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Showing posts from April, 2009

Making his way through the useful and the question marks

My husband is mostly self-employed, with many steady and semi-steady sources of work. He's done a lot of different things over time, but the strongest thread is housing. Currently he is a code enforcement officer, an administrator of a housing rehabilitation grant, and an EPA certified lead paint risk assessor. So when I learned that the local technical college was giving a course that would train one to become an energy auditor, it seemed like a perfect fit with the rest of his skills.

He checked out some information on the web, and was going to pass on the course, because the certification process seemed very expensive. He talked to the man who would be teaching the course, though, and was encouraged to attend. The initial certification would not be expensive, and he could get 100% of the course fee reimbursed by the NY State Energy Development Authority (NYSERDA). So he pulled out our credit card and signed up.

He has learned an awful lot about housing through the years, and he …

Boat Canvas Project #1: Mainsail Cover

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We have been itching to replace our boat canvas ever since we got Minuet. Someone in the boat's past had decided to put blue canvas on a beige boat with brown trim. The finished look did not appeal to our sense of aesthetics.

Even a bad color choice tends to hang around for a long time, because boat canvas is durable, custom made, and very expensive. I know how to sew, however, and invested in a Viking 5530 sewing machine a few years ago. This is a 40 some year old machine that has a powerful motor and a low gear that can punch right through heavy duty projects. There is also a company, Sailrite, that sells kits and materials for those who want to make their own boat canvas and sails. Our canvas needed more repairs than usual at the end of last season, so we decided this was the year to replace it.

We saved much money by buying kits for a new mainsail cover and dodger, especially since we got 10% off everything. Gotta love a sale. For those who don't know boat lingo, a dodger …

Miscellaneous Update

I haven't done one of these in a while, and thought some readers might enjoy an update on the tales of my life.

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D • I • V • O • R • C • E

I have finally learned how a couple get divorced, once the case has ripened to the point that it actually goes before a judge.

Step one: The attorneys for the plaintiff, defendant, and children huddle with the judge, and hash out a deal. Plaintiff and defendant are not invited to this confab.

Step two: The attorneys for plaintiff and defendant urge their clients to agree, saying in unison, "This is the best deal you are going to get." They do.

Step three: The judge reads out the settlement, which is recorded and transcribed by a court reporter. The attorney for the plaintiff is given the task of writing out the final judgment, for signature by both parties.

Step four: The attorney for the plaintiff allows the settlement to age, so that some final points can…

OMG. I'm a techie.

It is official now: I have new responsibilities at work. I am now Finance and Personnel Manager PLUS the Technology Coordinator.

My boss has noticed how comfortable I am with computers, iPhones, etc., and thinks I am a good fit for the job. My new duties are supposed to phase in, while the person who has been in charge of the job phases out. However, I am seeing distinct signs of him abandoning all concerns with the health of the network. Time for me to get stirring and to take command of the situation.

What have I inherited?
- A WAN/LAN spread between four buildings on two facilities.
- A peer-to-peer network that hooks us up to the Internet.
- A workplace that has become as dependent on Internet access as we are on drawing breath.
- Closets full of wires labeled with the names of people who have retired or moved to different offices.
- A system that is persistently giving out bad IP addresses when people boot up in the morning. It sounds like a wireless router is hooked up incorrectly. The…