Friday, April 25, 2008

Back on duty!

I suspect that a dirt bag guy in my neighborhood is stealing gas. I noticed that after I had filled my tank, the next time I used my vehicle half the gas was gone. My son told me that he thought his car might need a tune-up because of poor gas milege, so he is likely a victim too. I checked with my neighbors and they are having similar problems. I live in a small middle class neighborhood. Most of people are good and considerate of each other. I was forced to buy locking gas caps for the cars. I suggested to the neigbors that they do the same. I have been watching the suspects movements, (he doesn't work -suprised?) I have looked up his name and arrest record and checked his recent sales at the pawn shops (he has a lot of sales - suprised?) Now I just have to watch and wait until I have the proof. I wish I was a fly on the wall to see his face when he discovers that many of our tanks are locked now! The suspect and his wife have asked the neighbors from time to time to "borrow" money. We have all given them money and felt sorry for them, but they really need to go to jail. It is annoying, but in the same way good to have a "case" to work again!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Well, the new windows are in & the trees are trimmed. The Home Depot gave me grief for nothing, the hurricane protection passed the inspection. Here are the before & after of one of the trees.

Looks like a nice haircut, huh?

Next I will be replacing the fence.

The new windows are really nice, double pane glass. They should save me some money because they are very energy efficient.

On to my next project.

Monday, April 07, 2008

My biggest regret

In 1985 I lived in a rental house owned by an 80 year old man and his wife. He was a retired inventor that had worked all his life in the automotive industry. He told me once that he was instrumental in designing speed controlled windshield wipers, and other things that I don't remember now. His wife was a gifted painter, who only discovered her talent when she was 75 years old. My rental house had several of her beautiful original oil paintings in it. I saw the man almost daily because the detached garage with the rental property was also his workshop. I was facisnated with his stories of inventions. I liked nosing around his shop and looking at all his stuff, including a large aluminum "thing" (about the size of a breadbox) One time he showed me a "power fishing reel" that he was working on. If you got tired pulling in the big fish, you could turn on the power assist. He was always thinking of things and he held several patents. At the time I had my MG/BGT car, and I was driving it everyday. I don't remember how much gas cost, but it wasn't a crisis back then. The old man told me that soon we would use up all the fossil fuel and then showed me that the "thing" was an electric engine that he had invented. He explained that it could power a car on batteries that would be charged by a solar cell. It would be a quiet running engine, and that there would be NO fuel, that the sun would be the only thing required. I questioned him about speed and distance and he told me that he thought it would get the same mileage as a traditional car, depending how many batteries you could carry and that the speed would only be about 50 miles per hour, but that is all you would need for an "around town" car. He wanted to put the electric motor in my MG. He said that it was the perfect car for an electric engine, small, with a large area in the rear that could be converted into a battery compartment. The fast back design of the car would accomodate the solar cells on top. I did not know anything about solar and I thought to myself - what if this guy is a lunatic? At that time, my MG was in great condition (not like this last year photo when it is old and being hauled away) I was afraid to take a chance on messing up a perfectly good car. Besides, it was a four cylinder and got good mileage. I really did not believe that we would ever run out of oil. I never thought I would be spending $70. to fill up my now eight cylinder Durango. Over the weekend, I was watching the science channel on television. They showed how easy it was if you had all the parts to take out a gasoline engine and replace it with an electric solar powered engine. Had I only known in 1985 what I know now! Live & learn I guess!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

April showers

It has rained here so far everyday in April. I know we need the rain, but I like to be outside and I don't like getting wet. I have to get the tree guy over to trim my trees before the hurricane season - I called him to come and give me an estimate. About three years ago he "topped" my four trees and it was $650., so I imagine this time it will be about $800. or even $1000. It is worth it though to leave these things to the professionals - I am too old to be up in a tree with a chain saw!!! Besides, they not only trim the trees but they take all the mess away. I didn't do much with the tangerines this year. (they were ripe in January) I usually give a lot of them away, and we juice some of them. This year they are just rotting on the tree, but they still have to come off, so we are busy with that. I only have one tree, imagine how much work the big orange groves have to do. I am still in an argument with Home Depot, and I doubt that will be resolved before hurricane season. I hope we have a quiet season here this year, but you never know and you have to be ready. I am in the market for an electrician to fix a few things around the house but I don't know who to get. Home Depot has made me cautious of hiring anybody. I have been staying home a lot or just riding my bike. I hate having to pay so much for gas. I love to drive and I have liked taking a "Sunday drive" since I was a kid. I like to drive around and just sightsee, but I can't do it anymore.