish for me to consider going to work in the public sector. I realize that this is exactly what this type of program is designed to do. The program encourages people to pursue public service over work in the private sector in exchange for loan reductions. My salary may be lower for the time being but it will average out to more than I would make in the public sector once my loans are forgiven. I would encourage you to look into this program if you are working in a public service type of profession.


Gardening time

Posted by The Inspector on May 4th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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This weekend we put the final touches on our new garden bed. We decided to go with a raised garden bed instead of tilling the soil and trying to work with it as it is. The raised bed is considerable more expensive but the ease of using it already seems worth it. We build a 16 x 8 foot bed and fenced it in with chicken wire. We have tons of rabbits around and hopefully they will be detoured by the chicken wire. This is a family project so what we are planting is a mixture of what we collectively are interested in growing. So far we have put lettuce, carrots, and beans in the ground. Waiting in the wings are cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers. The children want nothing to do with vegetables and are intent on growing flowers and pumpkins. In addition to the garden bed we also have several containers with plants in them and a plot at the community garden we will be using later this month. We are hoping to be able to grow enough fresh vegetable to have our summer meal needs met. This might be a lofty goal but maybe luck will be on our side this summer. Either way we should learn what works and what doesn’t in order to make a better garden next year.


I do not know.

Posted by The Inspector on April 27th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Just when I thought that we were done with the question phase of childhood in our house it has started up again. Anyone with children knows the phase that I am talking about. This is the stage of childhood where your child just asks a constant array of questions. These answers to these questions are often pretty obvious. There was a point where I was convinced that my older son simply like to hear himself talk because he knew the answers to the questions he was asking. Today the questions he asks are so complex that I am often stumped. It wouldn’t surprise me to be asked about a prototype 37c review or the future of nano technology all in the course of a conversation with the child. He is like this big sponge soaking up every bit of information or media that passes his way. There are already questions coming at me that throw me for a loop. I find myself directing him to Google more and more because I simply don’t have the answers he is seeking. The only problem is that I don’t want him to stop asking them because you never know who he might turn to for answers.


Brain drain.

Posted by The Inspector on April 27th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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This week I read a great book about the American food system. It was an enlightening read about just how and where our food comes from. I do believe that if more people knew how that egg or steak got to their plate they wouldn’t see it as such a great tasting meal. One thing that struck me in the book was a discussion on the “brain drain” that is taking place in rural America. Essentially there is little keeping the best and brightest in rural America. Jobs and earning a living are far more possible in bigger cities. The person being interviewed in the book detailed how our food chain is only as safe as the people who are growing our food. This really is something to think about when you consider giving a not to bright person the challenge of growing alot of food as quickly as possible. Consider for a moment how easy it would be to convince someone with lesser knowledge or world experience to use a particular method of growing animals or crops. Is this what we really want for our food system? I encourage everyone to check out the book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” for more information on this subject.


Take me away.

Posted by The Inspector on April 27th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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As I sit here typing my children are fighting over some magnetic building toys. I usually try to let them sort these type of arguments out for themselves before jumping in the middle. I believe that they learn something in the process of trying to come to an agreement. I must admit that I wish I had a button that would allow me to click here and be transported away while they have these arguments. The squealing and bantering does wear on a person’s nerves after a while. They are really good children who love each other dearly but like all children they fight. I sometime will take a toy and hold it myself when they can’t come to an agreement. In situation I believe I must interject and suggest that another identical structure be built. This should bring the bickering to an abrupt halt. If it does not I may be the temporary owner of a magnetic robot for the time being. I doubt that button I dream about is going to come into existence any time soon.


Making logs.

Posted by The Inspector on April 27th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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We burn a wood fire occasionally just to switch things up a bit. This is not our main source of heat. I have always bought wood from a neighbor. Since we use so little it really isn’t that much of an expense. I read about a device you can use to make logs out of paper. I haven’t known anyone personally that uses one. It appeals to me on one level and concerns me on another. I am not sure that I would use these logs in our fireplace because they sound like they would produce more smoke than fire. I would think however that they would prove useful when camping and put all of that excess paper to good use. I am sure there are those that would argue the environmental impact of burning these “logs”. Our local recycling project does not accept alot of the paper waste we produce and this would seem like a good alternative to throwing all that paper in the trash. Have you used one of these devices and if so what do you think of them specifically for logs for camping?


Pre K online.

Posted by The Inspector on April 16th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Next month we are doing something that I never thought we would do. It is not anything wild or crazy but just not something we envisioned in our lives. We will be enrolling our youngest son in a cyber pre-kindergarten. Who would have envisioned when we were going to school that one day our children would attend school via a computer in our dining room. We never intended to home school our children but disappointment and frustration with our public school system has brought us to this point. When we started cyber schooling our older son I was not aware of this type of opportunity being available to the little children like my younger son. This is going to be an exciting experience for our home family as it means we are finally committing to home schooling our entire family. I will keep you posted on how it works out!


Walking tall.

Posted by The Inspector on April 16th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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There have been plenty of posts on this blog about my accident in February. I am happy to report I am now walking proudly on two feet. The doctor has proclaimed my ankle to be fully healed. The only thing left for me to do is to keep moving it and work on regaining my strength. I am surprised to find out that my leg is not more painful to use than it is. I would have thought that after two month of immobility that I would feel each and every step I take but for the most part things are good. Sure, it is stiff and feels weird but it feel like my leg. The pins don’t seems to be as much of an issue as I would have thought. I am just glad to once again be wearing two shoes and plodding the ground. I figure by the end of summer I will be back to my old self once again.


Not a fun night.

Posted by The Inspector on April 15th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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The other night I went to turn off one of our computers and received a message that the computer was infected. This threw me for a loop because I am very avid about keeping my virus software up to date. Many years ago I had a computer trashed by a particularly bad virus and lost everything in the computer memory. This is not something I hope to ever repeat. Instantly on seeing this message I began to search my computer and found out that somehow we had been infected with malware. I suspect this was due to the children playing on the computer and absently clicking on the wrong thing. It took several hours to get the computer fully functional again. I now have to work on setting up a single computer that the children are allowed to use and a system for keeping them away from the other ones in the house. This is easier said than done when you have a 3 year old who is more computer savvy than my parents. We may just have to build an locking box to store the keyboard and mouse in if he continues to turn on the computer and navigate his way to his favorite websites.


Mowing.

Posted by The Inspector on April 15th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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About two months ago I was sitting on the couch worried about the future. The reason I was worried about the future is because I had a cast on my leg. Being a very active person the idea that my leg my never work the same was more than a bit disturbing. If you are a couch potato the idea of not being able to ride a bike or play a round of golf might not be worrisome. These are things I am very fond of doing and having them possibly taken out of my life is not a good thing. I am happy to report that I mowed the lawn for the first time this year! This might not be a huge thing to most of you but for me it is. Knowing that I can mow my lawn without pain is great. This is the first truly physically exerting activity I have undertaken since getting the cast off my leg. The next step is going to a short bicycle ride and then I will feel truly back on track. If that goes well I am setting up a tee time for a round of golf as a reward to myself for making through the accident and standing on two feet once again.


The time is almost here.

Posted by The Inspector on April 5th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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This weekend I took steps to begin preparing our camper for the upcoming season. It doesn’t seem possible that a year ago we saw an advertisement for an rv for sale and decided to buy it. We have loved the difference that having a camper makes in our ability to really enjoy camping. You just sleep so much better when you are up off the ground and warm at night. This is especially true when you are camping with young children. If the children don’t sleep well at night it can make for a miserable trip. Our children sleep well and the entire family actually feels rested after a camping trip rather than returning home and needing another vacation because we are so tired. It would be really hard for us to go tent camping again at this point. The camper has truly spoiled us with the little luxury you just can’t have in a tent. Our camper is almost 16 years old but we love it nonetheless.


Just giving it away.

Posted by The Inspector on April 5th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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We have been putting stuff into our garage over the last several months in hopes of having a garage sale. This weekend I was sorting through stuff and a couple of people stopped and wanted to buy different items. Our neighbor stopped and asked for something else I had sitting out. Finally I decided to just put the more worn stuff on the curb with a “free” sign on it. By the end of the night all of it was gone and the garage was clean. No, I didn’t make much money at all. In the end I can feel good about giving furniture to a woman getting a second start in life, a college student going out in the world for the first time, and a handicapped child in a wheelchair needing some new bedroom furniture. My mother is always saying I am foolish for giving stuff away but I don’t care. I have to believe that somehow this spirit is a little contagious and the people who receive this stuff will in turn share their “extra” stuff when they are able to do so.


Two car house again.

Posted by The Inspector on April 3rd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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This week we were finally able to pick up our new car. This is always a fun family event. The kids absolutely love the idea of getting anything new and a car is an especially big deal for them. I think they thought we were never going to bring it home but it took a little while for us to find the right car insurance. The car is a one year lease vehicle and there were special things that we wanted to make sure to have on the policy. After having recently been through a serious accident I have a different point of view on what exactly you need to have insurance coverage for. Now that we have two cars life is so much less complicated. We no longer have to juggle schedules and appointments which is really nice. It is also a real joy to have a new car even if it is only for one year. We intend to fully enjoy the car while we have it and know that after a year is up we will not be replacing it with a new vehicle. This car is a special one year perk from my father’s job and he retires next year. After this year we will have to return to reality and our very modest automobile budget.


Two feet.

Posted by The Inspector on April 3rd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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This weekend I broke the rules. I know, I know but you can beat with with a wet noodle on another day. The thing is I just cannot stand to wear this walking cast for one more day. Technically, I am supposed to wear it until this Wednesday but I just needed to feel the ground fully beneath both feet again. I put on my second shoe and it felt great. I am surprised that I am not feeling more pain than I am. Things are stiff and I feel a little week but it doesn’t feel painful at all! I am now feeling so much more optimistic about what the future will be like with these pins in my ankle. I envisioned not being able to do all the things I enjoy this summer but it looks like I will be able to. I may not be speedy at them or be able to do them for very long but at least I will be doing them. Two feet on the ground is wonderful after all these weeks.


Sleep walking child.

Posted by The Inspector on March 24th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Since moving to our house we had not had a single regret. Living here is an absolute joy compared to the area where we used to live in. It is so nice not to have to woken up every night to the sounds of screaming, sirens, or drunken parties next door. What surprises me is that since moving our older son has taken to sleep walking on a pretty consistent basis. I worry the child isn’t getting enough decent sleep and it will impact him in some way. I know that his nightly wandering is leaving both my wife and I in need of an anti wrinkle crème due to our sleepless nights. It is hard to get back to sleep when we are getting up with him on a nightly basis and putting him back to bed. There is nothing that we can pinpoint as the cause of his sleep walking. Most of the time he is in quite a jovial mood while in the midst of wandering around around the house. There is nothing that he talks about that would imply some dark thing troubling his mind. Sometimes he laughs for quite long time over whatever it is that is amusing him. He never seems to remember any of this and has no recollection of our talking with him while he is up and about. I am hoping it is just a developmental phase and it passes soon.


How many times…

Posted by The Inspector on March 24th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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My mother’s side of the family has been riddled with cancer. There seems to be no known reason for this. I feel especially bad for my one aunt and her children. This aunt has lost one grandchild to cancer, almost lost another, and almost lost the mother of both of these children to cancer as well. During these several years of dealing with cancer in her immediate family she herself was diagnosed with kidney cancer. Her daughter had leukemia, one grand daughter a brain tumor, and the other grand daughter bone cancer. After everyone completed treatment and worked through the grief of loosing a grand daughter, child, and sister it was thought that this evil would not show its face again. Since then my own mother has had breast cancer and is thankfully doing fine. This week however she got the call that her sister, the one who had kidney cancer, now has breast cancer and is facing a double mastectomy. I just ask how many times is this family going to have to deal with this?


Who designs this stuff?

Posted by The Inspector on March 24th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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If there is one thing I have to have in the refrigerator it is iced tea. I probably drink a gallon or two a week. I love all types of tea and routinely mix up a couple of different types. I love green iced tea and hear that it is some sort of natural fat burner which makes it even better in my book. The thing I can never get over it the design of the containers they sell more making tea and other beverages in. It seems that no matter what type I buy there is always one area of the container that you just can’t properly clean. The last container I had it was impossible to clean the spout because it was one interconnected piece. With my current container the handle is hollow which allows stuff to settle in the crevices. Because the handle is angle there is no way to get at this stuff and clean it. I have tried everything and ultimately end of replacing each one when I can’t stand it any longer. I am now hunting for something without and bells and whistles that I know I can get spotless between batches.


Spam makes me laugh.

Posted by The Inspector on March 24th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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I don’t generally publish comments on this blog because most of them are just spammy nonsense. I do however read comments because it never fails to amuse me. I love when someone just randomly hits each and every one of my blogs and leaves the same comment. I always appreciate comments in foreign languages. I suspect a great deal of this is because there is a list out there that has circulated listing 200-300 blogs that give “free” links to anyone who comments. Well, sorry to disappoint but it just isn’t true about this blog :razz: Please continue to comment however because I love knowing where exactly I can purchase Vagra if I need it or have a sudden need to put myself into therapy!


The bug is gone.

Posted by The Inspector on March 24th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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For the last 5 days everyone in my house seems to have had a bug. Had we all came down with it collectively I would have suspected food poisoning. This occurred slowly over several days and was like a colon cleansing diet if you know what I mean. Not exactly the way I would choose to shed a couple of pounds but we seem to be over it. Given that we home school I always wonder exactly how the children come to pick up these bugs. The upside is that they pick up considerably fewer illnesses since we started home schooling. I know that not everyone can or wants to school this way but it does keep the kids healthier. I have friends that insist getting colds and illnesses are good for children yet they complain when their kids spend more time out of school sick than in. I may end up being on the wrong side of this argument at some point but for now I am glad not to be dealing with a cold every other week during the winter.


My toy has arrived!

Posted by The Inspector on March 24th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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The FedEx man just dropped off my new conical fermenter. I cannot believe how fast it arrived. The place I ordered it from said to estimate about 15 days for shipping but it is here in less than a week. High Gravity Brewing is thus far awesome in my opinion! The price was at least $30.00 less than anywhere else including the shipping and it arrived promptly. This weekend we are going to get the supplies to get our first batch started. This conical will brew 5 gallons a time. It says 6.5 gallons but I prefer to err on the lower side after my previous wine making disasters. People are often surprised to find out I make wine given that I am not really much of a drinker. I equate it to any hobby and that it is a love of the process rather than necessarily the product. It is fun to take a raw product and turn it into something completely different.


Not insightful.

Posted by The Inspector on March 24th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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This morning I had a follow-up appointment with doctor for my ankle. My understanding was that today he would remove the cast and I would be able to walk around in regular shoes. As it turns out I have to wear a walking boot for another couple of weeks. I also thought I would gain some insight into what the future my hold for my injured leg. It has concerned me as to whether I will need knee arthritis treatment in the future. Everything I read says that broken bones and injuries like mine can predispose you to arthritis in the future. I know the doctor can predict what will happen in the next 10-20 years but I was hoping for a more enlightening visit that I had.


The conical is coming.

Posted by The Inspector on March 24th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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For about two years I have wanted a conical fermenter in a pretty big way. I have this hobby of making wine but the problem has been that my wine is not very good. I equate the wine being bad with not having the right tools for job. I have finally convince my wife that given the proper equipment that I can indeed produce a non-exploding and tasty bottle of wine. She relented and we have ordered a conical fermenter that should arrive today! This weekend we are heading to a juice supplier to purchase 5 gallons of juice to start our first batch. It will be pretty exciting to see if the conical is as great as everyone says it is. It will also be nice to prove to everyone who was the unfortunate recipient of my previous wine making attempts that I can make decent bottle of wine.


The scale jumped.

Posted by The Inspector on March 24th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Over the last two months I haven’t been very active as a result of my injuries from the car accident. I have sensed that my waistline has been gradually increasing over this period. Yesterday, I stepped on the scale for the first time and saw a shocking number. In two months I have gained 13 pounds. I can seriously see one of those quick weight loss diets if this continues! I don’t tend to gain weight very easily but all of this sitting around and doing nothing has apparently changed that. It will be at least another two weeks before I can start getting any type of regular exercise. The doctor has extended the time that I have to wear this boot for two more weeks. I really want to be able to at the very least be able to ride bikes with my kids by the end of the summer. That seems like a realistic goal but you never know. Just when I think I have this healing thing figured out there seems to be a new kink in the works.


I just don’t know.

Posted by The Inspector on March 24th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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When it comes to health care and insurance I would like to think that I know a great deal. This had led many other people in my circle to believe that I have more insight into what is going on with health care reform than I actually do. My mother-in-law has been increasingly turning to me for guidance as she prepares to retire in the upcoming year. Given the constantly changing situation with the reforms underway I have absolutely no idea how to direct her. I honestly think very few people truly grasp what is happening or will happen in the coming months and years. The sense of uncertainty she feels is likely being felt by seniors across the country. All of this change makes me thankful that my retirement is far into the future and I will at least have time to prepare for it. I really feel for people at her stage of life who are having this thrust upon them will so little time to prepare or wrap their minds around it all.


The end of Lost.

Posted by The Inspector on March 21st, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Since the very beginning of the series “Lost” I have not missed an episode. There is something about this show that drew me in and made me want to keep watching. I have watched most of the series online since we don’t get local channels on our television. I am not ashamed to admit that I would watch countless advertisements for anything from estatecarinsurance.com to Florida orange juice in order to see a new episode of “Lost”. There are not many shows that I would say this about. Rarely does a program have such a storyline that no matter how hard to try to predict what is going to happen you just can’t. I read spoilers and blogs and not a one comes close to predicting how this series will play out. As I sit here watching the most recent episode I am reminded that this great program is about to come to an end. I can only hope that in some way there is a spin off or something so that I can continue to in some way enjoy this show just a little bit longer. I doubt that will happen but a guy can hope right?


The days are numbered.

Posted by The Inspector on March 21st, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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I am not much of a person for keeping lists or that sort of thing. Each day is pretty much something I just tackle as it comes. The accident changed this aspect of my personality. Once the cast was placed on my leg I instantly started a mental tally of exactly what the time frame was for my recovery. Immediately I began counting the days or rather the hours until the cast would be removed. Today I find myself just 3 days away from having unencumbered use of both feet again. I realize that life with a couple pins in my ankle will never be quite the same as it was before the accident. It doesn’t stop me from wanting whatever use I have of this ankle to become fully mine. Having people do things for me and not being able to help with things that need done has driven me crazy at times. I would love to sit and have a conversation with the driver who hit me and maybe help him realize what his choice to get behind the wheel did to me. This isn’t going to happen but it doesn’t stop me from wanting to at least voice my opinion on his decision to drive under the influence. Yes, he was not drunk or taking drugs but he admitted to taking copious amounts of cold medicine and that is in my mind no different than drinking and driving. If you doubt this just look at my leg and then maybe my car.


Where things stand.

Posted by The Inspector on March 16th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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It has been about 6 weeks since my accident. I am about 2 weeks away from having the cast removed from my leg. We have settled with our insurance company for our car and have now filed a bodily injury claim against the at fault driver. It has been quite a process to figure out of exactly things work in a situation like this. We weren’t sure if we needed someone sort of auto accident lawyer like those motorcycle accident lawyer advertisements you see in the phone book or not. For right now we are waiting to consult with an attorney because we know that the driver who hit me was poorly insured and has no assets. It is such a hard call to know how to proceed in this type of situation. Until we know what type of settlement his insurance company is going to make we are in a holding pattern before moving forward. I just keep telling myself that I am thankful to be alive and no matter what the future holds we are going to be fine.


What an experience.

Posted by The Inspector on March 16th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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In the last month I have learned way more than I ever wanted to about auto insurance! It is something I never hope to repeat but it has been a learning experience. Never again will we take for granted the value of paying for decent auto coverage. There are just some things that are not worth saving a buck or two each month. I am so thankful that we had adequate coverage because the driver who hit me was not adequately covered. Had we had to depend on his insurance to pay my bills it would be an even bigger mess than it is. I understand that people can only afford so much insurance but being under insured can ruin you! It only takes a moment of distraction and you could be driving into someone at 55 mph and almost ending their life. They could then rack of thousands of dollars in bills that you will be liable for in some way at some time. Protect yourself! Get rid of that cell phone, quit texting while and driving and get decent auto insurance.


Footrest

Posted by The Inspector on February 24th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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I took home my foot rest today from work. The boot that I have on allows me to hang my leg and foot over the edge of my chair like you normally would w/o the weight hanging down. So now that I have done this I wonder if I will be expected to carry my own files down to the central unit at the end of the hall. I figure now with the boot and the footrest gone, my co-workers will see this and I will lose the sympathy I have had for the last week at work. Oh well, I cant expect someone to get my coffee for me and carry my lunch back to my desk all of the time now can I.


Awkward

Posted by The Inspector on February 24th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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So where I work there are more women than men and most of the women do something else on the side to supplement their income. It’s not uncommon to go by the large table in the common area and find order forms laying out for a multitude of things whether it be for someone working in the office or for one of their children. A catalog for jewelry caught my eye the other day so I picked it up to look inside thinking that maybe I could find something for my wife for a mother’s day gift. One of the other women in the office walked by and made the comment that men look better in silver rather than the gold dangly ear rings I was looking at in the catalog. I looked at her and tried to think of a decent comeback for her but she was already half way down the hall and out of earshot. She was right though, I do look better in silver than I do in gold.


Sweet Relief

Posted by The Inspector on February 24th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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So I went to the Orthopedic Doctor who did my surgery and was met with some really good news. When the nurse started to cut my cast off I was under the assumption that I would be getting x-rays and then another plaster cast. Luckily I was wrong. The x-rays came back good so she fitted me with a walking boot which I found ironic as her last word to me before she pulled it off the shelf were that I still cant put any weight on my leg for another 4-5 weeks. But that I can live with as long as I can continue to take the boot off when I need to in order to let my foot air out, it was kind of stinky when they took the cast off.


Would you apply?

Posted by The Inspector on February 19th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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New washer…

Posted by The Inspector on February 19th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Our washing machine died on Sat. We have know it was coming for a while and have saved up to replace it. I’ve done repairs myself, just replaced the door switch on the dryer, etc. The baffles on my washer have worn out twice. Small loads aren’t a problem because you’re using so much less water/soap that it doesn’t bother me to run a small load. I want to get an extra large capacity since there are 4 of us and I want to reduce the number of loads. (Plus, I want to be able to wash our king size blanket and sleeping bags instead of taking them to the cleaners). I am finding all kinds of contrasting reviews on them online.


Cat Woman Wannabe.

Posted by The Inspector on February 18th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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One of our supervisors just came back from Mexico looking like she had been hit by a truck. She went down for what she called a “spa treatment” but looks like she did a little more that slather herself in tanning lotion and anti wrinkle eye cream. She is so bruised It looks like she got into a fight with someone and lost miserably. I cant think of any reason why I would want plastic surgery but if I did, how she looks now would cure me of ever wanting to have it done. I was really surprised to see her come back to work so soon until I found out that she had her thighs liposuctioned back in April and was out of vacation time because of this new set of “body tweaks”. Sucks to be her.


What a Ride :)

Posted by The Inspector on February 18th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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My dad doesn’t have that great of a track record but when he comes through he comes through in spades. The recent wreck had left us without a second vehicle. My dad works for Nissan and decided to help us out by getting a lease car for us at the price Nissan would charge him. So we got our Nissan Cube and have been jetting around as much as my wife will let us. I actually don’t mind the ride in this case. It gave me time to play with all of the new car gadgets, much to my wife’s chagrin. I think that I could have just stayed in the car and played with the satellite radio and the GPS until bedtime. Thanks dad.


Feeling my age

Posted by The Inspector on February 18th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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I am not old by any stretch of the imagination, but this ankle my have me feeling that way. I fractured my ankle in three places and had three screws put in. I wont be able to move like I used to and now I run the risk of arthritis and the thought of that sucks. I keep thinking that I need to do something radical like work the leg and ankle really good and look for some 50 gallon bucket of muscle builder supplements to build up what may be broken down. I want to get on a treadmill so bad I think I hear it running in my sleep. Hopefully things will go as I plan and in the next four weeks I will be able to get this thing off totally and get right into therapy. Maybe I can sneak in some therapy of my own before hand.


I think I am gelin’

Posted by The Inspector on February 18th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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So I went to the doctor today and had that god awful cast taken off of my leg and had it replaced with an air cast. I am ecstatic to say the least. I can now move my leg and not worry about smashing the cast into something and I will be able to sleep and not worry about doing bodily harm to my wife. I still cant put any weight on the leg itself but if I wanted to take th cast off to air my leg out I can. The best thing of it all is that I can now drive myself to work. Not that my wife will let me though, if she had her way she would have me get to work in a hamster ball.


Role Model……NOT!!!!

Posted by The Inspector on February 18th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Baseball can start an argument in my office. So I read today that Mark MacGwire is now the batting coach for the Cardinals. Now call me a purist, but I believe that if you lie about breaking a rule in a sport you need to be punished. Not that it was a big secret that a guy whose arms are as big as telephone poles is taking human growth hormone to play ball longer, but Mac lied about it. If he would have told the truth straight up that would be one thing but seven years later your kidding right? So that started the argument which extended on through afternoon break and it did not end until I actually gave in and submitted to the argument that at the time of the home run race between him and Sosa, it did help baseball out a lot. But he still lied.


Yeah Right!!!!

Posted by The Inspector on February 18th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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I work in an office where computers and the hardware attached to them are essential to the success of the job. So today our office gets an e-mail from our central unit stating that our office has been chosen to get new office equipment which includes new computers. Since our system goes up and down like a yoyo the thought of getting new computers and even a new server was enough to our office perk up for the 10 seconds it took us to get to the end of the e-mail. It’s amazing how quickly you can be deflated when you find out that yes you will be getting new equipment……..at the beginning of the fiscal year in 2012. Freakin hooray for us.


Hard Follow through

Posted by The Inspector on February 18th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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So now the women that I work with now know that I have been speaking with the woman who has been losing weight and they want to know her secret. Contrary to what they thought, there was not great secret, and they seemed a little let down when I told them her best weight loss product was simple discipline. She knew what she had to do and did it. It didn’t hit home with them because none of them seem to have the intrinsic or external motivation to lose the weight like she did. Or maybe they do and they just are lazy and want the easy way out.


Phew!!!!!

Posted by The Inspector on February 18th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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So I spoke the the women losing all the weight thinking that I would be less threatening than some of the cougars that troll our office and asked her how she did it. Thankfully she is not ill and says that she has taken walking every night no matter what the weather and has recently bought a treadmill so as to make it easier and warmer in the winter. So, no big secret as she is just doing what many of the people in our office can’t do, stay disciplined. Her doctor said it would benefit her health to lose the weight as she is getting close to 50 and does not want to be 50 and fat. Good for her.


A totally different her

Posted by The Inspector on February 18th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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There is women that nobody talks to but is losing weight like crazy. Everyone wants to find out what her secret is but they are all afraid that she is ill and losing weight due to illness. As far as diets that work go that would be a horrible way to loose weight and an even more horrible way to find out how the person is losing the weight. I wouldn’t want to be the person to find out that your co-worker who no-one speaks to is losing weight due to an incurable cancer and she is just waiting to die. But what if she wasn’t and had found the beat all weight loss gimmick. She and I could be the only two in the office who know about it because I had the balls to ask.


Cant say enough

Posted by The Inspector on February 18th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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So the broken leg is a hindrance, but the people I work with are going out of their way to make it as easy for me as possible. I can’t say enough how much I appreciate that. A lot of our printer islands were not made for someone with a cast on their leg so my co-workers take small shifts in asking me if there is anything at the printer that I need picked up or any thing that I need to have faxed. If I could maneuver around the things in front of the island I would be okay but even if I could I don’t think they would let me. It’s like having an office full of mom’s telling you what to do and making sure you are safe to go to the bathroom.


Too Much Hostess

Posted by The Inspector on February 16th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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I have a guy that I work with that got news from his doctor that no man wants to hear, your a type one diabetic because you are too fat. My Friend was having a slew of health issues which he new was from his weight, but was afraid to go to the doctor and get the news that he knew was coming. Now he is knee high in diabetic socks and is struggling to give himself the insulin shot that he needs everyday to survive. His doctor told him what that problem is but he seems to be in denial that eating Swiss Cakes and drinking Mountain Dew everyday for lunch are part of the problem. He might think differently after he has the heart attack he is heading for.


Finally back

Posted by The Inspector on February 16th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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So I finally made it back to work today, my first since the accident that broke my ankle. I gritted out the entire day with very little pain and swelling but I could not say the same for my wife. My wife is a trooper and works hard to make our house work so when I am down she has to work twice as hard, and sometimes she doesn’t pay attention when she does this. So she makes brownies for the kids today which really isn’t so uncommon but the burn she got from them was. She burned her thumb because she didn’t have the pad far enough up her hand when she grabbed the pan. So we make quite a pair now as she is my legs for some things and I am her hands for other things for her. Not that that really helps because even though I can pick it up I can’t really walk any where with it.


I liked it.

Posted by The Inspector on February 5th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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This week my wife made a trip to the Redbox and brought home a few videos for us to watch together. I generally do not look forward to this because all she ever picks out is romantic comedies. One of the movies she rented was “The Proposal” with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. I went into watching the movie with a fairly negative attitude but have to say I ended up enjoying the movie. Not only did it make me laugh many times it also made me want to pick up and go look for Anchorage real estate. The character Ryan Reynolds plays ends up being from a tiny town in Alaska. The scenery was absolutely beautiful and exactly the type of place I would love to be able to raise my family. The storyline is fairly predictable but the actors somehow made it all pretty funny and pulled together. Betty White is especially funny in this movie. So, if you wife or girlfriend brings this movie home do not despair it is actually pretty good and won’t leave you feeling completely emasculated.


Gas or electric?

Posted by The Inspector on February 5th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Do you prefer a gas or electric stove? Our oven is having issues. It is not cooking anything in a time frame that’s anywhere close to what the recipe predicts. At first I thought it was because the oven just wasn’t fully heated when I put the items in, but even now that I’ve confirmed that the oven reaches the correct temperature, it still doesn’t cook things properly. For instance, I put a chicken in the oven. According to the recipe, the top was supposed to be browned after 20 minutes; it’s been 60, and it’s still white as snow.

So now my question is this: would a gas oven at 400 degrees cook worse or differently than an electric oven at 400 degrees?

Thoughts?


Griping and complaining.

Posted by The Inspector on February 2nd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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In my line of work I frequently deal with populations of people who rely heavily on various entitlement programs to make ends meet. I think many of these programs are important for people who really need them. It is however hard to listen to someone tell me how unfair it is that they are expected to participate in employment training in order to remain eligible for these programs. I listened on one particular day to a 24 year old woman who detailed how wrong it was that she be told she had to attend a job training seminar. She insisted that she did not have time for this type of thing despite not being able to keep a job of any sort in the last year. Since she is not currently working, going to school, or raising children I have to wonder what is making her schedule so busy? I know I would jump at a chance for training if this were something offered to me in a similar situation.


Smaller and smaller packages….

Posted by The Inspector on February 2nd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Has anyone besides me noticed that product packages, for food items, are getting smaller and smaller. We are paying more for less food. My yogurt now contains 4 containers instead of 6. My pasta of choice is in the same box but the box weighs significantly less. I find this irritating!

I have been a big fan of Dreamfield’s pasta and have recommended it often, however, I am quite irritated at the manufacturer at the moment. At some point they have changed box sizes from 16 to 13.25 ounces and kept the price the same. This product is already higher priced than most other brands of pasta; I justified the price because of the reduced carbs and comparable taste to regular pasta products, but the sudden reduction from 16 to 13.25 ounces without a drop in price has got me questioning whether I still want to purchase this product.

I just went to Dreamfields’ website to see if they had an announcement on their homepage concerning the change in size and they didn’t; in my opinion a change of this magnitude deserves some mention on their homepage. The company sent no announcement of the size change via email (I am on their mailing list). I think the consumer at least deserves an explanation. Not doing so is bad customer service and there is something about it that seems sneaky to me.


Drip, drip, drip.

Posted by The Inspector on January 30th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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This afternoon should prove to be exciting. I had planned to sit down and spend the day watching television but my house has other plans. For some reason two of the 4 faucets in the house have decided to start dripping again. I had replaced the washers once in each of them and they stopped dripping for about 6 months. Now this week both of them have started again. I decided that the time has come to replace them both. I would like to find something like those Danze faucets for both of them. We only have a couple hardware stores in town so I may have to make do with something else. I figure anything that doesn’t leak will be an improvement. One of the faucets is pretty much a running stream of water even when turned completely off. This makes waiting any longer to fix it impossible. I am hoping to at least quell the stream until I can get some sort of long term replacement. Not an ideal way to spend the afternoon but it has to be done.


Stupid speech~

Posted by The Inspector on January 30th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Andre Bauer said no assistance should be give and children should be taken off free or reduced-price lunch programs in his State if their parents don’t pass drug test or attend parent-teacher conferences.

Seriously. I can’t believe a person running for a public office would say such things.

He went on. Quote:
“My grandmother was not a highly educated woman but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much further than that. And so what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to curtail that type of behavior. They don’t know any better.”

My son surprised me yesterday by asking me why I thought Americans elect so many dis-reputable people to represent us. Okay, really, he called them “fruitcakes”. It’s sad, but true! Not feeding children because their parents are struggling–only a complete moron would think that is a good idea.


Itching for warm weather.

Posted by The Inspector on January 30th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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I have to say that I have officially had it with all of this cold weather and snow. The paper says that it isn’t going to end any time soon. I am sitting here looking at the new Garmin GPS I received for Christmas and just wishing the weather would warm up slightly. We love to go geocaching as a family and all of this cold weather makes it impossible. My older son would go out in any weather but my wife and younger son want no part of the bitter cold weather that we have been having. As happy as I was to get this GPS system for Christmas I haven’t been able to get out and use it because the weather has been so awful. For now the only thing I can do is sit and look up places I want to go when the weather improves. At least we should be pretty well organized when the time finally does arrive to head out into the great unknown in search of “treasure”.


Tip of the week~

Posted by The Inspector on January 30th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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The lint filter in your dryer is made of a mesh material and if you try to run hot water through it the hot water will just sit on top of the mesh. The reason for this is that the dryer sheets that make your clothes soft and static free and feel waxy when you take them out of the box also build up wax on your clothes and on your lint screen. This is also what causes dryer units to burn out the heating unit and potentially burn your house down with it. The best way to keep your dryer working for a very longtime (and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months. This will make the life of the dryer last at least twice as long! We all know what an expense replacing a dryer can be and it usually happens at the most financially inconvenient time.


It isn’t that simple.

Posted by The Inspector on January 22nd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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A few years ago my father gave me his 1969 Dodge Super Bee. This is a really valuable car and I am very grateful for him giving it to me. The problem has been that he is constantly harping on me to buy Mopar parts and do various things to the car. All the things that he suggests are definitely issues that should be addressed. I just cannot convince my father that our priorities right now are paying our bills and making ends meet. I hate feeling this pressure to put money into the car simply because he gave it to me. It would be different if we were at a point in our lives where we had a great deal of disposable income but we just don’t. I would love to suggest that my father buy the parts for the car in lieu of Christmas and birthday gifts but I just don’t think he would go for that. It is as if he wanted to wash his hands of the car but just can’t let go of it entirely. It has been an appreciated gift but I have found it came with many strings attached that I wasn’t anticipating.


Which one?

Posted by The Inspector on January 22nd, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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We will be needing a new fridge soon. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the side by side fridge? I’ve never had one, but the freezer section looks smaller. But maybe things don’t get lost in the freezer as much. I like the freezer on bottom type with the two door upper. A side by side is frustrating sometimes because of the limited width. You can’t just pop in a giant baking sheet or two of refrigerator rolls or something like that. The freezer on bottom seems a bit less convenient, but they make them now with sliding trays and good ways to organize the freezer items so they aren’t just dumped in on top of each other.

It’s on our list of wants, but I think it will be a while. It will likely come down to whatever we can get the best price on and what will fit into our space when the time comes.


Bad Water

Posted by The Inspector on January 18th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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My wife is on a holistic kick and is now insisting on buying a water filter for our kitchen faucet. No I have never been one to really complain about something like the taste of water and didn’t think that a filter was going to make something without much taste taste better. So we get the family together for another one of those Saturday morning family trips and go to LOWES to price them. After an hour of bickering she decides on the one she wants and the one I have the smallest chance of breaking when I install it. So half a day goes by and I get this thing installed and I must say that I can really taste a difference in the water. Ironically my wife still complains about the water tasting funny and now wants to look into putting all new cooper pipes in the house so as to remove any chance of the family ingesting rust, I guess I will never win.


Yeah Toast!!!!!

Posted by The Inspector on January 18th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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The saturday family trip. Whether it be to Walmart, Walmart, or maybe even….Walmart the possibilities are endless for discovery. On this particular trip expectations were not too high to be honest as the weather was bad and my wife made it clear that she wanted to get in and out so we were to stay in the van. Little did my sons and I know that staying in the van really meant hearing the best song a father and his sons could hear and laugh for a solid 3:46. I looked on Youtube and found the song and the artist with more songs to laugh to. Heywood Banks made our day.


Doctor says so

Posted by The Inspector on January 18th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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So I go to the doctor the other day and one of the first questions he asks me after the examination is if I was taking any vitamins? I told him no because to be honest I really had no desire to take a pill that is normally the size of a softball and turned my pee toxic yellow. He laughed and said that it must have been a while since I had seen a vitamin because they are now much smaller and user friendly. To my relief he was right for when I went to the drugstore that pharmacist was nice enough to go through what vitamins were on her shelf and I found one that is not just small but doesn’t turn my stomach in knots. I’ve even started to take a fish oil pill for my heart which my doctor applauded me for.


Day at the beach

Posted by The Inspector on January 18th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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So I met with a friend the other day that just happens to be a detector enthusiast and he said that the best place you can go to find all sorts of gold, silver, and coins is a beach. Different things wash up and get buried in the sand. When the tide goes out the beach is left open and if you time it right you can find all sorts of things as can be seen in this video I found. Part two can be seen from the same sight. So the nearest beach is 40 miles away and I know that metal detecting is prohibited but I do have the river down by my mother in laws and my friend says this will work just as well, you just have to be quick.


Itchy Itchy Ow Ow!!!!

Posted by The Inspector on January 18th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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So my son wakes up the other day with a rash on his foot, of all places, and when my wife called me to come look at it I could immediately recognize what it was. Now eczema was something I dealt with when I was a kid and all I could remember was how much it itched. I called a local dermatologist and made an appointment to be seen and we no sooner got his sock off than he came to the same conclusion. So after about a ten minute appointment and a script for an eczema treatment we were back home smearing it on. He doesn’t like it because it smells bad but when I explained to him the itchy alternative he decided that it would be to his interest to stink and stay comfortable than itch and drive himself crazy.


Relic Hunter

Posted by The Inspector on January 18th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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So my research into metal detecting has piqued another interest that I didn’t really think about. Since my last entry I have been looking into and watching some videos about people hunting relics. This is where your research skills come in handy as most relic hunters spend more time researching the area to hunt than actually hunting that area. My mother in law lives in a small rural township that had a lot of small communities w/i it that have since vanished. She has lived in this community all of her life and continues to keep connections from the time of her mother. She remembers several areas that were small saw mills where people lived and milled wood. When the summer comes I think this would be fun place to shoot coins and dig for relics.


Not for me.

Posted by The Inspector on January 17th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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So I think I have lost all of the weight that I am going to loose. My pants fit good and I know I can keep it off by just continuing to stay active and hit the treadmill and the bike on a regular basis. My wife seems to think that I should lose a little more but short of taking weight loss diet pills I don’t think I’m going to get much more out of this little venture. My wife is determined to now lose another ten pounds and could easily do as long as I don’t enable her mot to by bringing home all of the sweet stuff she loves which I have a habit of doing. I promised her I would leave the sweets alone, or at least in my car or in my desk at work.


Posted by The Inspector on January 17th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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I found another video on Youtube that just continues to justify and solidify my choice in Metal Detecting as a hobby. This video is about a woman who had been detecting pretty regularly for the last seven years with not much to show for it and then found a quarter million dollar 15th century pendant on the first find of the day. Talk about hitting the lottery, and to make it even more interesting is that it is a historical relic to boot. Don’t think I would find that type of thing out here where I live but I have already scouted out some potentially historic and less known about areas in the county I live with the hopes of just finding little pieces of history.


We want to pump……you up.

Posted by The Inspector on January 17th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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So far the Wii is going well and the wife and I shedding those unwanted pounds. I have hit the weights a little bit in an effort to tone up but it’s been nothing I’ve gotten serious about. My buddy says I should look into muscle building supplements as a way to supplement my supplemental weight lifting. I told him my concern was not to get ripped but to just fit into my pants a little better. It would be nice though to flaten things out and firm them up. OMG I’m starting to sound like my wife.


Not so Much.

Posted by The Inspector on January 17th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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So my wife and I came to the long avoided conclusion that we cannot afford the cable that we have so it was time for a change. We looked at the other packages and decided that for the kids we would look for a package that has the channels they like minus cartoon network of course. We go ahead and make the change and boy were we in for a shock. The kids got what they wanted but my wife and I have to choose between The Food Network, National Geographic, the Science Channel, and every sales channel known to cable. So tonight we can either watch cheap jewelry on channel 212 or Wild Kingdom on NGC. The anticipation is almost too much.


Go Mini Mii!!!

Posted by The Inspector on January 17th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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So my wife and I get through the Holidays with an extra 17 pounds between us. Now we have always been an active family but recently we just lost track of our stomachs and when we had finally realized what happened, we were a couple pant sizes bigger. So, rather than dealing with supplements and those diet pills side effects, we decided to get back to doing what we do best, moving. Since New Years the Wii Fit has been our friend and it gives our oldest something to do that is fun and healthy at the same time. Of course we still make time for Mario Bros. and Mini Ninjas but only in small doses.


Posted by The Inspector on January 17th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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So I got on to Youtube and searched for videos on metal detecting. Needless to say I was not disappointed and found this video. What I thought was neat was that my son saw it and seemed to be really interested in what he saw. There was a little bit of a thaw the other day so we borrowed his uncles Walmart metal detector and went out in the back yard to see what we could find. Found a lot of junk and on old 7 up bottle cap but my son still enjoyed it. You could almost hear his heart skip a beat in anticipation every time he heard a beep.


Oh….My Bad.

Posted by The Inspector on January 17th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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My wife has always been one to try new things and has always had a long standing battle with acne. She is of the belief that it should a a natural law that one you hit 18 you should never have to deal with pimples ever again. So I get one morning and saw this large bottle of pills in my medicine cabinet that I thought said Acme Vitamins, so I took one. I did this for about two weeks because I am just as health conscious as the next guy and was noticing how my pea was turning a bright shade of green. I saw something to my wife about it which drew a large sigh and a look of disbelief usually reserved for our kids. “Your taking vitamins I use to control my out breaks, they’re acne vitamins not acme vitamins. I wondered why my face was so clear.


New Hobby.

Posted by The Inspector on January 17th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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My wife must be tired of me being home so much on the weekends because she has told me on several occasions to go out and find a new hobby. So being the obedient husband I am I went out and did some research and have decided that I would like to try metal detecting. The first thing I found was that you can drop a load of money into a good metal detector so I have set aside money in order to get a Tesoro Cortes Metal Detector. It sounds like it will be easy enough for my son and I to use and I would be a good detector to use for coin shooting. Who knows, we may find treasures close to home.


Erector set woes.

Posted by The Inspector on January 10th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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For Christmas my older son was given a huge Erector set by his grandfather. I can honestly say I don’t think I have ever seen a set quite this big. This was the perfect gift for my son since he is always wanting to build and create things. The problem I have with the set if the fact that the instructions are ridiculous. We have been trying to build this one robot and it seems like be can never find the part being referred to in the direction. I swear it like it tells you to tighten the BCBG Max Azria with a wrench. We can never seem to find the part that is being referred to in each section because they aren’t labeled. I am going to have to get online and see if there are any ideas for building things with these sets that have been created by real people. I swear the manual included in the kit was written for electrical engineers and not 10 year old boys. I would love to see the person that wrote manual build the things they describe.


Why does this irk me?

Posted by The Inspector on January 10th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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One of my co-workers came up to me today and asked me about the diet that my wife is following. When I found out the reason she was asking I was kind of irked. What she was looking for was a way for her husband to loose weight really quickly to win a contest at work. She said that her DH is in a “biggest loser” contest, and he’s lost 40 pounds through healthy living and good eating, etc. He and the other contestant were apparently neck and neck and he had a good shot at winning the $300.00 pool. He then found out that his opponent got the stomach flu and lost six pounds in three days! She told me that The final weigh-in is in six days and he’s considering a crash diet to even the odds. She said that she had heard that my wife had lost 25 pounds very quickly and she figure it must be some sort of crash diet and wanted to know the details. She really seemed more concerned about the fact that her husband might have to write a check for $150.00 if he looses than anything else. I don’t know why but it just bothers me. My wife didn’t follow some crash diet. It just seems like she is willing to do whatever it takes to win.


Returning to school.

Posted by The Inspector on January 6th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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Since starting my job about a year and a half ago I have come to several conclusions. The first conclusion is that my job is a very thankless one. I know many people have jobs that are miserable. I cannot classify mine as miserable but it is trying.

I have spent many years of my life in school and really thought when I finished my Master’s that I was done with school forever. I now realize that I really should have gotten a different type of degree. This had led me to consider returning to school once again.

The thing that kept me from pursuing a field that I am confident I would find rewarding is the fact that I did not want to take the GMAT. At the time when I went to school the only way to study for the GMAT was to sit down with a study guide. I am just not the type of person that learns well from a text. I really need a more hands on learning environment. Thankfully there are now ways to take GMAT prep courses online. This sounds like an ideal way for students like myself to learn what they need to prepare for the GMAT. There are not only live classes but apparently coursework that conforms to the way each student learns. It would be nice to know that I wouldn’t have to force myself to pour through some dry textbook in order to learn what I need to know to succeed at the GMAT. There are still many things I need to investigate before plunging back into returning to school but I am encouraged to know tools exist to enable me to achieve my goals.


Are you upgrading?

Posted by The Inspector on January 6th, 2010 filed in Uncategorized
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I will admit it here and now that I am not very diligent about keeping my versions of WordPress updated. It seems like each time I log on there is a new version that I am being prompted to update to. I usually wait until I have a large block of time and them spend it updating my many blogs.

Less than three weeks after the release of the much awaited WordPress 2.9 release milestone comes WordPress 2.9.1, a release that was expected by many because of bugs that some WordPress webmasters encountered after upgrading to or installing WordPress 2.9. The most notable – and annoying bug – was that WordPress seemed to have problems with scheduled posts and pages on some web hosts.
Scheduled posts would not be published at the time configured by the user but appear as missed in the list of posts forcing the webmaster to reschedule and hope for the best or to publish it manually.

I haven’t yet upgrade and am wondering if those who have would add a comment as to how it is working for them?


Sitting in the car.

Posted by The Inspector on December 28th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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If you see me sitting in my car in the driveway for hours at a time please do not be concerned. It is not that I have been evicted from the house or anything like that. You see the reason I now find myself sitting in the car is because of a Christmas gift I received. My father gave me a Sirius XM radio for my car and I have to say that I absolutely love it. He was good enough to take care of not only buying the radio but also the extended service plan and paying the monthly subscription fees. I am a person who loves music and would have it playing 24 hours a day if I could. The area where we live has no decent local channels and it makes listening to the regular radio frustrating. Now that I have a satellite radio the choices seem to be endless. There is something on the radio for everyone in our family. I am hoping to get a home adapter soon so we can all listen to the radio inside. Until that happens I will be spending a great deal of my time in the car! I sure hope it starts to get warm outside really soon.


Yerba Mate tea…

Posted by The Inspector on December 28th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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We are trying to make big changes to what we eat and drink in our home. For a long time most of our meals consisted of whatever was the quickest and easiest thing to get on the table. It has become clear over time that this has not been the best thing for teaching our children about making healthy food choices. We have been, for the last several months, trying to make everything we eat from scratch. The children took a little while to adjust to things like homemade bread and applesauce but they now seem to prefer this to store bought. I have to admit that I feel better and like know what I am eating. I do however have trouble with completely giving up soda and instead drinking green tea or yerba mate tea. My wife swears that these teas will make me feel better but I don’t see a difference. What I really want is big diet cola or a cup of coffee and not the herbal and organic concoction that is sitting in front of me right now. I believe a man can only bend so far and I am thinking that herbal tea just might be my breaking point.


Weird diet.

Posted by The Inspector on December 28th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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About a month ago my wife started a new diet. She didn’t tell me much about it until after she had been on it for a couple of weeks. I am still trying to wrap my head around the diet because it seems weird to me. The diet is called the “HCG diet”. When she first told me the name I thought she said it was a diet centered around taking hgh which made no sense to me. She explained that she was taking a drug called “hcg” and not “hgh” to loose weight. The diet has supposedly been around since the 1950s and is highly successful for those that follow it strictly. I have to admit I still don’t completely understand what she is doing but she assured me that it is completely safe to take hcg in low doses like she is. I have to trust her judgment and must say I am impressed with the results thus far. In a month she has lost 17 pounds and seems to feel great.


Games and more games.

Posted by The Inspector on December 28th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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This Christmas I have to say that my children were completely spoiled by their grandparents. I love that they do this for them because it makes shopping so much easier for us. It is nice when our budget is limited to know that we don’t have to go overboard in buying toys and whatnot. This year was great because both of the boys really got into Christmas and loved everything they received. My older son got so many Wii games that his head was spinning. We try to limit his video game playing but it might be hard considering how many he now has. It is really neat to see all the types of fun and educational game that you can get for the Wii. Both of our boys are now able to enjoy games on the Wii which is a nice change of pace. The little guy is getting the hang of playing games like “Playground” with his older brother. I love seeing them interact together and the age difference between them become less of a barrier. It is also nice to know that with some of the games like “Big Brain Academy” that they are actually learning while having so much fun.


Worker bee.

Posted by The Inspector on December 21st, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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About 5 years ago I completed my Master’s degree in business administration. I thought this would be a great way to advance up the career ladder at my chosen profession. It was with an eye towards higher paying admin jobs that I pursued this degree. Since obtaining my degree my priorities have shifted and I am no longer setting my sights as high. Right now I find I am pretty content just being a worker bee on the food chain without the responsibilities and long hours I once thought were so appealing. There will probably come a time when my kids are older that I once again have that same drive to reach the top. For right now I quite enjoy packing my bag up at 4 pm and being able to walk out the door and leave work behind. It is nice to be home with the kids at night and not have someone paging me or calling for advice on how to handle the newest crisis at work. I am just not one of those people who can juggle it all and do it well at this time of my life.


Cheap workstation.

Posted by The Inspector on December 21st, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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For a while we have been looking a workstation that would accommodate all of our computers. Currently we have two laptops and a desktop computer that we use on a regular basis. Because our son is home schooled computers are an integral part of our day. It is also important that we be able to have a couple of computers side-by-side because of this. I haven’t been able to find a workstation that really suited our needs or gave us the space to spread out that we need. Finally I found an idea for a cheap workstation on Instructables.com. The workstation is essentially a cheap door mounted to the wall using braces and a bracket. For about $25.00 we have a sturdy workspace that accommodates our needs. I like the space so much I am now going to extend it across the length of the room using a second door that I cut to fit the remaining space. This will give us tons of room to grow into which will be really good considering our younger son will start cyber pre-school next year!


Asking too much?

Posted by The Inspector on December 21st, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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What is it about some people and taking their shoes off when they come in your house? We have a couple of people who visit our house on a regular basis and never take off their shoes when they come inside. This is something that secretly drives me crazy. Our floor are very old wood floors that water stain easily. We also have light colored rugs scattered about. I have a small sign at the front door that asks people to remove their shoes. I don’t think this is too much to ask of people is it? It isn’t like I am at the door handing out disposable shoe covers or something. I simply want to keep the floors as clean as possible. The kids love to play on the floor and often put their faces on it. Taking shoes off at the door limits the grime that is tracked in and I believe lengthens the life of our rugs and floors. I always take my shoes off at other peoples houses. I am considering stopping this whenever I visit people’s houses who don’t reciprocate at my house. What do you think? I know it sounds a little petty but one person in particular thinks nothing of coming into our house with boots caked in mud and tromping through the whole house.


New games.

Posted by The Inspector on December 21st, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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Our oldest son turned 10 years old today. He isn’t the type of kid that really likes to play with toys. His main interest are along the lines of robots, books, and building things. Last year we bought the family a Wii for Christmas. He hasn’t really played with it all that much. This year for some reason he is totally taken with it. The gifts he received from family and friends included 4 new games. The last 6 hours he has been completely engrossed in playing “Draw to Life”. I am not a huge proponent of kids playing video games to excess but I have to say I am kind of intrigued by the fact that something has actually peaked his interest. I am going to have to sit down tonight and play the game with him to get the full picture of how this game works and just what it is that has him so interested in it.


Being supportive

Posted by The Inspector on December 11th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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I posted previously that my wife is on a new diet and that it really seems to be working for her. As far as I know she is doing everything on her own and has been doing exercises that are said to be the best fat burners out there. Her efforts are already paying off and the scale is moving. The thing that is hard for me is not eating in front of her. I am pretty much used to eating whatever I want whenever I want. I realize that it wouldn’t be fair of me to sit down next to her with a big bowl of ice cream. Now I have to wait until she goes to bed. Thankfully she is going to bed earlier because she is tired from her workouts. It would be really bad if she were still staying up until 11 pm and I had to wait until then for ice cream and cookies.


EA on the attack…

Posted by The Inspector on December 11th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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EA Going After ‘Call of Duty’ With Battlefield Bad Company 2 – Xbox 360 story – at IGN

Fairly interesting article here. I personally do not like the cod series. It lacks imagination and creativity. They put out the same game with new locations and characters and expect us to eat it up. Battlefield is on par for a shooter and it’s controls just seem smoother to me. Plus there aren’t people using crazy glitches in BF either. The Battlefield games are just as unoriginal and copypaste with every addition as any other shooter on the market, and are plagued by laggy online play and glitching. The only thing that Battlefield really hold over other shooters is how big most of it’s maps are, but once MAG is released then Battlefield won’t really be anything special anymore.


Work station.

Posted by The Inspector on December 11th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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This is the second year that we have been home schooling our older son. It has been a phenomenal experience for our entire family. The first year we were a little disorganized but this year is a different story. For Christmas I am hoping to give my wife the gift of a customized work station for school. I have been looking for an L shaped desk and need a good light fixture. I am then planning on building her a couple of book shelves that fit our space. We have been using the dining room table but it isn’t really the right height for our son to work at comfortably. I would also like to see a designated area for school rather than everything being spread all over the house. I am just not sure how to actually have this be a surprise since I will have to physically build stuff while my family is at home.


GPS questions…

Posted by The Inspector on December 11th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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I am trying to help a friend choose a GPS system for a Christmas gift. Right now I am researching what is out there for her needs. I was just reading the January 2010 Consumer Reports. The best scoring among basic models was the Garmin Nuvi 260w. I don’t know what the difference between a 255 and 260 is, but you might want to check the specs. The 260 is also on sale on the Dick’s Sporting Goods website. The highest rated unit among all models is the TomTom GO 930 and #2 was the Magellan Maestro 4700. I use both the car charger and house charger. I also keep mine in a case.

I don’t have mine mounted in my car because I can’t figure out where to put it (I have a Toyota Highlander). Plus I figured if you have it mounted, it sort of gives away the fact that you have a GPS, so it may be more likely to get stolen.

When not in use I keep mine in the case (so it doesn’t get scratched).

When it’s in use, I keep it plugged in with the car charger and it is in the compartment between the front seats. That way I can hear the voice tell me when to turn, etc. There is a way to configure mine so the voice comes out of the car radio, but I haven’t figured out how to do that yet.

They definitely are better than reading a map! It is really nice on dark nights to have a voice tell you when and where to turn, especially when there aren’t any street signs visible until you get right up on the sign.


One thing left to do.

Posted by The Inspector on December 8th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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This holiday season I am determined not to put anything off until the last minute. Last year I was not so determined and had to brave the crowds of last minute shoppers to finish all my shopping. This year I am proud to say I am almost done with my shopping aside from one last gift. The great thing is that I never had to leave my house to do so. I started shopping online around Black Friday and just finished up this week. I am so happy not to have to deal with grumpy and rude shoppers. Everything has arrived at my door quickly and safely. I only wish I could order someone online who would come to my door to wrap presents because it is one thing I really do not enjoy at all. If only children got as much excitement out of gift bags as they do wrapping paper I would be in good shape!


Coupons- no thanks!

Posted by The Inspector on December 8th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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My wife loves to use coupons. For some reason she has a system that works for her and seems to save us a great deal of money. She has to drive to a nearby town to use her coupons. I tried to use coupons but it bugs me so much, that I gave up on coupons, is the inconsistency about coupons at stores. We only have one store in town, which doesn’t even double, and doesn’t have a customer savings card. Anyhow, one cashier may let me use 2 coupons for the BOGOF deals, while a manager tells me, that is not allowed, because the one you are getting free is not being purchased, its being given. Or if I have Gerber coupons, a BOFOF, and $1 off 2, one cashier may let me use both coupons, with only having to buy the 2-2 packs, while other cashiers and managers give me problems.

The other day I went in to buy the aerosol febreeze sprays, they were on sale 2/$5, I had 2-$1 off coupons…that was the only thing I bought, (and theres a line forming behind me). She tells me she can only take one because it says one per purchase….so I explained to her, that I AM PURCHASING 2 cans of this spray, and that if she’d like to remove one of those, then its fine, i’ll get right back in line to use it again. If it says one per purchase, then, at least to me, that means, one per PURCHASE….but if it says one per customer, then that is when I have to leave the store and go back in if I have multiples.

Anyways, this has irritated me so much, I got tired of it, and contacted united via email and told them I want 2 copies of their coupon policies….


I don’t snore.

Posted by The Inspector on December 1st, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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The other night I woke up to the sound of our air purifier running. The weird thing was that we haven’t used it in months. I couldn’t understand how it came to be in our room and running. You see lately when my head hits any of our various mattresses I am out for the night. I don’t know what has come over me but it seems like I can fall asleep anywhere at any time effortlessly. When I asked my wife what happened she said that I had been snoring so loud that she couldn’t stand it. In the middle of the night she went upstairs into the attic and found the air purifier and brought it downstairs and set it up. I must have been sleeping pretty soundly to not notice this. I just can’t believe I would have been snoring that loudly.


Get a Wii.

Posted by The Inspector on December 1st, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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A friend of ours asked if we thought a Wii was worth buying her children for Christmas. We LOVE our WII. We have strict rules about when the kids get to play it though. I really love it because it is something my kids and husband love to spend time doing together. They have a great time together. We also have the wii fit and they love that too. One of our favorite games is the toy story new one that came out a few months ago. There is not that much you have to buy extra. Extra wiimotes are a must though, it is fun to play with 4 people. We don’t have that many games, we got ours 2 years ago and for about 6 months we only had the game it game with and played it all the time. The new Mario Bros. game is great, I think most of the games made for Wii are more family friendly than xBox or PS3.


This had better work.

Posted by The Inspector on November 25th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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I just posted about the new diet plan my wife is going to be using. When she first discussed it with me it sounded a little crazy. The more she has read and told me about it my opinion has shifted dramatically. The only thing that is turning me off at the point is the cost. I just found a slip from a receipt printer that came with her medication and it was astounding. I know that she is very optimistic about the diet and I really hope it works for her. I am even more hopeful that it works when I consider how much we will be spending on several rounds of the diet. I believe she can do it and want nothing but the best for her. This makes me even more determined to be a supportive as possible during her journey to become healthier.


Not a good idea.

Posted by The Inspector on November 15th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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Many times over the last few months I have commented that I would like to loose a few pounds. Over the last week I have managed to figure out how to lose belly fat without trying very hard. The problem is that I really can’t recommend it to anyone wanting to try my method of weight loss. For the last week our entire family has been hit with the H1N1 flu virus. I did everything I could think of to try not to catch this virus but somehow we all seem to have caught it. I have never been so sick and tired in recent memory. I can’t get enough sleep and feel perpetually dizzy. The dizzy feeling has be a great deterrent to over eating. It is really hard to stuff your face when the world is spinning around you and your head feels like it is going to explode. Now that things have started to settle down a bit I am left with this horrible cough. I know the end is near of dealing with this and it can’t come soon enough.


Off road suggestions?

Posted by The Inspector on November 15th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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Basically, I’m looking for a GPS for off-road bike touring, with the most important features being following routes (“courses”?) that I’ve defined, recording traces to share with the world, and displaying maps from a variety of sources (not just Map$ource).

The Vista HCX seems like an obvious choice, but:
1) It’s really old. Is there anything newer?
2) It seems to have some limitations. Only [url=http://www.cell-phone-accessories.com/garmin-etrex-vista-hcx.html]50 waypoints per route[/url]? I want to create/download really finegrained routes (not following actual streets, just straight lines from point to point) that would consist of hundreds, maybe thousands of points.
3) Are there any non-Garmin alternatives? I’m not coming across much?
4) A more generic, touch-screen device might be fun…if it’s rugged enough and has long enough battery life. I want to be able to record a 3 day trace.

Any suggestions? Even the names of candidates to research would be a great help.


Time to start shopping.

Posted by The Inspector on November 15th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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The time of year has finally rolled around when it is time to start buying Christmas presents. I really don’t look forward to this time of year much at all. I enjoy watching the children open presents but the process of buying them just tries my patience. The aimless wandering of various stores in search the perfect toy is just not my cup of tea. People just seem to loose all sense of order when it comes to shopping for the holidays. I love that my wife is happy with easy things to find like Contemporary Jewelry or a gift card. Finding her a great gift is typically a cut and dry process that takes a matter of a few minutes. Tracking down that certain hot toy of the year is never so easy. Last year we went to half a dozen stores looking for this one certain toy. We bought what we thought was the toy my son had wanted only to find out on Christmas morning that it looked like the toy but had none of the special features of the toy he saw on television. I don’t know which of us was more disappointment in the toy. This year I am hoping for a slightly more successful shopping adventure as his interests have shifted towards video games rather than toys.


Ready for a DS?

Posted by The Inspector on November 15th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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A friend asked me this week if I thought that an 8 year old was ready for a Nintendo DS? It really depends on the child. My 8 year old got a DS when he was 6. He has loved it and plays it a lot. He is not very responsible with it, and loses it quite frequently. Are they old enough to play the games and enjoy the systems, yes. Are they old enough to be responsible for one, that depends on your child. My 10 year old has a DS and a DSI, he wanted to upgade last year. He LOVES both of the systems. If it’s something you think your 8 year old is going to like, I’d spend the money and get them what they will use for the next several years instead of having to upgrade in a few months because there is bigger and better out there. I’d spend the money and get a DSi or a DS before I’d get the DS lite.


Too many clubs.

Posted by The Inspector on November 10th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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The office I work in seems to always be coming up with some new way to ask for money. We have a coffee club, a holiday committee, and at least a dozen other committees. Our office hosts a Groundhog Day party of all things. It almost seems like they are forever looking for a reason to celebrate. On one hand I like this but on the other hand it feels like a constant pressure is there to donate money whether I want to do so or not. This week they decided that our water tastes bad and that we should all have a “water club”. I had to say no to this one because I am perfectly happy buying my own water filters and filling a water bottle at home. I just don’t see why I should have to pay $10 a month to drink water at work when I can get it at home for almost nothing. Call me a scrooge but there has to be a limit and I think this is one club too many for my taste.


Dish television

Posted by The Inspector on November 10th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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I’m wondering if any of you have been with DirecTV for several years, like I have, and can’t get the deals that they give their new customers. I am really frustrated when I see the fliers with the great deals for new customers and yet here I’ve been a customer for 13 years now and can’t get any deals. Anyone have any ideas or have you done anything to get a good deal with DirecTV?
We tried that a few months ago and it did NOT work. All we wanted was to upgrade our DVR to an HD unit, which they are giving free to new customers. They went down a little from the first call and then added things like 3 mo HBO/SHOW on subsuquent calls, but nothing like new customers get. I dont understand why they would rather lose us as customers and get $0 money from us than give us the DVR and actually get more money from us because we would be paying extra for HD. Go figure. In the end we switched to DISH and figure if we dont like them we can go back in 2 yrs to DirecTV as NEW customers.


Grumpy.

Posted by The Inspector on November 9th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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Both of my children are excessively grumpy today. They are doing everything imaginable to antagonize one another. I am ready to send them both to their rooms and call it a day. I really believe that even if we had a dozen plasma tvs in this house they would still argue over what to watch. One of them just accidentally pinched the other one’s finger in the tv stand in an effort to gain control over what was going to be watch. I am trying to give them a little leeway because I know that neither of them feels well but it is still tough when they act like this. For now neither of them is going to watch anything and they will just have to deal with it because the fighting needs to stop.


Home today.

Posted by The Inspector on November 9th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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I am home today with sick children. Last night the low grade fever that our son had spiked. He was running a temperature of 103.6 degrees at 2:30 in the morning. After calling the ER to see if we should bring him in for a visit we finally drove him there. I waited on hold for about 40 minutes and never got an answer so we just went in. Everything in the newspaper said that you shouldn’t go to the hospital if you thought it might be the H1N1 virus. It is however difficult not to seek help when your child has a raging fever and is really out of it. The hospital stated that he would be treated as having a virus because he had previously had the H1N1 vaccination. I would have felt better if they had checked for the virus anyways.


It will be alright.

Posted by The Inspector on November 4th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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About six months ago my wife decided to stop coloring her hair. Until recently she had been convinced that age had not played a factor in what color her hair really is. What I mean by this is that she has been convinced until now that she does not have any gray hair. After letting her hair grow out and return to her natural color she has been forced to realize that she has indeed gotten older. Now the only thing she can talk about is what is the best eye cream for wrinkles and how much older she looks. I really wish she would start coloring her hair again. I say this not because I think she looks better with colored hair. It doesn’t make a difference to me. I wish that she would color it because it is clear that she felt better about herself when those little gray hairs were inconspicuously hidden. Any ideas on how to convince her to go back to her old ways?


DVD scratches?

Posted by The Inspector on November 4th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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What do you use to get scratches off of your DVD’s? They actually sell DVD scratch removers. They remove the entire layer of the DVD until the scratches are gone. They can be more $$ than buying another DVD if you are talking just 1. My brother worked for a movie store that had one and says they are fabulous. We’ve use furniture polish which seemed to help. I also heard that baking soda toothpaste rubbed from center to outside can help take out the scratches. I also use windex to get the scratches off my netflix DVDs to get them working again. Can I tell you how much I hate DVDs?!? My kids are always playing with them and they get all sticky and scratched! I think they should start putting movies on something less easy to break.


Almost done!

Posted by The Inspector on October 31st, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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We have been doing a little bit of remodeling work to our upstairs bathroom. The project has mostly involved repainting, putting in a new floor, and adding molding. I would love to add something like a stone sink but that just isn’t in the budget this year. I have a hard time spending the money when there is nothing wrong with our current sink and vanity aside from it being dated. Hopefully things will turn around next year and we can start adding some newer details to our house rather than just sprucing up the existing one. I am still thankful for the new paint and pretty molding. It really makes the room feel brand new even if it isn’t.


Order up.

Posted by The Inspector on October 31st, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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We just bought Wii Order Up and have been having a great time playing it. It is something that our entire family can play and enjoy together. I thought it would be an easy game but it has proved to be just a bit more challenging than I expected. Who would have guessed you needed to know stuff like seasoning food? By the way if you want to season food when you are cooking or chopping an ingredient you use the buttons on the left remote (nunchuk). It brings up a spice menu. Select the desired spice then click OK and finish cooking or chopping. You can purchase spices at the market.


Wii Fit Plus?

Posted by The Inspector on October 29th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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We just purchased the new Wii Fit Plus and so far love it. I have found a couple quirks that I am trying to work out. I was only able to register one dog on Wii+. Someone suggested that I delete a Mii (as I had 7 Mii’s, plus the dog). I deleted a Mii so that only 7 users were registered, and it still won’t let me register another dog. Instead it tells me that since I deleted one of my Mii’s they are going to substitute a guest. I don’t want a guest. I want another dog. There is nowhere in the Mii channel to add a dog. Anyone have any other ideas?


How to get it out?

Posted by The Inspector on October 24th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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A couple of weeks ago we had a raccoon laying up against our front porch. We tried to get him to move away from he only crawled deeper under the porch. We then tried to catch in a humane trap but that didn’t work. Now I am smelling the most unbelievable smell coming from under the porch. It so nauseating I can hardly stand to walk out there. There isn’t really any good way to get under our porch to get the carcass out of there. I believe that waiting for it to decompose is our only option. The only good thing about it is that I am loosing weight without the need for appetite suppressant pills. I truly loose my appetite every time I step foot on my front porch. We tried calling someone to come and get it out for us but short of tearing out the shrubs encircling the porch they couldn’t get at the animal. I am told the smell should go away soon but it isn’t soon enough for me.


What are you doing?

Posted by The Inspector on October 24th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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Avoiding the flu is at the top of most people’s lists right now. Aside from getting or not getting vaccinated I am wondering what people out there are doing to stay healthy.

This is what we are doing:
We are upping our D3 intake. Our pediatrician said that a majority of those who are deathly ill are showing signs of being low in D3. No I don’t have a link to this just what he told me. I’m going to call to see if I can get a copy of the study he said he read.

We are no longer going to church.

We are going back to eating lots of fresh foods and avoiding processed foods as much as possible.

Hands are washed anytime we go somewhere public. Hand sanitizer before we enter the car after being out in public.

Being more diligent at taking our regular vitamins.

Exercising more.

Avoiding places where large numbers of people may be gathered.


The time has come.

Posted by The Inspector on October 16th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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This summer I did not get to spend nearly enough time working out. It wasn’t that I didn’t spend my time being active. We were constantly on the road going camping, geocaching, or hiking. The thing is that these activities don’t exactly give you an incredible workout. I really need to get back to using a dip bar and my weight bench. I am not enjoying sitting around with the button on my pants ready to pop off. It isn’t that I have gained weight but I just feel flabby. Now that winter is here and I am stuck inside there shouldn’t be a good excuse not to get back to some sort of workout routine. My outdoor projects have come to an end and it is now time to start working on myself.


New Wii games…

Posted by The Inspector on October 16th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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I love the Wii balance board and am always looking for new games for the family to play. I am excited to learn that a new water sports game is coming out. Water Sports will recreate the feeling of Wakeboarding, Wind Surfing, and Kite Boarding. This will be a fun diversion from the land sports games we already have and challenge the kids to learn a new skill. I love keeping them up and moving thanks to the balance board. If you have thoughts on this game please drop a comment.


Healthy food.

Posted by The Inspector on October 12th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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My wife has recently decided that we need to be more self-sufficient when it comes to our food. What I mean by this is to try to make or obtain our food from local sources rather than relying on supermarkets and chain stores to supply it. I am thinking that if more people were to do this we would see fewer people heading off to places like weight loss austin or similar sites across the country. We seem to be so used to prepared food that many children today don’t even know how where food really comes from. I knew we had to change something when our older son told me that the steak he was eating was just a part of the cow that it didn’t need. He seemed to assume that animals are not slaughtered and that somehow the “extra” meat just ends up in stores and the cow continues to live a happy life. This year we are buying our beef from a local farmer.


Finally

Posted by The Inspector on October 12th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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Our state has been without a budget for over 3 months. It is somewhat of a relief that we finally have one but it is still troubling to find out some of the details.

“Americans this year had to toil until August 12 to pay for federal, state, and local governments, according to the annual Cost of Government Day (COGD) report by the Americans for Tax Reform Foundation and Center for Fiscal Accountability (CFA).

In 2009, government will consume a whopping 61.34 percent of national income.

Last year’s COGD date, July 16, was the fifth-latest in 32 years. This year, the day on which the average American worker has earned enough in cumulative gross income to pay off his or her share of government spending, including the often-forgotten cost of regulation, falls 26 days later than last year and 23 days later than the previous record-late date, July 20, 1982.

The largest component of the total cost of government, according to the report, is federal spending, which consumes 30.36 percent of national income this year and forces us to work through the first 111 days of the year just to pay for this component of COGD.


Too cold!

Posted by The Inspector on October 8th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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I just checked the weather forecast for next week and believe it or not we are supposed to get snow here next week! It is so cold here right now that I seriously think is might snow tonight. As much as I love our hardwood floors this morning I really wished the floors were covered in rugs when my toes hit the cold floor. The thing that kills me is all the leaves are still on the tree in our backyard. I really hate raking leaves when it has snowed. They weight twice as much and it is just such a mess. You can leave them or you have no grass in the spring and cleaning them up when wet leaves muddy ruts. It really feels like we should get a break and at least have two really warm weeks right after the snow to make fall cleanup easier. It isn’t going to happen but a guy can dream.


Do you do anything?

Posted by The Inspector on October 8th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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Is there anything you do to try to boost your/your kids immune systems? I’m normally very laid back about this stuff, and believe that we need germs in order to boost immunity, but of course, I also teach hand washing,etc. to prevent the spread of germs. When ds1 gets sick it goes right to his chest. We have a nebulizer and we’ve had to take him to the ER twice due to croup (he was wheezing and just couldn’t catch his breath). Ds2 doesn’t get quite as sick as ds1. Now that school has started, I’m trying to do whatever I can to help ds1 stay healthy. Do you or your kids take vitamins? What, if anything, do you do to to prevent illness?


Grumpy and agitated.

Posted by The Inspector on October 8th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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Something has gotten under my wife’s skin lately. Generally she is a very even tempered person who really doesn’t have a flair for the dramatic. I don’t know what is going on but she is even having nightmares for some reason. The other night she woke of screaming her lungs out. The screaming was so loud you would have thought I suggested we buy sexy costumes and go for a stroll through the neighborhood. I usually can get some idea of what is making her tense but this time I am at a total loss. Hopefully things even out soon and she is back to her old self.


I find it odd…

Posted by The Inspector on October 8th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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Online education is something that we really love in our house. I am always astounded when I discover a new online program that I didn’t know existed. Recently I learned that next year our toddler will be eligible to attend pre-school online via a public charter school in our state. I thought this was unusual until I discover that Nick Jr. and Disney also offer online subscription base education programs for children. I don’t know why but I find the idea of paying for online programming from Nick Jr. odd. I did notice that it is supposed to be advertising free but I have to suspect there is subtle marketing of their products somewhere along the way.


Where does it come from?

Posted by The Inspector on September 28th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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This week I receive a couple of announcements in my email that we were being included in class action lawsuits. I just wonder how we end up on these mailing lists. A couple of the things were about booking travel arrangements online. Considering we haven’t taken a trip anywhere in a very long time I don’t know how we could possible be part of a class action lawsuit. I can understand how people get involved in lawsuits for health issues and such. I mean if you are receiving malignant Mesothelioma treatment it would make sense that you could be part of a class action lawsuit if the cancer was caused by something that effected many people. I don’t see how someone who hasn’t taken a trip or booked travel plans online could be considered part of a class action lawsuit. My guess is that is was some kind a phishing email that slipped though and made its way into my regular email box.


Ooma

Posted by The Inspector on September 28th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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About 2 month ago we purchased an Ooma phone system. This is a system that you use along with a high speed internet connection. After paying for the system you do not pay again for phone service as long as Ooma exists. I have to say that the system is pretty cool. We have had a few hiccups with using the system but overall it has been a great product to use. The company is great about corresponding with customers and offers great customer service. If you are tired of paying outrageous fees for landline service I urge you to check out this product. The starting costs are a little pricey but the product pays for itself after about 8 months.


20 years

Posted by The Inspector on September 28th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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Last week I ran into someone who was a friend of mine in high school. It was one of those chance meetings that took me by surprise. I could place the woman’s voice but just couldn’t place how I knew her. When she told me who she was I finally put the pieces together. The reason I couldn’t place her was the last time I saw her there was at least 200 pounds more of her. I wanted to ask what type of weight loss diet she had been on to loose the weight. It is always weird when you want to compliment someone but you don’t know exactly the way to go about doing it. I finally just commented on how incredible she looked and left it at that. There is always a part of me that wants to know how someone has achieved the type of weight loss she has and managed to maintain it.


How is it possible?

Posted by The Inspector on September 28th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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As I sit here I am watching a very interesting episode of “Hoarders”. This show features a 7 year old child who has been labeled a hoarder. The child lives with his mother who is a hoarder. Most of these shows I have watched it is pretty clear that the people truly are hoarders. This particular episode leaves me questioning that diagnosis. This family really seems more like a bunch of slobs. There is a difference to me between someone who hangs onto belongings and someone who just randomly throws trash on the floor. I just cannot believe people with children would allow them to wade through litter. What further amazes me is the fact that they would disclose this fact to the world at large. It is one thing to seek help for your child in private but in a public forum just seems wrong.


Stop snacking.

Posted by The Inspector on September 28th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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The staff at my office is primarily composed of women. It seems like every single day someone or a couple of people are bringing in something they have made to eat. All day long there is a steady parade of people headed to the snack area. The topic of conversation while everyone is eating is how desperately they all need an appetite suppressant. I may be completely off target but it would seem like a good place to start would be to not eat triple chocolate brownies on a regular basis. Of course I am not going to be the one to tell them this but you would think a bunch of smart educated women could collectively make this determination. It really makes it hard to have any self-control when the smell of delicious food is constantly floating through the air.


Just scarey!

Posted by The Inspector on September 28th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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One of our favorite shows to watch is an A&E program called “Hoarders”. This show intrigues me on so many levels. It is absolutely astounding to watch the way people get themselves into a hoarding situation. So many of the people on this show justify the acquiring of possessions. All of them claim to want to live a different way than they are living. What is astounding is how hard these people then fight to hang onto each and every possession. Some of them are clearly mentally beyond the help of the people who come into help them clear the clutter. Many of them seem to need much more intense psychological help than what a personal organizer could offer them. The show really makes you wonder how many people like these folks are living right in your neighborhood.


Just agitating!

Posted by The Inspector on September 28th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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My family is what I would describe as neat and orderly. We have tried to instill in our children a sense of pride in their home and belongings. The things we have aren’t many nor are they overly pricey but what we do have we take care of. I wish that we could instill this same value in our pet. I have tried tons of different cat supplies and just can’t seem to make our cats understand that furniture is not a scratching post. I know this goes against their nature but they have every scratching device imaginable and still prefer the carpet or furniture. Maybe I need to try some sort of spray to detour them from scratching the furniture?


Lame? Absolutely!

Posted by The Inspector on September 28th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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As I sit here typing I am also watching probably the most ignorant programming on television. That show would be WWE Live. Nothing on television, short of a horror movie, drives my wife crazier that to be forced to watch wrestling. I realize that these shows have absolutely no value whatsoever but I still enjoy watching it. I do not watch it when my children are awake nor do they have any idea that I watch it. I would absolutely not allow them to watch wrestling. It is just my mindless outlet that I indulge in one or twice a month. I do see it as being any different that watching soap operas or some other mindless nonsense. I am not likely to stop any time soon and figure we all have our guilty pleasures.


Hard to understand.

Posted by The Inspector on September 28th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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There is a woman that I know who was recently awarded a disability claim from Social Security. Given that she is younger than I am it makes you wonder what has happened to her. I know some of the details of her claim and would say that on that alone she has an argument for her case. What I find disturbing is that she is constantly updating her Facebook page with comments detailing how she just installed a central vacuum or helped her husband put in a new pool. Is is just me or does this seem a little fishy? I would agree that she probably does experience the back pain she claims to but have to wonder how severe it is if she can assist with ongoing household renovations. Yes, I know I sound insensitive but I can’t help feeling this way.


Why do I do it?

Posted by The Inspector on September 28th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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The news is not something I tend to watch very much of on television. The main reason is that my kids are always here and watch whatever I watch. Since there is no good way to filter what you watch on the news the easiest thing to do is just now watch. I do however read the news online on CNN almost daily. I am beginning to wonder why I bother to do even this. It really does seem as if the world is going to pot. I have to wonder if anyone morally decent is going to be left in the coming years. It almost seems as if the only thing going on is sadness and destruction. Is is just me or does anyone else wonder what is happening to our future?


One year has passed.

Posted by The Inspector on September 28th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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It is just over a year since we moved into our home. The last year seems to have flown past. It has been so nice to really be able to enjoy living in our home. When you consider that in our old home there was a constant worry about safety and whether we had enough video surveillance equipment it is easy to tell why we love it here. After living in what felt like a war zone for several years it is amazing to finally feel at peace in my own home. Security equipment was certainly a good investment and something we continue to put to use but life is just so much more peaceful now.


All is good.

Posted by The Inspector on September 28th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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We had our fireplace inspected last week and have now used it for the first time. It is neat to see how much more cozy and relaxing our family room is thanks to a nice warm fire. The kids would go down to the family room occasionally before we used the fireplace but now they just beg to go down there. Our youngest son ask for a “campfire” just about every day. I have to say I really love it myself and am just glad we are now able to enjoy it and know that everything is safe to use.


It is me!

Posted by The Inspector on September 16th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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The Tech Inspector is going to be getting some quality time in the coming weeks and months. I know it is has been a while since I spent time here but I promise it was all for a good cause. The cause was actually my family. There came a point late last spring when I was so swamped with work at my day job that I couldn’t find a minute to spend just enjoying my awesome children. We made a pact that this summer we would really change this and we did. I have stories to tell of time spent in the great outdoors and watching my little men learn about the world. It may not be as exciting as a review of the newest electronics gadget to some of you but it is worth more than I can say to this writer.


Wii Fit Age…

Posted by The Inspector on July 8th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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Is it just me or does the Wii Fit Age drive you crazy? One day I get on it and it says that my Fit Age is “35″. I get on it a week later and it tells me that my age is “64″. I don’t know how much weight fluctuations will impact the age scoring but it must be a factor. The score drives me so crazy I almost considered taking Anoretix to get some control over my appetite. I admit my weight has been bouncing around a great deal but I am most certainly not walking around in the body of a 60 year old!


Trying out Window 7 with IE

Posted by The Inspector on July 8th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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I’ve noticed that updates in explorer occur very slowly, on the order of about a minute. Usually I don’t wait that long and right click refresh. Still, it can be annoying at times.

I’ve noticed this with the following:

1. Delete a file or files. Behavior: File is deleted though icon stays up to a minute later. Refreshing the screen fixes problem or moving to another folder then coming back.

2. Rename a folder. Behavior: Folder is renamed though old name does not change unless I refresh or navigate away. If I enter the renamed folder, then hit back, then forward again, explorer attempts to enter a folder with the old name and gives me an error. Only after the ~ minute does the navigation history change to reflect the new folder name.

3. Same with any other operation, moving, cut/paste, copy – there seems to be a significant lag between when the operation occurs and when explorer updates icons and such.


My day…

Posted by The Inspector on June 28th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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This weekend I accomplished absolutely nothing and it felt wonderful!! I went golfing for my birthday yesterday and spent the entire day enjoying the sun. Today it rained so we just sat on our front porch curled up in our outdoor chairs reading while the kids played on the floor. The day couldn’t have been any more perfect. Some times you just need to put the “to do” list on the back burner and sit down and enjoy being a family. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a birthday weekend!


Sad…we all need to think.

Posted by The Inspector on June 28th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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http://www.oprah.com/slideshow/oprahshow/20080902_tows_moms

I had the house to myself yesterday afternoon and sat down to watch this and I swear 100 different emotions flowed through me. I do not think this woman intentionally left her child in the car BUT I have a really hard time understanding how you can stop and get 8 dozen donuts at a donut shop ( going to the door.. night a drive thru) and leave your child in a car seat. I have always had an issue with that … even knowing friends who have left 7 and 8 year old children in a car to run into a store to get milk ect bothers me. Even in the safe community I live in that is something I have never done. They are our children.. not our pets. You don’t tell them to sit still and crack the window and say I will be back. How could she unload 8 dozen donuts and not notice her child? If you read some of the comments people mentioned that leaving the younger child in the car to take the older child into day care was a common thing and the parents had even been spoken to about it by the day care directors. I do agree we as women do waaaay too much and sadly it takes something likes this to make us all aware of that. Oprah had an ” expert” on who was talking about what we need to do to slow down and he made a comment that I found really interesting. He said there is no such thing as multitasking.. we simply stop doing one thing to do another. If you really think about that it makes sense. He said.. we need to learn to focus on one job and complete it before moving on to another. How many times have we done something so simple as having the pasta water boil over because we were busy reading/typing something on line? My heart did break for this woman , especially for her husband and remaining daughter and I hope she has learned from this and gone on to do something good from the tragedy. I did try to do a search of her name to see if she has started some foundation or is a speaker or advocate of children in cars safety.


Where do they come from?

Posted by The Inspector on June 21st, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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For some reason we have started getting about 6-10 magazines a month. If we had actually subscribed to these magazines I would probably not be writing a post about this. We have no idea who ordered them on our behalf or why they chose these particular magazines. For example one magazine features diet pill reviews and another is all about backpacking. Is someone trying to tell us something about our weight or are we just the random recipients of magazines? I would really like to think it is the later of these possibilities. It would be kind of hurtful to think someone is telling us we need to loose weight and that backpacking is the way to go about doing it!


Impulse buy or not?

Posted by The Inspector on June 21st, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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Wii is totally an impulse buy. I bought one because I wasn’t the one paying for it. While standing in line, I couldn’t help but question if this purchase was even worth my time. The people in line for the Wii that I encountered seemed to be in some kind of brainwashed state constantly stating how great the Wii is. They weren’t you typical fanboys either. They were mostly middle aged people.

I have to admit Wii is fun, but Xbox 360 is the still the kind of video game consoles. As for PS3, I would love to have one except for the fact that it doesn’t have any games I want to play.


Green with envy.

Posted by The Inspector on June 13th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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Having a pop-up camper has long been a wish of mine. We were able to fulfill this wish lately when we purchased an older model camper for a very modest sum. Now that we have a camper I have become keenly aware of all the technology that is available on newer campers. When our camper was built no one had ever dreamed about gps systems or remote controlled comfort systems. As we sat in the campground last weekend surrounded by $100,000 RV’s it was astounding to consider what the possibilities are for outfitting today’s recreational vehicles. Unfortunately to do this in today’s world I would need a much fatter wallet than I currently possess. As green with envy as I secretly might be, it really is nice to be sleeping up off the ground this camping season!


Driver missing!

Posted by The Inspector on June 13th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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For some reason the driver for my DVD player on the PC disappeared. After some searching I found the following information which helped to restore everything back to normal.

If System Restore did not resolve the issue, manually modify the registry.

From the Windows Vista default Start menu, point to All Programs, Accessories, and then click Run.

In the Run dialog box, type: Regedit. Click OK.

In the User Account Control dialog box, click Continue.

In the Registry Editor window, locate and then click to select the following registry subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/System/CurrentControlSet/Control/Class/{4­d36e965-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318}

From the File menu, click Export.

In the File name dialog box, type: Savedkey, and then click Save.

Click the REG_MULTI_SZ data type UpperFilters file, and then from the Edit menu, click Delete. When you are prompted to confirm the deletion, click Yes.

Click the REG_MULTI_SZ data type LowerFilters file, and then from the Edit menu, click Delete. When you are prompted to confirm the deletion, click Yes.

In the Registry Editor window, from the File menu, click Exit.

Shut down Windows and restart the computer.


Almost there

Posted by The Inspector on June 9th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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In just about 2 weeks I will celebrate my 39th birthday. It really doesn’t seem like I should be that old because I really feel about 27 years old at the most. My wife starting addressing a few party party invitations and getting supplies for the big day. I wish she would just let the day pass like any other without all the hoopla but she won’t. For some reason the idea of now standing of the edge of 40 years of age just doesn’t set right with me. I would prefer to pretend for just a while longer that I really am still a young guy.


Best handheld game?

Posted by The Inspector on June 7th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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DS Lite will play GBA and DS games, not Gameboy or GB Color games. The new DSi will only play DS games as I understand it. And, for the sake of thoroughness, the original DS is backwards compatible with GB/GBC/GBA games.

This aside, another option that’s available is system emulation. I won’t get into specifics, but generally speaking, the DS is able to emulate games for the NES, Super Nintendo, Gameboy, Gameboy Color, Game Gear, Sega Master System, Sega Genesis, and a few other systems. Doing this requires the purchase of a special cartridge and a memory card to store the files.

Many PSPs can do this without additional hardware, as long as you install custom firmware on the device. Once this is done, it’s able to emulate all systems the DS can, plus the Gameboy Advance, Playstation 1, and more. (Note that the newest units — in particular, the PSP-3000 and PSP-2000v3, currently lack this capability. Thus, if this is of interest, you might be better off finding a used unit and/or one that’s already customized. Unlike the DS, the process to install custom firmware can be intimidating.


Time to cut back.

Posted by The Inspector on June 3rd, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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I keep telling myself that I need to cut back on the snack foods and start working out more. The problem is that when I walk in the door each night I am utterly exhausted. To keep myself awake I seem to just eat one thing after another. Maybe I need to take an appetite suppressant or something. The stress of my job just takes every once of energy I have out of me. In this economy I am so happy to have a job but it really isn’t helping one bit in the weight department.


No clue?x

Posted by The Inspector on June 3rd, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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Someone left this comment and I have no idea what the answer is but maybe someone out there does. Here is the question:

I have a Toshiba Satellite A215-S4807. I need a new power adapter. There appears to be a loose connection in it somewhere. It only works when I king the wire a certain way.

This adapter from Targus says that it is compatible but it is only 70W where the original was 120W.

Would the differnce in wattage present a problem in trying to use this adapter? Thanks very much for your help.


Pointless…

Posted by The Inspector on June 3rd, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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Have you ever had a bout of sleeplessness? I have had this for the last week. I have tried everything to get a decent night of sleep short of buying a sleep number bed. Cutting back on caffeine and getting extra exercise has not made one bit of difference in my ability to sleep. I have tried to think of what the source of my problem could be and nothing comes to mind. Maybe I just need a vacation. We are going away camping this weekend and maybe that will help. If it doesn’t make me sleep maybe it will make me so tired I finally am able to sleep when we get home. That is usually what camping does to me. I end up so tired I need another full week of rest to recuperate from my “vacation”.


Graphics card problems…

Posted by The Inspector on June 3rd, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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Just got a new ATI Radeon X1300 512mb AGP graphics card, i have disabled my on board graphics, re-started my computer (with the new graphics card plugged in) and when i plug my monitor cable into the slot on the back of the card my screen says NO-Signal. I tried downloading the drivers from the ATI website but when i tried to install it a error message came up saying to check that i had the right hardware or software and that my hardware or software configuration might not be correct?

I have checked in my device manager and it has not even picked up my new graphics card.

I have checked in my BIOS but to be honest don’t really know what i am looking for.

Can anyone help please?


Not a clue.

Posted by The Inspector on May 17th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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For some reason my older son is constantly asking me to tell him about our family heritage. To be quite honest I don’t have much of a clue about my family heritage and don’t even know how to go about finding out about it. I know there is probably some way of checking out ancestry dna or something but that seems to be more detailed than what he is wanting from me. I think he wants to know how my family got to America or something. I wish I had answers because I think it is wonderful that my 9 year old is interested in this type of thing.


Much too quiet.

Posted by The Inspector on May 17th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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My audio in Vista Ultimate 64 suddenly seems to be too quiet. I turned everything up as loud as it will go, but it seems distorted and quiet. I have an external audio card “focusrite saffire”. I tried reinstalling the drivers, but it is still quiet. This all happened out of the blue. Any ideas why ? I really do not want to have to reinstall windows. If you have any ideas please drop a comment.


Hitting the highway.

Posted by The Inspector on May 17th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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Last week we purchased a pop-up camper. It really is unbelievable the things they can fit into such a small space. When we went to pick it up I was half expecting there to be a couple of chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. In this little tiny camper there were all the comforts of home. I now cannot wait to hit the road with my family and soak up the sights in comfort.


Vista grrrrrr….

Posted by The Inspector on May 17th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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this is (Another) Vista booting problem. I read most of the other topics, but nothing helped..

So I was at my laptop and at some point it started freezing for 1-2 sec.. I’m pretty sure I did not download anything (Since my internet connection was down and I was watching a movie..) that could cause that. Now, I thought of a restart so I did it and after that it got REAAALLY slow, and I mean REAAAAALLY slow. Made about 10 minutes to get me to my desktop.. So I was pretty sure something was wrong so I tried another restart.. When I clicked on Start it froze so I had to shut it down..

I re-opened it and it won’t get past the loading (booting) screen.. It works okey on safe mode, everything works fine there, but still can’t get to fix it.

BTW, I do NOT have the Vista CD, it ran on 64-bit and the laptop is Sony Vaio VGN-FW31ZJ (If this matters to anything)..


My own fault.

Posted by The Inspector on May 12th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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For some reason I can never remember to empty my pockets when I take off my clothes. After 18 years of marriage you would think I would remember this by now. My wife refuses to check my pockets when doing a load of wash. She says that if the children can remember to clean out their pockets then so can I . This week my compact flash memory was a victim of my negligence. Not only did it get washed in hot water but also dried on high heat for an hour. I haven’t checked it out yet to see if it works but I have my doubts that it will. I really have no one to blame but myself.


Still trying to loose.

Posted by The Inspector on May 12th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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Summer is here and I am trying very hard to pull myself away from the computer and get more active. I only want to loose a little bit of weight and just tone up in general. My first step toward this goal was to buy new scales. I had an ancient dial type scale but recently bought a very simple digital scale and it has been great. I can now see what i have put on. My problem is that I can become addicted to the scale when I am trying to lose weight and hope on all the time which is counter productive. I am trying to only weigh myself once a week.


Is this payback?

Posted by The Inspector on May 6th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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My wife is always kidding me about being a 13 year old boy in a 38 year old man’s body. She says I spend about as much time as a teenage playing video games and watching cartoons. I honestly think my body must agree with her to some degree because my skin looks as bad a teenage this week. I seriously could use the best acne treatment on the market because my skin is a bumpy and blotchy mess. I suppose I could play around with her theory and cut back on the video games and cartoons and maybe my skin will improve.


Mario Kart

Posted by The Inspector on May 6th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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So, first of all I’m a 100% Wii Wheel user, I have played past Mario Kart games but I decided to try using the little innovation from Nintendo.

I do want to get better than what I am right now but I’ve heard many bad stuff about using the Wii Wheel specially when it comes to Time Trials. I know the decision is mine, but I would like to see some input if I ever decide to make the switch since I have been suggested by many people to move to the GCN Controller.

On my end with my experience, sometimes I do stupid mistakes like hitting walls every once in a while, and this is really a bummer specially during TT’s and WiFi.

What are the Pro’s and Con’s of using the Wii Wheel vs GCN/Wii Classic Controller or Wii/Nun-chuck? Is using the Wheel a disadvantage as well during WiFi?


The swap.

Posted by The Inspector on April 25th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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There is one season of the year I dread for silly reasons. That season would be summer. The only reason I dread it is because it means we have to swap the winter clothes in our closet for the summer clothes. As much as I like reuniting with my Ecco shoes, shorts, and t-shirts I hate lugging the tubs down from the attic. It would be so bad it was just me but when you have to carry totes of clothes for an entire family it can get old really quick.


The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Posted by The Inspector on April 25th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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The game was so bad that it made my not want to play games anymore.

It was either stop playing that one game or stop playing games altogether.

There’s some games that you might not like but you can see what others like about it. I love some Zelda games but that one is so bad I have no idea what anyone sees in it past unrelenting punishment.

Great if you like it but for me it was get it because it launched with the Wii and keep it on my shelf very nicely but that’s it, not meant to be played.


A good day!

Posted by The Inspector on April 25th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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Today was the first Saturday in a long while that I didn’t have some project that needed completing. I was able to plop myself down on our patio furniture and enjoy the sunshine for once. It isn’t often this fellow gets to do that so you can appreciate my need to brag. I didn’t watch television or play on the compute but instead sat and did absolutely nothing. It doesn’t get any better than that in my humble opinion.


Wii retro…

Posted by The Inspector on April 25th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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They’re bringing all these old games back grave and making them downloadable for the Wii. Well I say they should bring back Conker, whose with me? Conker’s Bad Fur Day was awesome on the N64, it was one of those games you would never expect from Nintendo. What do you all think?


That is a surprise!

Posted by The Inspector on April 18th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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When I started my job last May I was told I had to be employed for a year before I earned vacation time. This week I was informed that I need to use my week of vacation time before the end of the fiscal year. As it turns out I have been accruing vacation time all along but didn’t know it. Now I need to plan how I want to use this time and quickly! One of those all inclusive Orlando vacations sounds good but I don’t know if that is in the budget for this year or not. If anyone has any last minute cheap travel destinations just drop me a comment because I am open to pretty much anything right now.


Trying my green thumb.

Posted by The Inspector on April 18th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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I am spending my weekend making earth boxes. My wife and I decided it would be a fun family project to try to grow our own vegetables this summer. Since we don’t have a huge plot of land we are trying to make earth boxes. If you have never heard of them just search Google and you will find all sorts of great plans for creating your own. You could always buy the already made boxes but what is the fun in that? I will keep you posted as to how our little crop of veggies turns out or rather if our crop of veggies ever come to fruition!


Taking a time out.

Posted by The Inspector on April 12th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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While I give my back time to heal I am trying to find ways to occupy myself. Working out has been a hobby of sorts for me and I haven’t really developed many other hobbies as a result. I really need to find something I enjoy soon or I will need to start reading slimming pills reviews! The only thing I seem to be able to enjoy right now is eating. This is not a good thing for someone who is used to eating and subsequently burning off calories the way I have in the past. It will not be a pretty sight if I continue to fill time with Easter candy and chips until my back is better!


Injured….

Posted by The Inspector on April 12th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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Due to weight lifting incident I have herniated L5-S1. I am in good phsycial shape and workout 4-5 days / week.
This herniation was verified by MRI. One MD wanted to do surgery. Instead I went to a Physical Therapist, and through the therapy exercise which consisted mainly of stretching I was fine! Now 6 mos later I am having similar symptoms following heavy activity. I have heard the standard of care for surgery is only with intractable pain, loss of bowel or bladder
control, or generalized muscle weakness. I am hoping since I have non of those that I can simply return to PT and all will be fine. For right now though it just hurts like you wouldn’t believe!


Not a thing to do!

Posted by The Inspector on April 8th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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Last summer I spent two month in various hotels training for my new job. This was probably the longest summer of my life because I was away from my family for the entire time. We ended up canceling our vacation plans when I took the job which made us all feel letdown. The funny thing is that despite having some vacation time this year we haven’t made any plans. Instead we are just going to take things easy and maybe take a spur of the moment trip. I have to admit I would be happy just hanging out around the house spending time with my kids. Either way it is nice to know I won’t be living out of a suitcase again for a very long time!


Tech for little people?

Posted by The Inspector on April 8th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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I was wondering if anyone has bought a Leapfrog Leapster for their children? If you have, did they like it and played with it?

I have been looking at these for my 2 almost 3 year old and really want to get him one for his birthday or Christmas, but haven’t chatted with anyone who has one. Walmart wants $49.99 for a new one and Ebay has some gently used ones for under $20.00. I know that I will go the Ebay way to save money.


Budding engineer?

Posted by The Inspector on March 18th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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As a parent we all sometimes daydream about what our children will be like when they get older. Some parents see actresses or athletes in the future. I have never been one of those parents who wants fame for their children. All I want is for my kids to be happy and productive citizens. I do however suspect that my older son is going to be either an engineer or a scientist. He is forever taking electronic things apart trying to salvage parts to build things with. He has amassed a collection of KVM switch, switches, circuits, and other things that he is convinced will help him build something incredible. For several weeks he has been trying to build a time travel machine. It is really neat to watch how his young mind works and how determined he his to reach his goal. I only hope his determined spirit is something that sticks with him no matter what he becomes in the future.


Wii keyboard?

Posted by The Inspector on March 18th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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Are there any readers here who have the Logitech Wii Keyboard? If you have this what is your opinion? Is it worth the cost of it? I might save up and buy it, but I want to make sure I’m getting my money’s worth. Does it work with putting in internet channel addresses as well as friend codes? Any other info. that I might be overlooking?


Enough is enough.

Posted by The Inspector on March 14th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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It must come as no surprise to the men out there that women love to move things around in the house. Decorating just seems to be something that they come into the world with a desire to do. In the last couple of weeks I have moved the same two area rugs around our house at least half a dozen times. For some reason my wife cannot seem to decide which rug belongs in which room. Just when I think we are done with the process she sees a wrinkle in one she doesn’t like and thinks it laid better in the other room or the color looks different in the room with better lighting. I want her to be happy with our home but there is only so many places we can put things before it all becomes redundant. I am just thankful spring is coming and she can shift her focus to the outdoors or something.


Loud computer.

Posted by The Inspector on March 14th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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In the last couple of days had started to run very loudly. I know this has happened to many other people out there and thought I would offer some ideas as to what you can do about it if it happens to you.

I’ve seen a few Dell machines that the CPU fan has gotten stuck on high speed. Usually caused by one of three things -

1) The CPU cooler is jam packed full of dust and the motherboard is telling the fan to go full speed to cool it down, which does nothing because with all the dust it gets no air. Or possibly the CPU cooler has come slightly loose. Both of these are bad things and must be fixed.

2) The variable speed function for the fan has been set to HIGH in the BIOS.

3) The fan controller on the motherboard has gone bad and gotten “stuck” in high speed mode.

Try opening the case and cleaning out all the fans and cpu cooler/power supply fan. Check the BIOS setup and make sure the fan control is set to automatic (if there’s an option at all). If that doesn’t solve it, try replacing the fan (should be $10 for the fan at someplace like Circuit City). If the same thing happens with a new fan, it’s probably the motherboard. If that is the case, it’s only a matter of time before the fan controller quits completely. When that happens, it’s going to be bad.


New Wii controller.

Posted by The Inspector on February 27th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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Wii is getting ready to introduce a new controller and picture have been made available for public viewing. Eagle-eyed observers will have noticed the shoulder-button layout has changed, omitting the two inner-lane circler buttons and replacing them with a classic DualShock shoulder setup. The layout alteration ends any initial idea that Nintendo is releasing additional plastic padding for the already-available Classic Controller; this is a new model.

Beyond what can be seen, however, details of the unit remain scarce. The unit is coming sometime this Summer in Japan, though nothing has been confirmed beyond. Expect the unit attach to a Wii Remote much like the original Classic Controller, but any type of sixaxis-esque motion detection seems unlikely.

What’s more interesting is Nintendo’s own purpose for releasing the controller; whether this upgrade means more 3D titles will come to the virtual console (perhaps beyond N64 games), and whether it means Nintendo is set to release more traditionally-controlled games for the Wii itself.


Paperwork and more…

Posted by The Inspector on February 27th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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My new job is an endless process of paperwork. I wish that there were custom rubber stamps I could get to make things quicker. It just seems like I am forever writing the same thing over and over and over. I am truly thankful to have a job in this particular environment but it just seems like there has to be an easier way to get a repetitive job like mine done that doesn’t involve good old pen and paper. I suppose this is why our government is trying to become more efficient. I just hope it isn’t too much more efficient and they decide to eliminate some employees.


Paperwork and more…

Posted by The Inspector on February 27th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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My new job is an endless process of paperwork. I wish that there were custom rubber stamps I could get to make things quicker. It just seems like I am forever writing the same thing over and over and over. I am truly thankful to have a job in this particular environment but it just seems like there has to be an easier way to get a repetitive job like mine done that doesn’t involve good old pen and paper. I suppose this is why our government is trying to become more efficient. I just hope it isn’t too much more efficient and they decide to eliminate some employees.


Wii Kart

Posted by The Inspector on February 27th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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We were asked this question:

We registered our friend codes in Kart and we see each other we can even RARELY get into a room at the same time but after we select our toons the kart we want it says “Disconnected from other player”. Anybody else having this? suggestions?

Our best answer is: I put my wii in the DMZ on the router settings and dcs have dropped significantly (unfortunately they still happen occasionally, but i think that is when Nintendo are messing up and all get dc). If anyone else knows a better answer please let us all know!


Phoneless…

Posted by The Inspector on February 26th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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This is going to sound lame but I am so out of touch with the current trends in cell phones. While everyone else is worrying about finding the newest iphone accessories I can’t really say I have a cell phone at the moment. Yes, we have a couple of cell phones in the house but they aren’t in service and for some reason both are missing their chargers. This leads me to wonder where the chargers might be? It is kind of sad when you use your cell phone so infrequently that you can’t remember the last time you actually charged it. I suppose just for security’s sake I should get them charged and update my service plan.


Music?

Posted by The Inspector on February 26th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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There is a blurb on Yahoo news right now about a new music group called “Tinted Windows”. They are calling it a Super Group. I am somewhat of a music buff and just can’t get behind this group being labeled as such. The lead singer’s voice from Tinted Windows is hardly distinguishable from those of a number of other lead singers in the business. It’s a pretty generic vocal style.

Needless to say, I wasn’t particularly impressed. Both songs sound like Cheap Trick tunes…except Hanson’s voice is not as strong as Robin Zander’s. It’s power pop, plain and simple. Bun E. looks good for a guy old enough to be everyone’s dad.


What is your trick?

Posted by The Inspector on February 21st, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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The world is constantly chasing the newest weight loss fad. I have to admit I would love to find the magic formula for weight loss but it seems to escape me. I have tried it all. Everything from weight loss pills to exercise has been a part of my health regime at one time or another. Somehow I never seem to get it to become a permanent routine. When you are trying many things all at once it is hard to tell what works and what doesn’t. It doesn’t help when it seems like every other news report says research show this doesn’t work or that does. Six months later they seem to reverse these findings in yet another study. So, I ask you to please share how you get health and stay healthy?


Wii Fit Sales.

Posted by The Inspector on February 21st, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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Wii Fit sold almost 300,000 copies the last week of January!
That’s seriously insane when you think about it! The game is selling like hot cakes. It’s certainly some food for thought. Look especially at the December sales where you think they would have peaked and then compare that data with January’s data. :o Crazy stuff! People really wanna get this game. No wonder it’s so hard to find! Just think how many more they will sell once they have good games for the balance board.


Just can’t wait!!!

Posted by The Inspector on February 19th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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Spring cannot come soon enough for me this year. Last year we were living in a house that made us absolutely miserable to live in. Well, actually it wasn’t the house but the neighborhood. When we bought the house we had such grand plans for things like planting Plum trees, roses, and other landscaping ideas. These plans never came to fruition because our neighbors were absolute slobs. There just wasn’t any point to investing in landscaping when the yard next door was full of trash and beer bottles. This summer and spring I am going to make these plans become reality at our wonderful new home and I can’t wait!!!


Wii Wheel

Posted by The Inspector on February 19th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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Is Mario Kart actually supposed to play better with a steering wheel or is this just a gimmick. I tend to over steer and end up off the track alltogether. If I switch to the nunchuk or gamecube controller I can steer much better with the analog control. However when I play online I notice allot of people play with the wheel, at least I think that is why they have a little wheel icon over their character.


Television expands the vocabulary.

Posted by The Inspector on February 14th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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You might remember me commenting in previous posts that we are a television/cable free house. This is no longer true as about 3 months ago we got a satellite dish. Since that time we have been hearing the oddest things come out of our toddler’s mouth. For example we frequently hear him saying we need to get “Geico” or a “Bow Flex”. For the most part the things he says are pretty funny. I am just waiting for the day when we hear something a little more odd like a comment about vaginal dryness or birth control products. I will never understand why some of these commercials are on the television during family viewing hours but they are. At least he isn’t yet asking us to explain what some of them mean.


Fun match type to play SSBB

Posted by The Inspector on February 14th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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Have you ever gone on your friend list and seen everone offline or in a brawl? Have you ever been too lazy to switch out the games in your wii? Well this is a fun thing to do in brawl whether it is by yourself or with friends. It is quite simple, simply make a special brawl with stamina as a setting. Then, pick any character you like (except random) Then do the same for the CPUs. (I usually put them on lvl 9 but you can change it if u want) Then, look at the characters you have picked, lets say you picked mario. Well let’s see…. he is only wearing clothes and he can shoot projectiles… 10hp. and lets say u picked samus as a CPU. Well she has a massive power suit…. so (depending on how long you want the match to go on) 50hp or 100hp. The way I base it on is this:

armor bonus: +10%-+90% (example: samus)

muscle/bulk: +10%-+30% (example: DK)

melee only bonus: +10% (example: ganondorf)

a sheild of some sort: +5%-+10% (example: link)

You can also base it off the color, like for example: in metroid games the purple gravity suit reduces damage. So you can add more hp to the character.

My favorite thing to do though is to pick fox, then put 3 CPUs on the same team at lvl 9 (best idea is ganondorf) and then put all hp, even your own at 1. Then only use your gun. a lot more fun than you may think. see how many headshots you can get! I’ve gotten a few!


Suggestions?

Posted by The Inspector on February 12th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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My friend loves fast paced head to head thinky type games. For example, he likes Tetris Sphere. If anyone knows of any games like this with a Wii twist that are slightly more complex than Wii tetris or dr mario, I’d love to hear about them. I’m not looking for only block drop games, just that type of game with a faster pace and some head to head thinking type activity. No shooter/super-smash-type games though which should be pretty obvious. Drop a comment for any suggestions you might have.

Personally, I like all the action I can get from a game. When I am playing it my time to get away. I might not be able to drop everything and head off on one of those fancy Caribbean cruises but it doesn’t mean I can’t indulge just a little. The idea of playing a block stacking game is about as exciting or relaxing for me as folding laundry.


Rayman

Posted by The Inspector on February 12th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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Like many I can’t for the day Ubi finally makes a new Rayman game that isn’t a mini game fest. I don’t even care if they keep the Rabbids as a nemsis. The game could be called something like Rayman: Revenge of the Rabbids.

Since Rayman has always had goofy stories. It could go something like the Rabbids are seeking revenge on rayman for making money off their starring roles in the past 2 rayman raving rabbids games.

For the controls. Well i notice while playing Rayman 3 today that Rayman never really punches ,but rather shoots his fist.

Therefore I think the best way to handle controls in Rayman would be kind of like a 3rd person shooter (kind of like Ratchet n’ Clank)

Wiimote: Aims/controls camera
A: Jump
B: Shoot Fist
Hold B: Charged Punch
A + Hold A: to float
Z: Lock-On
C: Dodge

Rayman is a great series, and Raving Rabbids is just plain weird. What I think they need to do is make a new, epic Rayman platformer for the Wii and bring back all the older characters (Globox, Ty, the Teensies, and either Mr. Dark or Razorbeard as the antagonist). I would loooooooooooooove that.


What controls?

Posted by The Inspector on February 10th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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I prefer the standard GameCube controllers. I have been using them through the Gamecube days, so I am familiar with them. The whole motion thing and the Wiimotes are cool. However, I just can’t seem to get the control I want out of the Wiimote on certain games. For instance on Mario cart I am all over and off the track with the Wii Wheel. But can play like a pro with either a Gamecube control or the nunchuk to steer. In Smash Brawl, I can’t imagine not having the gamecube control. Wiimote doesn’t feel right. Mario Galaxy is the game that will likely force me to master the wiimote, as there is no option for other controllers! I am sure the Wiimote is much better for games like Wii Sports and Wii Play, and a bunch of others. Your thoughts?


Sleepless again.

Posted by The Inspector on January 28th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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Just when I think I am finally on the road to getting a good nights sleep something happens to put a kink in my plans. Our 2 year old is suddenly going through a phase of waking up all night. It doesn’t matter what we do he seems intent on getting out of his bed and into ours. The little bugger will scale bed frames, gates, and anything in his path to make his way to our room. I love him endlessly but thought by this point I should finally be getting a full night of sleep. Maybe when he is 18 years old?


How on earth?

Posted by The Inspector on January 28th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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State governments around the country are facing serious budget issues. My particular state is expected to cut several thousand jobs in the near future. What I fail to understand is with unemployment reaching record levels how governments can cut back on employees who handle medicaid, food stamps, and other public health programs that are direly needed in this economy? What is their plan exactly for handling all the new applicants that will be busting down their doors in the near future?


Flawed plan.

Posted by The Inspector on January 17th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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About a month ago I decided I would try to get myself in shape. My plan didn’t include anything special like taking Fenphedra or anything. The plan was that I would try to eat better and exercise more. The problem with my plan has been I haven’t done either of these. I didn’t realize until my wife pointed it out last night that I have been eating a great deal late at night. She pointed out that after dinner the other night I had several “snacks”. I referred to these as snacks because it made me feel better about eating them. I guess I have no one to blame but myself and my snacks for not reaching my goals. You can’t eat 2 sandwiches after you have a meal and still consider them snacks.


Wii remote delay

Posted by The Inspector on January 17th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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We experienced a delay with our remote response and couldn’t figure out what was going on. We have since found a few causes of this problem.

There are three main problems you can have with Wii-motes.

First, check the batteries. Even if you used the ones that came with it, they’ve been sitting on a humid shelf for a while, and may be dead.

Next, make sure there isn’t a lot of background light in the room. For instance, if you have a window behind the sensor bar, you’ll need to either adjust the positioning or the sensitivity in the Wii menu. The reason for this is because most light sources also give off infrared, which is what the sensor bar emits so the Wii-mote can read it.

Finally, there have been some issues with the accelerometer in the Wii-mote itself. It becomes stuck or partially stuck. Nintendo’s suggestion is to give the controller a good, hard smack. However, I don’t recommend this unless you know for a fact it’s stuck. Usually you can tell by playing a game requiring you to make motions. If the game doesn’t do anything, it’s either stuck or broken.


Not today or tomorrow…

Posted by The Inspector on January 7th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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Every so often I like to list a bunch of stuff on eBay that our kids no longer use. This money I use to buy things we want but are not typically in our budget like Hamilton watches. Now that new legislation has been enacted making it illegal to sell items deemed useful for kids under 12 unless they have been tested for lead I am not sure what to do with this stuff. We are very careful in what we buy for our kids but have no means of testing these items before donating or selling them. What is going to happen to all this stuff?


Rethink that eBay business!

Posted by The Inspector on January 7th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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it sounds like Feb 10, you won’t be able to legally resell (or buy from thrift stores) children’s clothing or related items unless they have been tested for lead and pthalates (sp).

Sounds like our government at work. Passing new laws without realizing the full impact: small businesses closing, job loss, families not able to recycle childrens’ items whether buying or selling them. All because items that are not tested are deemed hazardous. Brilliant logic. Not only that but the law also includes donating anything without it being tested, and really bad, includes garage sales. Anything that anyone 12 and under has contact with. Includes some womens things as there are large 12 year olds. I can see now, clothing prices are going to go up, like gas prices unless they get that law amended. Some of our resale thrifts here are already throwing away their wares.


Tightening your belt?

Posted by The Inspector on January 6th, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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We are all trying to cut costs where we can. One area that saps a huge part our income is energy costs. This has left me looking at all sorts of ways to lower our energy bills.

Consider these tips to lower lighting costs~

Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs. These bulbs use 75 percent less energy than typical incandescents, and they last 10 times longer.

Look for a compact fluorescent wattage that’s about one-third of the incandescent wattage you usually use.

Use lighting control devices like dimmers, motion detectors, occupancy sensors, photocells and timers to provide light only when you need it.

Keep lamps away from thermostats; the heat produced can cause your furnace to run less than needed or your air conditioner more than needed.

Dust light fixtures regularly. A heavy coat of dust can block up to 50 percent of the light output.

Use only a single bulb in a multi-socket fixture. Be sure to check the maximum wattage the fixture allows.

Replace an incandescent outdoor light or high-intensity floodlight with a high-pressure sodium fixture. The bulbs will last longer, use less energy, and handle temperature extremes better.

Use low-voltage lighting kits to light walkways, patios and decks. The soft light will also attract fewer annoying insects.

Decorate with pale colors on walls, ceilings and floors. Soft tones reflect more light, so you can use lower wattage bulbs and delay turning on lights until later in the day. Using high-gloss paint can help as well.

Read light bulb packages carefully. Watts measure the amount of energy needed; lumens measure how much light a bulb produces. Energy-saving bulbs produce more lumens per watt of electricity used.


All mine!

Posted by The Inspector on January 3rd, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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We have a few computers in our house. The thing is that none of them is completely mine. We have one that my wife uses for work and one that the school provided my son. The last one is one that we all share. There has never been one that I could use for my games and whatnot. Finally, thanks to a memory upgrade I have resurrected our old computer. Aside from a bit of dust it is now every bit as good as our newer ones for my purposes. The best part is no one can complain that my games are chewing up space on “their” computer!


It all makes sense.

Posted by The Inspector on January 3rd, 2009 filed in Uncategorized
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For a long time I have wondered why women take so long when they go to the bathroom in a public place. I believe I have now had it all explained to me in language that makes sense. My mother forwarded this to me and I feel it is worthy of sharing with my fellow men. You may never again want to comment on waiting for your wife to return from the bathroom!

When you have to visit a public bathroom, you usually find a line of women, so you smile politely and take your place. Once it’s your turn, you check for feet under the stall doors. Every stall is occupied.

Finally, a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the stall.

You get in to find the door won’t latch. It doesn’t matter, the wait has been so long you are about to wet your pants! The dispenser for the modern ‘seat covers’ (invented by someone’s Mom, no doubt) is handy, but empty. You would hang your purse on the door hook, if there was one, but there isn’t – so you carefully, but quickly drape it around your neck, (Mom would turn over in her grave if you put it on the FLOOR! ), yank down your pants, and assume ‘ The Stance.’

In this position your aging, toneless thigh muscles begin to shake. You’d love to sit down, but you certainly hadn’t taken time to wipe the seat or lay toilet paper on it, so you hold ‘The Stance.’

To take your mind off your trembling thighs, you reach for what you discover to be the empty toilet paper dispenser. In your mind, you can hear your mother’s voice saying, ‘Honey, if you had tried to clean the seat, you would have KNOWN there was no toilet paper!’ Your thighs shake more.

You remember the tiny tissue that you blew your nose on yesterday – the one that’s still in your purse. (Oh yeah, the purse around your neck, that now, you have to hold up trying not to strangle yourself at the same time). That would have to do. You crumple it in the puffiest way possible. It’s still smaller than your thumbnail

Someone pushes your door open because the latch doesn’t work. The door hits your purse, which is hanging around your neck in front of your chest, and you and your purse topple backward against the tank of the toilet. ‘Occupied!’ you scream, as you reach for the door, dropping your precious, tiny, crumpled tissue in a puddle on the floor, lose your footing altogether, and slide down directly onto the TOILET SEAT It is wet of course. You bolt up, knowing all too well that it’s too late. Your bare bottom has made contact with every imaginable germ and life form on the uncovered seat because YOU never laid down toilet paper – not that there was any, even if you had taken time to try. You know that your mother would be utterly appalled if she knew, because, you’re certain her bare bottom never touched a public toilet seat because, frankly, dear, ‘You just don’t KNOW what kind of diseases you could get.’

By this time, the automatic sensor on the back of the toilet is so confused that it flushes, propelling a stream of water like a fire hose against the inside of the bowl that sprays a fine mist of water that covers your butt and runs down your legs and into your shoes. The flush somehow sucks everything down with such force that you grab onto the empty toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged in too.

At this point, you give up. You’re soaked by the spewing water and the wet toilet seat. You’re exhausted. You try to wipe with a gum wrapper you found in your pocket and then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks.

You can’t figure out how to operate the faucets with the automatic sensors, so you wipe your hands with spit and a dry paper towel and walk past the line of women still waiting.

You are no longer able to smile politely to them. A kind soul at the very end of the line points out a piece of toilet paper trailing from your shoe. (Where was that when you NEEDED it??) You yank the paper from your shoe, plunk it in the woman’s hand and tell her warmly, ‘Here, you just might need this.’

As you exit, you spot your hubby, who has long since entered, used, and left the men’s restroom. Annoyed, he asks, ‘What took you so long, and why is your purse hanging around your neck?’

This is dedicated to women everywhere who deal with a public restrooms (rest??? you’ve GOT to be kidding!!). It finally explains to the men what really does take us so long. It also answers their other commonly asked questions about why women go to the restroom in pairs. It’s so the other gal can hold the door, hang onto your purse and hand you Kleenex under the door!

This HAD to be written by a woman! No one else could describe it so accurately!


Too much Wii!

Posted by The Inspector on December 26th, 2008 filed in Uncategorized
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We have only had our Wii for two day and I can already see how it could become addictive. They have a game out there for literally every interest it seems like. If you have healthcare career and can’t get enough of it at work then the game Trauma Center is for you! If you work in food service and still need a cooking fix at home then try “Cooking Mama”. Have a need to take care of the animals at home then you need to play “Animal Hospital”. We only have about 3 games right now but even my wife is hooked on the Wii. Who would have guessed she is a whiz at Wii bowling. After playing half a dozen people she appears unbeatable! Fortunately, Santa brought her a massaging pillow for her back because it seems there is such a thing as too much Wii.


Smash Bros – my views.

Posted by The Inspector on December 26th, 2008 filed in Uncategorized
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We have had our Wii for a couple of days now and have been trying to get the general gist of how to play Super Smash Bros. Brawl. This is my take on it and please correct me if I am wrong~
THis is my suggestion: Play as little against computers, and as much against humans as you can. Computers play completely differently, and are really easy to learn to beat. A level 9 computer is still really easy to win, especially through meteors and edge-hogs. And if you play computers too much, you become like a robot…

Just keep playing, and develop your own style. Don’t bother learning combos, in the end you should be able to make them as you go. And use ALL characters. Trust me, it will help a ton. It lets you learn how each character fights, and that way gives you an advantage against whoever your opponent. Something else: If you’re not very good, STAY AWAY FROM THE C-STICK! It’s a horrible habit to get into, using the c-stick.

It’s crucial you learn to dodge and shield. And then later, meteor smashes and such, but for now, just keep fighting.


Who would have thought…

Posted by The Inspector on December 22nd, 2008 filed in Uncategorized
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In the last week or so I have spent a bit of time on Facebook looking up old friends. For the most part everyone seems to have gone on to do the things in life that I would have expected. There are however a few surprises. One of my friends who was always terrible shy and cautious in high school seems to have taken a different road as a adult. She describes a fairly wild and hard partying life full of long nights and motorcycle ride around California. I sure hope she knows some good motorcycle accident lawyers Los Angeles and has them on speed dial. From what I am reading she is bound need them sooner rather than later!


My thoughts on web hosting…

Posted by The Inspector on December 22nd, 2008 filed in Uncategorized
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A friend of mine is trying to start a website and wanted my input on hosting options. Thought this might interest someone else out there so I am forwarding my thoughts to this blog. I currently use Dreamhost and suggested that he go with a big hosting company they have a ton of free web apps that you can install right from your control panel. I know GoDaddy, Bluehost, and Globat all have phpbb, SMF, Joomla, WordPress, and others available right from a click of the button. Just make sure you get a plan with at least a few MySQL databases available because these apps are dynamic and run from a database. Also, make sure you get a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) system as apposed to a Windows solution.


Wide as a bus…

Posted by The Inspector on December 22nd, 2008 filed in Uncategorized
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I just caught sight of my rear in the mirror upstairs and do believe it is time to invest in Lipovox. I sort of realized something was up when my wife could not confirm having shrunk my clothes in the dryer. I am now pretty sure my rear end is as wide as a bus at this point. Well, not really a bus but it certainly is more rotund that I ever remember it being. When we were married 18 years ago I weighed in at 130 pounds and today my scale shows about 175 pounds. I think after the holidays I really need to get on some sort of exercise plan.


To answer your question…

Posted by The Inspector on December 22nd, 2008 filed in Uncategorized
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Someone emailed me asking if they make case fans that can put on the bottom? Unfortunately one site that carries specialty fans is down for maintainance at the moment. Case-Mod.com – Case Mods, Cases, Power Supplies, and Cooling for Home Theater and Gaming Systems

Antec has a rather different approach with one of their specialty fans simply being secured to one of the lower board mounts while being directional seen at Antec

With most pc fans found they are generally mounted where there is a preformed opening on the front, rear, side cover, or top of any case. But that would be simply custom mounting a typical case fan without any opening or vents seen below it.


Happy boy.

Posted by The Inspector on December 18th, 2008 filed in family
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Last night our oldest son received the first of his many Christmas presents. A family friend, who is like an uncle to our children, met with us to exchange gifts. This year he went way above and beyond what he should have when it came to gift giving. The kids were given so many toys I have expected a limo to roll up and whisk us all away to one of those fancy vacation rentals for a quick getaway. This didn’t happen but we were none the less thankful for his generosity. This friend recently came into some money and kindly decided to share his bounty with our children. I am now listening to the sounds of a Tri-Bot whirls around our living room as my son squeals with joy.


Dumpster diving…

Posted by The Inspector on December 18th, 2008 filed in auto
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Trust me when I say I was not looking for any good deals. My registration for the car came in the mail the other day and in my effort to clear the clutter from my desk I threw a bunch of things away. One of the things I threw away was the the envelope that the car registration came in. I made sure to set the registration card aside. I went to put the registration card in the glove box the next day and realized that I forgot about the sticker. You know the sticker that goes on the plate? This is the same sticker the the state gets paid way too much money to hide in the envelope so that people like me will throw it away and have to pay for another one…


“That is a special color Dear….”

Posted by The Inspector on December 13th, 2008 filed in family
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My lovely wife went to Lowe’s today to pick up some paint for our living room. Picking out paint is always something we have gone together to do. This time I must say I really wished I had helped load up the kids and went with her. The color she came back with is called “Moose Antlers”. I looks very much like milk chocolate flavored pudding. It would be really yummy to eat if it were pudding but as a wall color I am just not so sure. Maybe with some modern furniture it will look better. We need to get a new couch so there is hope on the horizon. Right now though I just can’t get behind the combination of our sage green furniture and the chocolate pudding walls.


Verizon DSL questions?

Posted by The Inspector on December 11th, 2008 filed in computers
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I was at my father-in-law’s last night. While initially there to help with a new flat panel tv setup, I eventually found out that his internet service (which he gets thru Verizon DSL) is appalingly slow: using the java speed test on this website, I measured 18 Kbs downloads (oddly enough, I also measured > 500 Kbs uploads; strange, very strange…). I called Verizon tech support twice, and the people were polite but technically ignorant, as if they were reading from scripts. But they did verify that there were no service issues in the area, and that the line quality to the apt looked good. So, the slow speed is likely due to some problem with our equipment or setup.

Questions
————————————————–

1) Can I buy any third party DSL modem and expect it to work with Verizon, or do I need to buy a model from them or at least endorsed by them to expect things to work?

2) will all modern DSL modems have web interfaces that you can access over your LAN?

3) what kind of manual configuration do I need to do on my new DSL modem? Do I need to enter stuff like username, password, DNS etc?

4) instead of manual configuration, is auto configuration possible, as in, simply run a Verizon DSL installation CD? (See below for some more discussion)

5) assuming that I need to buy a DSL modem endorsed by Verizon, which such model do you guys like best? One of the tech people mentioned the Westell 7500, which it looks like I can buy used for $25
»newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/sys/9···830.html
Do you guys like this model? A brief web search turns up tons of people complaining about issues with it (of course, there is self selection here: people with success stories do not post, only people with problems).

6) if any modern DSL modem can be used with Verizon, what models do you guys like and why?


It is her room – completely!

Posted by The Inspector on December 2nd, 2008 filed in family
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Should you ever step foot in our house please take note of the tasteful decorating throughout our home. If you look closely you will see an infinite variety of carefully chosen decorating items collected throughout our 18 years of marriage together. In the lower level you might find Moroccan decor. In the living room impressionist art. Upstairs there is an eclectic mix of everything we love from
Moroccan decor to arts and crafts style touches. Somehow it all works together to create a homey and lively place we call home. It is what seems like the perfect blending of our tastes that ends up being neither too feminine nor too manly. There is however one room that I would ask you not to look at because it reflects nothing of who I am. That would be the bedroom that my wife and I share. We are still in the process of redecorating it but I can already tell it is becoming a woman’s paradise. From the lilac paint to the floral bedspread everything about it says “girl”. My wife swears she is only choosing things that will make the bedroom more romantic but I see it as one step short of unicorns and fairies. Oh well, this is the price I pay for not having a house overrun with feminine touches.


DSL slower?

Posted by The Inspector on December 2nd, 2008 filed in computers
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I noticed a dramtic slowing down with my DSL connection, I started to run Verizon speed test: http://infospeed.verizon.net/index.asp everyday monitoring my connection. The service I supposed to get is 3MB, however, during the days, my connection, according the the speed test, dropped down to something like 56K/126k/256k in variations. I started to spend large amount of time with Verizon DSL Tech Support. And eventually, after my case was full of remarks, Verizon’s first tier and second tier support had enough with me…refused to give me help any more, asked me to take my computers back to the manufactures. Right now at 2/3 am in the morning, my DSL speed is excellent, my speed test is showing a perfect score, 3MB! Does DSL have traffics like the dail-ups?What happened? Does it something to do with Verizon/Yahoo deal that changed some configuration from their end?


Dish Network makes me happy!

Posted by The Inspector on November 28th, 2008 filed in tech reviews
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After 5 years of being television free we are at long last back to having television. In fact we stepped things up a notch and gotten satellite television from Dish Network. Our older son was so giddy to have more than one cartoon channel you would thought he was experiencing Phentermine side effects or something. He seriously could not talking about all the great shows he could now watch without going to his grandparents house. Truth be told I am one happy man myself.


Wii questions?

Posted by The Inspector on November 28th, 2008 filed in gaming
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I’m running out of room on my Wii and I’ve already had to delete some virtual console games to make room for save files. (I know I can download them again for free if I want to.) I figure it’s about time I get an SD card I can use exclusively for my wii. I was wondering if there were any recommendations about the size of the card. For example, can a Wi not handle an 8GB card and things like that. It seems that Wikipedia says it can only handle 2GB but I don’t know if that’s true or not. Also, if anyone knows about how many “boxes” there are to a GB that would be nice to know as well.


Office handles.

Posted by The Inspector on November 20th, 2008 filed in business
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Sitting in a cubicle all day is not something I am used to. Since starting my new job I find myself sitting for the majority of the day. My old job had me constantly on the go which was something I didn’t realize I enjoyed until now. While being paid more is certainly a perk I like the sitting is just not good for me. I now have developed “office handles” and find my waistline curling over my pants. I have never in my life had a weight problem. The thought of diet pills is something foreign to me. I do not however like the feeling of having appendages on the sides of my body. Therefore I either need to eat less or start thinking a little more about those diet pills.


Vista

Posted by The Inspector on November 20th, 2008 filed in computers
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Vista just plain drives me crazy. It seems like each time I walk away from my computer it automatically disconnects from the internet. For some reason I can never log back onto the net unless I restart my computer. This does not happen with my other systems that have XP on them so I know it Vista that is doing it. Had I know Vista would be such a hassle I never would have purchased a machine with it on it.


In the eyes of a child.

Posted by The Inspector on November 15th, 2008 filed in camera
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Tonight our younger son came out of our older son’s room with they gun part of his lazer tag set. The little one was determined that it was a camera because it has a scope that resembles those high techNightforce rifle scopes. I am just went along with calling it a camera because he is just to young to have the conversation about what a gun is. Our 8 year old had no clue what a gun was until he was about 6 years old. I am thinking that for now if he wants to call this particular toy gun a camera we are just going to go with it.


What VoiP service to get?

Posted by The Inspector on November 15th, 2008 filed in audio
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Now that we have decided to stick with DSL instead of cable. This sounds crazy but here in the middle of nowhere trust me when I say the DSL is a better deal. Anyhow, now that we have settled on DSL I need to look into VoiP once again. The last time I had VoiP was over a year ago. I love the service at the time until the provider went bankrupt without notice. This makes me leery of any plan that you pay for a year of service in advance. It seems like Vonage or Lingo or maybe Packet8 would be a good choice.


I/O Device Error when copying from External Drive

Posted by The Inspector on November 13th, 2008 filed in business
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I am trying to copy some files from an external hard drive to another drive. It copies very slowly and then after copying a few files, it gives me the following message “Cannot Copy [filename]: The request could not be performed because of an I/O device error.”

I tried some file recovery programs, but I receive similar messages.

What can I do to recover or copy files from the external hard drive?

Any suggestions are appreciated!


Big old television

Posted by The Inspector on November 10th, 2008 filed in audio visual
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Now that we have cable my parents think it is important for us to have a big television. Both of my parents have monstrous televisions. I grew up in a family where television was very important. My wife on the other hand grew up in a family where television was very limited. We often butts heads when it comes to how much television our kids watch when visiting my parents. I am a little concerned what is going to happen at Christmas this year because my Mom told me that my Dad is going to be giving us his 42″ television that he recently upgraded to a bigger and newer model. She will likely insist that we install home theater seating and start charging admission when friends come over because we will be one step shy of a real movie theater experience. I like to watch television but given that this isn’t one of the new like models I am really dreading the number of times I am sure to have to move this around the house until she finds the perfect spot for it.


Cable sucks.

Posted by The Inspector on November 10th, 2008 filed in audio visual
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When we moved we signed up for a basic cable package. After not having cable for years and year we thought this would be a treat for our kids. Aside from PBS and some shows on Saturday morning they can’t seem to find a thing to watch. Part of me wants to check into satellite and the other says I should just call the cable company and have the cable switched off.


The Wii is here!

Posted by The Inspector on October 29th, 2008 filed in computers
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My dear wife finally relented in her opposition to video games and ordered my son a Wii for Christmas. Really it is for our family but he will be the one to open it. We also got a Wii Fit as part of the package. I was caught in the act of trying to open the box last night and threatened with it being returned to the store in exchange for a new Scrabble game. She knows how much I hate playing Scrabble and has promised this action if I so much as tear the cellophane on the box. You see she saved the money from her earnings to buy the Wii and put away a little bit over a period of time so technically I don’t have a say in this one. BUT the Wii is here is really is here!


Are my eyes going?

Posted by The Inspector on October 25th, 2008 filed in business
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It must be the the lack of overhead lighting in my house but I swear the paint I picked out in the store and what is now going on my walls do not match at all. The colors that are now on our walls are so much brighter than they appeared on the paint chip or in the store. Maybe I just need new contact lenses. If you happen to visit our house please have an open mind because we seriously didn’t intend to have a pumpkin orange kitchen and a sky blue hallway but it seems that we now have the lovely combination. At least they are cheerful colors and not at all like the bland beige we have lived with for so long prior to this. I won’t even begin to comment on the lavender, orange, yellow, green and blue walls that will make up our upstairs!


Fraudulent coupons.

Posted by The Inspector on October 25th, 2008 filed in business
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Our new home needs some minor upgrades. To save money on these projects we decided to buy some coupons on eBay. This is something we have done many times in the past with positive experiences. Today we took what we thought was real coupon to Lowe’s and loaded up on all the materials we would need. To our surprise our coupon was declared a fake by both the cashier and the store manager who pointed out a number of things that a trained eye could easily spot which indicated it was a fake. Embarrassed me made our much more expensive purchases and exited the store a bit wiser and poorer.


Baby gear must haves.

Posted by The Inspector on October 23rd, 2008 filed in business
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Several of our friends are expecting babies this month. Most of them are in the lucky position to be able to pamper their new little ones with top of the line baby gear like that made by Stokke Tripp Trapp and others. It is so fun to listen to them try to decide between ergonomic features on this baby stroller or that car seat. This is not a luxury we experienced at any time preceding the births of our two sons because economics didn’t permit this. Now I kind of wished we could have been in the position to have even a couple of these nifty little items. Baby gear today is so much easier to use and kinder on your back!


My wife rocks!

Posted by The Inspector on October 22nd, 2008 filed in business
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In case I haven’t said it enough I have an awesome wife. She is awesome for a number of reasons and has decided to give our family a wonderful gift for Christmas this year. We are getting a Wii and Wii Fit!!! My wife is a pretty frugal person who keeps our family afloat by constantly looking for a deal on everything. I have always wanted a Wii but it has never been in the budget. Somehow she searched and searched and managed to score a deal on a Wii and Wii Fit with two controllers and 40 games for under $285.00!!! Now I wonder if she can find a similar deal on an LCD TV? I suppose that really is pushing the limit but a guy can dream.


Power cord weirdness.

Posted by The Inspector on October 22nd, 2008 filed in business
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The power cord to my lap top is on the fritz and it is driving me crazy. Somewhere in the line there must be a short that keeps it from charging the battery effectively. Only when I hold the cord in a specific way does the computer recognize that the power cord is working. I need to break down and look for one on eBay because the Dell price to replace it is insane! There is no way I am spending $80.00 on a power cord when I know there is some compatible model out there in the wide wide world that is 1/3 the price. How does that work anyways when the original manufacturer can’t make the thing cheaper?


Ghosting It Forward – join the movement!

Posted by The Inspector on October 20th, 2008 filed in blogging
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Flying Ghost Pictures, Images and Photos
Just this week I was having a conversation with a friend about the state of the world around us. It just feels like everyone is caught up in a negative state of emotion. Daily we are inundated with news of rising prices, economic downturn, and countless global crisis issues. This seems to have created a general state of anxiety in so many people and a desperate need for more joy. I believe that the greatest joys in life are simple and unexpected. I further believe that joy is contagious. Why not bring a little more joy into the world around you starting today with a simple act of kindness to those around you?

“Ghosting” is a fun Halloween tradition of doing something nice for your neighbors and friends. In the spirit of “paying it forward”, everyone needs more positive touches in their life. In our current world filled with constant negative news, Ghosting It Forward is an effort to spread some positive touches to neighbors locally or friends virtually. Whether it is an anonymous note of thanks to your neighbor, a bunch of flowers, a bar of chocolate, an inspirational book or movie, or just a smiley face, Ghosting It Forward will energize people who send and receive the positive touches.

To learn more about “Ghosting It Forward” visit CLICK HERE to find instructions and all you will need to get started “Ghosting It Forward”.


Fall is good.

Posted by The Inspector on October 9th, 2008 filed in Spackle
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Fall has to be one of my favorite times of year. It could be the thoughts of sweet potato casserole, turkey, and mashed potatoes that typically accompany this time of year. It might be the excitement in my son’s voice as he plans his Halloween costume. Mostly it is the smells in the air and colors of life changing. The rich color of fall just seems like happiness. I don’t know why but even as a kid I loved fall. I remember just how great it felt to kick my feet though a big pile of leaves and just enjoy being a kid. Even today I enjoy raking leaves and taking in the beauty of the changing season.


That time of year again.

Posted by The Inspector on October 9th, 2008 filed in business
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It doesn’t seem right but it is almost time to start thinking about Christmas shopping. My older son is already hinting at the things he would like to see Santa Claus bring him. He is asking me to look at this magazine he gets which features all sorts of kits for building robots, rc helicopters, and other cool toys. His interests over the years have stayed pretty consistent when it comes to Christmas gifts which make him easy to shop for. I am finding it interesting that this year he is asking me to look at the magazine rather than write a note for Santa. I haven’t come out and asked him directly but I am starting to believe he is realizing that Santa may not actually bring the toys.


Stop baking (please).

Posted by The Inspector on October 9th, 2008 filed in business
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I am sitting here typing with the top button on my pants undone. The reason is because I am finding my pants no longer fit. The truth is I have gained quite a bit of weight in the last year. I really need my wife to stop baking her delicious treats because for some reason I can no longer eat like I used to be able to eat. Instead of sitting here typing about my snug pants maybe I should be looking up diet pill reviews or something because I know she is never going to stop baking. Baking is her way of relaxing and asking her to stop would be like asking a smoker to quit cold turkey. The reality is I need to get off my butt and start moving more.


The last piece of the puzzle.

Posted by The Inspector on October 9th, 2008 filed in business
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Tomorrow we are going to empty out the storage unit we rented last spring. This is the final part of our move to our new house. I am taking the day off because the unit we rented is only open weird hours. I guess this is why it was so cheap. Most of the stuff we have to move is pretty easy to handle. I am not however looking forward to moving the dressers, treadmill, and books we have there. These are the heaviest things and I am pretty much going to have to heave them around myself unless I can round up some free arms which is going to be tough on a weekday between 9am and 5 pm. Again a reason why the cheap price should have made me think twice about renting this unit.


Third grade spelling.

Posted by The Inspector on October 5th, 2008 filed in games
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This is the first year we are home schooling our older son. For the most part things are going pretty well. It has really opened my eyes to just how bright our son is. It is also opened my eyes to how the public school system has failed him. For example the child can spell anything and I do mean anything. If you asked him to spell Leptovox I have no doubt he could do it. On the other hand his handwriting is terrible and he reports that teachers have consistently allowed him to write with either hand. How on earth does this get past 4 different teachers? We have consistently been told how bad his writing is and now I can see why. You just can’t learn to write well when you are writing with both hands.


Work, work, and more work.

Posted by The Inspector on October 5th, 2008 filed in business
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The feeling has been lingering in my mind that I never seems to get a break. It seems like I think I am caught up with my work at my job and then I come home and there is even more to do. Just when I finish the work at one house we buy a new one that needs projects completed. This is probably the reason I am being attacked by acne and the munchies. It seems like I never get a second to sit down and relax! Every chance I get I seem to snacking and this is all adding up to greasy and gross skin. I need a VACATION!


No fever.

Posted by The Inspector on October 3rd, 2008 filed in business
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Last night it was funny but both my wife and I came to the realization we no longer had the “fever”. By the “fever” I am referring to that feeling you have when you want to have more children. This isn’t really and option for us anymore but it was nice to realize we are both comfortable with our family just the way it is. Our good friends are about to have their fourth child. Typically, I must admit I have always felt a pain of jealousy when someone has a new baby. I think this is more because having kids for us was a gigantic accomplishment and for other people it just comes so easily. It is really nice to be in that place where our family feels just right. More children only makes me think of the future and how will we every pay for college, find cheap auto insurance, or pay for weddings? I would much rather worry about paying for two kids in this economy than a gaggle of them.


Playing dress up.

Posted by The Inspector on September 30th, 2008 filed in business
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Halloween is just around the corner. This year I am actually looking forward to it because we live in such a great neighborhood. I am seriously considering now just taking my kids out and about on Halloween night but getting myself one of those cool grownup Halloween costumes. It would be fun to dress up and see the look on my kids faces since I never really do this type of stuff. Any suggestions for what I should dress up as that won’t scare the little ones would be appreciated. I am kind of out of my realm of expertise when it comes to playing dress up.


That isn’t going to work.

Posted by The Inspector on September 27th, 2008 filed in business
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Today I put up a new ceiling fan in our kitchen. I really should have known when I bought it that it wasn’t going to put out the type of light I was looking for. It takes one of those candelabra light bulbs. At night it might as well be a night light rather than a ceiling light. What I really need is something that puts out light along the lines of what led light bulbs are capable of. The kitchen is very dark right now because of the dark cabinetry and lack of adequate lighting and this ceiling fan just isn’t going to cut it. At least it does blow the air around.


Jolly holiday.

Posted by The Inspector on September 27th, 2008 filed in business
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Living in our new house is like being on one of those fantastic cruises we all dream of going away on. It is just so relaxing to live in a peaceful neighborhood with great neighbors who really seem to care about you and your welfare. I had almost forgotten what it is like to sit in my house and not worry about what is going on outside or when the next drug raid might take place in the area. I thank my lucky stars we took a leap and bid on this new house! No matter how much wallpaper stripping or painting there is to do it is infinitely better than my nice updated house in our old neighborhood.


I said NO NO NO!!!!

Posted by The Inspector on September 21st, 2008 filed in Uncategorized
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I know this woman has a problem but she just doesn’t want to admit it right now. This woman sits across from me in the next cubicle and every time she comes into work in the morning and from lunch she reeks of alcohol. From what I can gather the bosses have all talked to her and she has been to a drug rehab a couple of times but she just isn’t ready. It’s sad but the other employees have placed bets on when she will be getting her next DUI. My fear is that I will meet her on the road with my kids after she has had one too many and still not ready to admit that she has a problem and needs to go to alcohol rehab.


It will be okay!

Posted by The Inspector on September 11th, 2008 filed in jobs
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This year we decided to have our 3rd grade son attend cyber school instead of a brick and motor elementary school. He has struggled to find his place in a traditional classroom and we have been really disappointed in the school system here. For the most part everyone in our family is very supportive of this decision. Every once in a while my mother will come with some question as to how this is going to affect him when it comes to college. I have said time and time again that he is a public school student and enrolled in a cyber charter school but she doesn’t seem to get it. He will take all of the same classes and tests as any other school student and have a report card to prove it. It won’t matter whether he wants to go to school to be a futures broker or an astronaut he will be able to do so! I guess until you are actively involved with this type of schooling option it is hard to understand from the outside.


Takin’ the Bee

Posted by The Inspector on September 7th, 2008 filed in Uncategorized
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My wife and I have finally found a home for ourselves and my car. I have a 1969 Super Bee that has been sitting at my mothers for about thirty years now and I think it needs to find a new home. I even went out and got a good car cover for it so it doesn’t get dusty as it sits in its new home, my garage. Now my wife will not be happy about this but understands that if it ever came down to it and we needed money quickly, we could sell that car and have a sizable down payment on……..well, something.


My condolences.

Posted by The Inspector on September 2nd, 2008 filed in family
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We have been fixated on paint colors and choosing kitchen faucets for our new home. I knew the house we are buying was an estate sale but I never really thought about the person who might have lived there. Today, I had to sign some paper work and came across the name of the person who lived in the house. For some reason I decided to look them up and find out what I could about them. The only thing I found was an obituary. I was expecting to read about someone who passed away at a ripe old age but this was not the case. In fact, the person was middle aged and passed away after a battle with cancer. She died in her home. I am quite sure she left behind a family who is missing her very much and I am very sorry for their loss.


Goes with the job

Posted by The Inspector on August 29th, 2008 filed in Uncategorized
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Crap I hate moving, but I will say that this time I will be doing it with a twist. My wife and I got one of those moving pods and just recently had it delivered to the home we will be moving into. Can you imagine what our future neighbors must be thinking when this thing was delivered to our new front door? I know I would be nosy and go over to bang on it to see what bangs back. We did get everything inside of it and for the time being we will have to spend the next week at my mothers while we go over during the day and get things set up little by little. And to top it all off I am being forced into moving due to the job I got.


Almost packed!

Posted by The Inspector on August 24th, 2008 filed in family
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In just about two weeks we should finally be on our way towards living in our new home. I can’t believe how fortunate we were to get this particular house. What is even more wonderful is being able to leave this house behind us. I thought I would get all reminiscent as I watched my wife pack up our kitchen things. Our kitchen is one of my favorite rooms in our house. Surprisingly though as I watched her pack up her bread machine, paella pan, and other cooking utensils I felt nothing but joy. It is amazing to realize the day we never thought would happen is upon us. The truth is that it isn’t the house that is the issue at all. If we could move the house somewhere else we would but this is the next best option.


Very little profit.

Posted by The Inspector on August 17th, 2008 filed in business
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This is a terrible time to be selling a house. If it weren’t for the fact that we have to move I seriously think I would just have kept our house and waited for the market to settle down. We are in a fortunate position to be making a little profit on our house unlike many people out there. It won’t be enough for us to purchase one of those Brazil vacation packages but we are going to pay off a few debts which will be nice. This will help us to be able to afford more house than we would have been able to do otherwise. I just can’t wait until I know which house we will be calling home!


Moving on.

Posted by The Inspector on August 17th, 2008 filed in blogging
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After two months of living in cheap hotels this summer while I trained for my new job it feels oddly good to be home. The thing is that this is only going to be home for the next few weeks because we HAVE SOLD OUR HOUSE!!! This should be a joyous moment not only for my family but also anyone who reads this blog. Most of you will be very happy to no longer be subjected to posts about my horrible neighbors. We have put in a bid on a house but I seriously doubt the bid is going to be accepted. Either way it is nice to be sleeping in own home even if for a short time while we look for a new place to call home.


Things I know nothing about~

Posted by The Inspector on August 13th, 2008 filed in business
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There are a couple people in my life who think I know something about just about anything they can come up with. Of course I find this flattering at time but it makes me wonder why exactly they think this way about me. Do I look like the type of guy who knows about futures trading, experimental treatments for balance disorders, and the status of political relations in the Middle East? These are definitely things that I know nothing about nor intend to learn about in the near future. There are just some topics that aren’t worth troubling my mind with. Today the most challenging question I want to investigate is what tee time I can get on Saturday morning.


Little feet.

Posted by The Inspector on August 13th, 2008 filed in business
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Every so often I get the urge to build something. My most recent project was a piece of tv furniture. For the most part the television stand I build turned out very well. The only problem was I built it at such a height that it ended up being the first place our kids would prop their feet on while watching television. They also inevitably banged on the doors with their feet while getting them up there. Now the door is hanging on by a thread and there isn’t a good way to fix it other than build new doors. Since I made the thing out of scrap wood I guess I shouldn’t feel too bad about it. I just wish little feet would find someplace else to rest such as on the floor.


Glamazon

Posted by The Inspector on August 10th, 2008 filed in Uncategorized
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New office, more women. I understand that the Human Services field is female dominated field but when it’s eighteen women and you are the only guy in the whole place the estrogen can get a little thick. Talk of celebrities, affairs, and diet pills fill the office while the smell of perfume and hand lotion is almost stifling. I told my wife that pretty soon I will be coming to work in capris and the newest Oprah book pick to talk about. Divorce proceeding would be starting soon afterward was her response.


How much did that cost?

Posted by The Inspector on August 2nd, 2008 filed in Uncategorized
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There is a women in my office ,that we all thought had been fired, who came back to work after getting what looks to be an entire body makeover. She was not an un-attractive women to begin with but now looks healthy and happy after lippo suction, dental work and several acne treatments to clear up what she thought was blemished skin. The whole thing cost a fortune we thought until she told us that this was part of her divorce settlement with her ex-husband. It seems that he cheated on her with his assistance so she went and had herself made over to look like her to torture him. Looks like it worked as she got roses from him just yesterday.


Things are looking up!

Posted by The Inspector on August 2nd, 2008 filed in business
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There is a possibility that we could actually be moving in the very near future. This week a bid came in on our house. It is lower than we would have wanted but the loss we will take is over shadowed by the benefits of being able to move. I just can’t believe there might be a time in the next couple months where we will be out critiquing houses ourselves. It will so much fun to analyzes people choices in carpet, bar faucets, wall paper, and other decor. What always kills me is how people buy a house because the “love” it and promptly redecorate just about every aspect of it. We on the other hand are truly looking for a move-in ready house that we won’t have to do all of that type of stuff to. The great thing is that once we sell we are not in any hurry to find a house since we have a place to live in the meantime which really should take the pressure off!


Casual Fridays

Posted by The Inspector on July 26th, 2008 filed in business
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Finally after 2 long months of training I am at long last home and behind the desk at my new job. Things are going surprisingly well and my co-workers seem really great. I was surprised to find out that even though this is state job that we observe casual Friday’s on paydays. On these days we can where anything we want from funny shirts to flip flops and no one will care. The cool thing is that everyone “buys” this option for a dollar and all the money collected goes to a different charity each month. It is going to be fun to see what different people consider casual wear and who does or does not participate.


Beyond tired.

Posted by The Inspector on July 18th, 2008 filed in business
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For the last week I haven’t gotten more than 4 consecutive hours of sleep each night. I really can’t say for sure what is keeping me awake. It is possible that I am simply drinking to much caffeine during the day. I know it isn’t from anything I am taking such as Phentermine because I don’t even take a daily vitamin. What I really think it is from is simply being away from home for too long. Thankfully all of the traveling I have been doing should be over here in another week.


Too late now.

Posted by The Inspector on July 11th, 2008 filed in business
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As we traveled about Pittsburgh I had a very open conversation with my wife. In the course of that conversation we both stated that we wished we had never left Philadelphia four years ago. A couple of months ago my wife had the opportunity to return to her old job in Phili that she loved very much. Had we been being honest with ourselves I would have jumped on the bandwagon and looked at jobs in Philadelphia. It is too late now to do anything about it but at least we know where our hearts would be if all things were possible. I suppose the best thing we can do is to buck up and try to make the best life possible where we are for now.


Almost done.

Posted by The Inspector on July 11th, 2008 filed in business
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It thrilled me to find out this week that my training is not going to be quite as long as I had been told it would be. The training itself has been a great learning experience and I have enough take home material to fills a dozen books but I am ready to go home. In just a week and half it will all be over! The scary thing is that I will be expected to start doing the actual job the very next day after training is over. What I will be doing requires a ton of paperwork and is extremely dependent upon my careful attention to detail to do the job well. As with any job, I am expecting that doing the job is far different from learning about the job. I am hoping it won’t all be as bad as I am expecting and I am not thrown to the wolves off the bat.


Struck me as odd.

Posted by The Inspector on July 11th, 2008 filed in audio
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We were sitting in church a few weeks ago and for some reason I found the conversation around me funny. Actually we were sitting in our adult Sunday School class and the topic of conversation was MP3 players. I don’t know why it surprised me but most of the people in this class owned one. They have never struck me as a particularly technologically driven group but indeed they are. The conversation centered around the pros and cons of ipods versus other MP3 players. I sat back and listened amazed to be learning so much about what makes the people around me drawn to particular products based on their individual needs and interests. It just goes to show that you think you know people but you really don’t.


Hotel neck.

Posted by The Inspector on July 2nd, 2008 filed in business
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Staying in a hotel has some downsides. For example I now have this disorder I have dubbed “hotel neck”. This is a pain in my back and neck from watching too much television while sitting propped up in bed. It isn’t like there is any theater seating available. I have been propping myself up with about 6 pillows but I am still finding this an odd position to watch television. There is a certain strain being put on my neck that I can’t seem to fix no matter how I position the pillows or myself. There is probably some correlation between sitting at a desk all day and then sitting in bed most of the night watching television. My body just isn’t familiar with either of these activities. My old job had me running in and out of the office all day and we don’t have cable at home so watching television for hours wasn’t an option. I suppose the solution is to get out and get some physical activity in the evenings but I just am not motivated to do that yet.


Historic Inn.

Posted by The Inspector on June 25th, 2008 filed in business
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This week my hotel stay was booked at a different hotel from where I stayed last week. Instead of a chain hotel or a condo hotel my accommodations were made at a historic inn. I have to say I had lofty expectations of this inn based on the per night rate they charge online and that this inn was rated a top “historic inn”. Let’s just say this hotel is interesting to say the least. My room has a canopy bed which from a distance is very pretty but up close you can truly see the “history”. In general the room is nice but in need of serious upgrading due to peeling wallpaper, leaking faucets, and worn bedding. Otherwise it is a nice large room with little oddities that add character not found in chain hotels but there is absolutely no way I would ever pay the $150.00 per night room rate listed online for this room.


Bored silly.

Posted by The Inspector on June 25th, 2008 filed in business
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You might have read earlier that I am away from home for several weeks training for a new job. What was supposed to be 6 weeks of training has now become 8 weeks. To top off the sheer boredom of living in a hotel room the weather has totally sucked. It isn’t warm enough to bust out my swimwear and kill some time in the pool or anything outside. Some days it might top out at 75 degrees but with the rain and overcast skies it feel like it is in the 60′s. I need to find the library or something and at least get some books to read because summertime cable television programming is awful. Could I complain much more? I suppose not but I really truly am completely bored silly.


Will there be anything left.

Posted by The Inspector on June 18th, 2008 filed in work
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I am just sitting here picturing life back home and wondering how my wife is faring. It has got to be hard being left with two kids and a bunch of stressful life situations to manage for 8 weeks. She also had surgery yesterday to really top things off properly. Today when I talked to her I could just tell she is sad and depressed about everything in general. We are only 3 weeks into this 8 week period of me being away from home. I really wondering how much of that fiery spirit of hers will be left after the 8 weeks is over? If I had the money I would look into New York City travel options and send her away for a little time to herself when I get back. Right now I think all the lady needs is a good night’s sleep and a lot of hugs to put a smile on her face. I wish I were there to give her these things but instead I am stuck here in this hotel room.


Bored silly.

Posted by The Inspector on June 18th, 2008 filed in work
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The length of my training has been extended from 6 weeks to 8 weeks. I can’t begin to tell you how much this sucks. Even though I know the job will be worth it in the end it doesn’t make being away from my family any easier. There is only so much television a person can watch. I even found myself reading a furniture catalog just to pass time last night. I need to find out if there is a library in the area or at least find a good paperback novel to read. To top it all off the guy I am traveling with has decided to give me the silent treatment for reasons I don’t quite understand. Driving 8 hours a week with someone who won’t carry on a conversation with you is just plain annoying.


Flat panel rocks!

Posted by The Inspector on June 12th, 2008 filed in hardware
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It just occurred to me that my new computer desk is literally a third the size of my old one. It really is amazing how space saving a lcd monitor truly is. Instead of having my desktop computer sitting out like sore thumb in the middle of our dining room it is now nicely tucked away on a small cart in the corner. My wife loves having her dining room no longer looking like an office and I like it when she is happy. The only thing about having a smaller desk is there really isn’t any room to eat at the computer any more. I suppose that is good for the computer and for my waistline.


Long days and late nights.

Posted by The Inspector on June 12th, 2008 filed in family
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When this training is all said and done I think I am going to have to research what is the best wrinkle cream. Right now I have some serious circles under my eyes from lack of sleep. It feels as is I am about 10 years older than before I left. There is just something about being away from home and out of your own element that throws your body all out of whack. Fortunately, tomorrow I will be traveling home for a couple of nights and that should make a world of difference.


Got all that?

Posted by The Inspector on June 12th, 2008 filed in business
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This new job has me entirely overwhelmed. There are tons of forms and code numbers to remember. All it seems like we do it talk about form PHB47F or CAT5e. I am sure it will all make sense once I am finally doing the actual job but right now it just seems like gibberish. I am really thankful to have gotten this job and know that in the long haul it will benefit my family tremendously. It is just a little bit overwhelming right now and hard to be so far away from them for so long.


Hot enough?

Posted by The Inspector on June 12th, 2008 filed in business
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As I posted before I am in the midst of spending 6 weeks living in a hotel. The hotel is nice enough but for some reason I can’t get the air conditioner to work very well. Last night I woke up in a puddle of sweat so big I could have used a couple floor mops to clean it up. I suppose I should complain to the front desk about the situation given what my employer is spending to put me up here. I have so much work to do that it just never occurs to me to go and complain until about 3 am in the morning when I can’t stand it any more. Maybe I should just go and do it now while I am thinking about and possibly I will sleep better tonight.


My poor wife..

Posted by The Inspector on June 12th, 2008 filed in family
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Right now I am away from home training for a new job. This training requires me to travel several hundred miles from home for approximately 6 weeks. During this time my wife not only has to manage raising our two kids but also taking care of our house that has just been listed for sale. Throw in the fact that she is having surgery next week and all the problems we have been having with our stupid neighbors and she is one stressed out lady. I am seriously thinking of looking into sending her away to one of those Sea Pines rentals for a week of relaxation when things settle down. I can imagine that her nerves must be absolutely frazzled by now.


Tit for Tat

Posted by The Inspector on June 6th, 2008 filed in Uncategorized
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Well I finally got away from the whiner. I now have a new job and rather than being in an office with five other people, I am in a cubicle by myself. I seems though that I have traded my new found silence for a lack of proper resources. The job pays well and don’t get em wrong I am grateful to have it, but I had to buy my own office supplies. My desktop is antiquated and even though I have a laptop to go work n the field, it does not have enough laptop memory to do the job and it seems that you can’t use it w/o the cord w/o it running down in about 30 minutes. But I guess that is the price you pay, and gladly I might add, for good work place attitude…..I think.


Up off the floor

Posted by The Inspector on June 6th, 2008 filed in Uncategorized
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My wife and I have been battling with our 2 year old over control of the TV, physical control that is. The little bugger won’t quit climbing on it and we are afraid that he will pull it over on himself. We have an older TV and it weighs a ton so it would probably do quite a bit of damage and we would have the pleasure of explaining to the hospital why a TV had just fallen on our son. Our solution,albeit a expensive one, is easy. Get the TV up off the floor. So now we are going to our local mall to get a plasma screen TV with a plasma mount so that the TV can be put securely on the wall and away from Klondike bill the TV climber. I also see it as another cool toy for my ever mounting collection.


We are on the market!

Posted by The Inspector on May 29th, 2008 filed in household tech
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Finally, after months and months of preparation our house is now on the market. We have worked very hard on our home for many months and really hope it pays off. We recognize that the housing market is in a slump but hope things work out for us. Virtually every area of our home has been repainted or refreshed in some way. The only thing I really have left that must be done is to rent one of those steam cleaners to freshen the carpet in my son’s room. Little boys room tend to have their own unique smell and while we love it other people may not feel the same way.


Show the love!

Posted by The Inspector on May 19th, 2008 filed in blogging, family, financial
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There are so many things I love about being able to work from home that I really shouldn’t be complaining but I am. Last week we took our son to an enrollment interview for the virtual school he will be attending next year. I was really surprised when the school handed him a treat bag full of promotional products that included a window cling, bracelet, and coloring book. Our family is known for our use of the internet to conduct most of the business of life. It would be really nice if in addition to the window cling we have promoting his school to have some promoting the various online businesses both my wife and I work for. How cool would it be if all the employees and contractors for the businesses we work for were driving around with little window clings promoting these companies. I know it would spur “word of mouth” advertising that would pay for the cost of the window clings in no time. It would also be nice to have something on my car that really does convey that I do work from home. I know the majority of people in our neighborhood don’t believe we actually go to any type of job at all. :lol:


I haven’t any pants.

Posted by The Inspector on May 13th, 2008 filed in health tech
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For the first time in my life getting dressed each morning is an issue. It seems that I have gained a bit of weight over the last year. I am sure it doesn’t have anything to do with the case of Grandma’s cookies my wife ordered from Amazon.com. I absolutely have to do something soon because I am down to about two pair of pants that still fit and I refuse to buy bigger pants. Maybe I should look into weight loss pills that work or join the gym. A good starting place would be to give away the remaining 20 packages of double chocolate cookies that I can’t seem to step away from.


Lucky for her

Posted by The Inspector on May 11th, 2008 filed in Uncategorized
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I work in a small office so when something happens to someone It gets through the office very quickly. We came back from lunch the other day and got back just in time to watch an ambulance pull away from the parking lot. Several people were standing around the front doorway as we walked through so it wasn’t long before our boss was coming into our group of cubicles to give us the low down on what happened. As spring continues to come so do the bugs, including bees. Our director is deathly allergic to them and upon getting stung be one on the cheek went into shock and stopped breathing. Nobody knew what had happened until the paramedics came, saw her face, and, luckily, noticed the medical id on her wrist which indicated a sever allergy to bee stings. Luckily they got to her just in time.


Amused.

Posted by The Inspector on May 6th, 2008 filed in auto
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While sitting at school waiting to pick up our son I always take a minute to check out the other parents “rides”. I don’ know why I do this aside from boredom because I really don’t know anyone at the school. Somehow it always amuses me to see people roll up into a school parking lot with a tricked car to pick up their 2nd grader. My life is simply to busy with Cub Scout, swimming, Awana, and home repair to even think about fancy rims or Cadillac grills. Maybe it is a family hobby or something but either way it stills makes me wonder where they find the time? We can’t find a minute to wash the car together let alone install custom products to it. Do they even make that kind of stuff for a Dodge Caravan?


What is the deal?

Posted by The Inspector on May 6th, 2008 filed in household tech
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We live in a very close community. This isn’t to say that we are all one big happy family but rather is simply a statement about the proximity of one house to another. What I can’t get over is the number of people who never put up curtains or window treatments of any kind in their houses. I am not talking about apartments or places where people stay for brief periods of time. In these cases these are long term residents who just don’t seem to care if everyone around can see them watching television in their underwear. Has modesty become archaic and I didn’t get the memo?


I am a big boy.

Posted by The Inspector on May 6th, 2008 filed in business
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When it comes to men and boys we all know the old saying “the only difference is the size of their toys“. I have to admit as a man I find this statement a little insulting but for the most part it seems to be true. You really don’t see women driving around to often in tripped out cars or drooling over the newest technological gadget. Think about the last conversation you had with a group of your buddies. Was it centered around family issues and social woes? No, it was all about the last game you played (Wii, PS3, or even golf) or your newest toy (car, television, tech gadget). So, grudgingly I will admit that I am indeed a “big boy”. Now, are you brave enough to say the same thing?


Resource hogs.

Posted by The Inspector on May 6th, 2008 filed in computers
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On one of the forums I frequent there was a very long discussion of anti-virus software. I had never considered anti-virus software to be a “resource hog” but apparently some people are very opposed so certain programs because of this. Several people felt very strongly that unless you have ample computer memory that programs like Norton use to many resources. I would never consider going without anti-virus software but some people out there are doing it. One fellow says he simply scans using an online tool every day? How he gets away with this I have no idea. Certainly he must not be using his computer in quite the same way as the rest of us!


Language lessons.

Posted by The Inspector on May 1st, 2008 filed in family
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Our older son has wanted to learn Spanish. I didn’t really think he was very serious about this since he is only 8 years old. My wife finally indulged him and purchased an online Spanish course geared for elementary school kids. It is amazing but we literally have to force him to stop doing the lessons. He is picking the language up at an incredible rate and is trying to use it whenever he can. Yesterday I found him watching a dvd and instead of listening to it the usual way he had also set the television to play the closed captioning in Spanish. How cool is that?


My little penny pincher

Posted by The Inspector on April 20th, 2008 filed in Uncategorized
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I would like to start by saying..I really love my wife. My wife can smell on on-line deal 10 web sites away. She has gotten me several things from different on-line stores at prices that almost make me think shat we are stealing from these poor people. Don’t even get me started with the coupons. Blockbuster coupons, home depot coupons, even grocery coupons which, I might add, she used the other day to get $120.00 worth of groceries for $40.00. I am waiting for the day where I come home and find out that someone had to pay her to buy something from them. Our plan is to get the receipt, frame it, and hang it on our wall.


Finally figured it out

Posted by The Inspector on April 17th, 2008 filed in Uncategorized
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So she has finally done it. My office mate who has been trying so hard to find a way to get disability has decided to drop the bomb and announce to everyone that she has decided to go to alcohol rehab and kick her addiction. I have seen this women out in public where she has had many an opportunity to drink and has not so much picked up a beer. Her speech was almost convincing up to the point that I casually informed her that the out patient program she was going to was only for 28 days. The look on her face was priceless.


Energy efficient light bulbs

Posted by The Inspector on April 16th, 2008 filed in business
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Several months ago I replaced all the ceiling light bulbs and lamps in our house and outside it with energy efficient bulbs. This move was triggered by a really great sale on the bulbs at my local grocery store. The bulbs promised a fairly decent yearly savings that would offset the cost of the bulbs. Although it hasn’t been a year I do think the bulbs have saved us some money but not nearly what was promised on the packaging. Our local electric is pretty inexpensive and that may be contributing to my lack of excitement over the savings we are getting.


Just begging for it

Posted by The Inspector on April 13th, 2008 filed in Uncategorized
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I work at what could only be described as a menial job and look at it in no other way. I know that others in my office look at it this way also but we are all happy to have a job in this difficult financial time. So to have someone in the office continually bragging about how their husband makes six figures and recently bought her one of this years Rolex watches you can imagine some of the not so nice things going through our minds that we would like to say to her. She recently said that she has had her car for one year and it was time to trade up as they usually do while the rest of us are doing everything short of stealing to keep our beaters on the road. I swear if she comes to work with an Escalade we will carjack her.


Do they really work?

Posted by The Inspector on April 13th, 2008 filed in Uncategorized
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At my office I am required to carry a cell phone as I need to as accessible as possible to just about everyone around me. What really stinks about this is that everyone assumes that I am out of the office and calls my on my cell even when I am sitting at my desk with my perfectly working office phone sitting on my desk gathering dust. I get horrible signal at my desk so instead of calling me on my office phone as I have requested it was suggested that I try one of those cell phone magnifiers that is supposed to boost your signal coming in and going out. Not that I really want to do that but I am curious to see if they do really work.


Starting to pack it on

Posted by The Inspector on April 10th, 2008 filed in Uncategorized
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Boy I think I need to find me some diet pills that work as I seem to have developed a gut. My job requires a lot of hours so exercising is almost impossible and even though people say that the 15 minute workout you can do at your desk actually works, it doesn’t. I have gotten rid of all of the snacks I hide in my desk and now drink only water rather than the coffee and soda I have for breakfast and lunch but it obviously is not enough. It’s getting to the point where I am considering changing shifts in order to set up a work out routine. My wife is not to happy about it but my last doctors appt. says that I need to do something.


Back away with that drink!

Posted by The Inspector on April 7th, 2008 filed in computers
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A couple of months ago I invested in a great new ergonomic keyboard. It was wonderful until one day it just stopped working. After trying everything I knew of to fix it I decided to take it apart. This is when I discovered a sticky mess. Apparently someone in my house spilled a drink onto the keyboard and never said anything. As irritated as this made me I am thankful it was not my laptop who was on the receiving end of the drink! Fixing a laptop is much more costly than replacing a keyboard and a hundred times more inconvenient. I suppose I could have looked into a temporary laptop rental had this happened. There is now a rule in our house that no one is allowed to drink or eat near any of the computers again!


New “work station”

Posted by The Inspector on April 7th, 2008 filed in blogging
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We are getting ready to sand and refinish the hardwood floors in our house. In order to do so