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Maybe we'll try grilling the steak tonight? Yesterday's plans went somewhat awry when Daniel ended up going out to dinner with the friend's family he was with when the two boys got back from that kid's church group's laserquest adventure (are you keeping up here?). ...and that still left us with three. ...until Brad walzted off to his friend's place around five and called to say he wouldn't be home for a while. WT?

...but that put us down to two and we just looked at each other and picked our books back up and kept reading. We figured we'd just snack and call it good. ...and when Brad came back around 1930 and said, "Are the steaks done yet?" we just smiled and suggested PB&J.

Life in the fast lane...


The passing of an era (at least for the moment)... I noticed it first at work last week when someone requested a replacement electric stapler. Sometimes I pull a quick troubleshoot on items like that before junking them/sending them on to a tech/replacing them. ...and since I knew this model from back when I managed the plant, I took a quick look. Power was good and a manual cycle worked okay, so I took it one step further and opened the bottom cover. ...came up with a bad trigger lever on the actuator switch. Man, just a little bit of plastic that let go from its mount. ...and yeah, the failure point was at the mount; both arms were snapped off clean.

So we're talking a 20 cent bit of molded plastic that is essentially unavailable to me through any practical means. ...and by practical, I mean I can order a new unit in two minutes that will be delivered the next day as opposed to someone (me or a tech) researching the part and attempting to have it located and shipped to us in anything approaching a timely or cost effective means.

...and with the retirement of the one gentleman who handled sundry repairs, there is no longer a 'junk bin' with another unit like this one that had the power supply blow or had the housing break or any of the usual reasons some of us maintain(ed) junk bins (remember when finding a resistor or a switch was just a matter of rummaging through any one of several boxes?).

Sunday let me know how far I've drifted from my roots. ...or how far consumer electronics has evolved while I was bowling nine-pins in the Catskills all these years. One of the boys had dropped a portable CD player and the true owner complained that the tuner function no longer worked. Okay, the function switch looked to be free sliding, so I figured maybe the linkage was broken: visions of superglue and super hero dad came to mind...

Not... Oh, some of the super hero stuff worked out: both boys were fascinated with the disassembly procedure (I'm predicting now that this was a Very Bad Thing to make Brad aware of) as I took the unit apart and showed them the various bits and pieces. ...but the switch repair? Nope, 'twas not to be: the unit had to have landed almost directly on the switch 'knob'. ...and the case must have flexed 'just enough' (a good thing normally if the unit were dropped; it would flex and not break), because this drop had transmitted all the force directly into the switch itself and literally exploded it. The metal top cover was nowhere to be found and the housing looked like one of those houses about a mile away from an A-bomb test. I found the slide; it had lodged itself in the battery compartment. ...but nope, that switch was hosed big time. were my options. I could spend days looking through the Digikey catalog and hope to find a match up. I could solder the switch connections (it was a DPDT slide switch, micro-miniature, of course), but I'd only be able to pick up one function, CD or Tuner; and there were ramifications here beyond just making it work: someone was out bucks if it was broken since it had been 'borrowed' at the time of the drop. So, no, that wouldn't work. ...or I could maybe unsolder the 'bass boost' switch and hard wire that connection to 'on' and replace the CD/Tuner switch with it.

Yeah, the same deal... A thirty cent switch that I couldn't score in anything resembling a timely fashion. ...or a half hour or so of repair work (maybe; I'm bit out of practice). And the same unit on sale this week for $29.95...

More than a lament, less than a rant...


Well, I haven't lost it... There was a need for a short order cook here last night, so in about fifteen minutes I had two plateloads of baked potato and reheated steak with applesauce (cinnamon dusted) on the side and one order of spaghetti (vermicelli actually: "Dad, what's this? It's great!") with bottled sauce (he didn't want home made) all ready to go within 90 seconds of each other...

...and once they were fed, the rest of Monday's steak thin sliced and fried up with lemon pepper and garlic salt tossed onto a big ol' torpedo bun with chipolte mustard, mayo and swiss cheese for me.

Yeah, could be worse <g>...


Hey, it looks like we're vacation bound! Yep, some scheduling issues came together and we'll be beaching it sometime next week.

...and hey, I'm ready!


Umm... Yeah... Working on a coupla' sites...

...but it's the weekend!


Well, the agenda for the family vacation is changing...It appears we may not be going to the coast as planned out earlier in the summer; the current decisions are are between Disney's California Adventures and a day at Bonfante Gardens followed by a swing by Monterey for the aquarium and Cannery Row...

Stay tuned!


I'd call yesterday a "supremely long day"... Evidently I didn't get as much sleep as I needed the night before. ...or so it appeared by early afternoon.

I'd gotten up and bladed and then came back and changed out the latch mechanism on the gate by the gazebo (yes, yes, I know, pics, Ann...) to make the entrance a little more inviting. ...and Brad and I worked on some cleanup. ...but by the time all that was over, I was pretty much feeling the heat and the work. So I headed in for a shower...

Somewhere along the line (post shower) I decided to lay down for a few. Yeah, right. Shelley woke me up for a late dinner and advised me she thought three or four hours was probably enough and maybe she should have just let me sleep through the night...


The Conjuror
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"Any sufficiently advanced technology is
indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke, "Technology and the Future"

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