Arty’s enjoying it too.
So, Sunday when I checked the pumpkin I noticed it had developed a soft spot (probly got whacked a few to many times, I didn’t have a good spot to let it be, that should be fixed by next summer). So I made puree! I’d planned to let it sit another week or so, but it was plenty ripe enough to work with and taste yummy.
It turned out well. First recipe tried was this one. Very good, though kinda mild. I’m on the hunt for the next recipe to make!
So, my mom sent me an Amazon gift card for my birthday. Love those things, and she knows it. So, I’ve been wanting a wireless “webcam” for a while. Partially to watch the bird feeders when I couldn’t be there, and partially to catch the neighbor’s dog(s) in the act (on my property) so I can hand more proof to Animal Control. I’d poked around and settled on the Foscam FI8910W camera as an inexpensive model that would likely do what I wanted.
It arrived Wednesday, and I spent several hours setting it up. It shouldn’t have taken that long. The biggest issue is that although the packaging says it’ll connect via Wireless B/G/N and my router supports all of those AND (supposedly) features a “mixed” setting so as to support all of those at once, the camera refused to connect. None of my other wireless devices had that problem, but the camera did. I had to set it to one of the options in order to get the camera to connect. But it took me a while to figure out why the router could see the camera but the camera said it wasn’t connecting.
It also kept rebooting itself, which was annoying as heck. But updating the firmware seemed to fix that.
I set it up at first without any recording, just to see how it would work to view from. Quickly decided that with the bird feeders placed where they were it wasn’t going to work to watch the birds, but it would work fine to keep an eye out for the neighbor’s dog. I debated moving the bird feeders.
Thursday it started rebooting itself constantly again. A factory reset fixed that problem this time. I was starting to get a bit peeved.
Sunday morning, it had worked fine Friday and Saturday after the reset, so I decided to go ahead and set up the motion detection and recording options. Discovered that it only detected motion in the center of its viewing window. Thats a bit annoying, but its hardly an expensive camera, so I guess I get what I pay for. Adjusted the viewing angle to cover the driveway better so as to catch what we wanted to catch. Debated moving the bird feeders.
Sunday afternoon it started rebooting itself constantly.
I unplugged it and sent an email off to Foscam’s tech support. As of now (Tuesday morning) they’ve not responded, but I’m willing to give them a little time at least to catch up from the holiday weekend. If I haven’t heard from them by tomorrow though I’ll just call them (since I’ll have time tomorrow during business hours).
Current review: less than impressed. At least some of the problem IS that I was looking for an in-expensive camera, if I was willing to drop more cash on the problem I’m sure some of the issues wouldn’t be issues. On the other hand the whole thing has turned into an exercise in frustration. We’ll see what tech support says……
(disclaimer, I bought the above mentioned camera with my own money/gift certificate, I was not asked to do a review and am receiving nothing for doing so. The above link to Amazon IS via my Amazon Associates link, and if you buy something via that link I’ll earn a few cents.)
UPDATE 12/5/13 I called tech support yesterday, and after explaining the problem, and what I’d done to fix it, was informed it definetly has a mechanical issue and they will replace it. I received the RMA info along with return instructions in my email today. So hopefully we’re good to go! I will however say that it is QUITE frustrating to give a company my email as part of a tech support request, and to then get a sales email for every single day since, and still not get a response to the tech support email.
….and even managed, again, to do so without murdering a customer member (the new corporate approved terminology)!
The joys of working retail again.
And just to clarify. Its not the CROWDS on BF that are the real problem (though they do add to the stress), its the attitudes.
Just because its BF and you have 10 more stores to hit doesn’t mean you get to treat me like I’m your slave. Nor does it entitle you to be a rude jackass to me and the other customers around you. Just because you hit 5 other sales before coming here and we’re out of the one item you wanted doesn’t mean you’re entitled to scream rant and yell when I point out that the ad specifically states that there will be no rain checks. And no, you’re not clever when you demand to know “is there even a manager in the STORE!!!” because it took them 10 minutes to get back across the store to tell you that I’m right and there will be no rain checks for BF ad items. And asking me that question WILL get you a rude and sarcastic answer (and no, my manager will not reprimand me for that either).
I’ve worked answering phones for AAA on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. I knew going into the job that AAA was considered an emergency service and I would likely end up working holidays for them. But you know what? 90% of the people who called in for help on a holiday or BF, or a holiday eve, were all pitifully grateful that we were THERE on those days. We got effusive thanks and gratitude for sending someone out to jump start their car, or unlock it, or pull them out of a ditch.
Not so in the stores. And now far to many stores have decided to try to pre-empt online sales by opening on Thanksgiving itself. What used to be one of the very few holidays that retail employees could be sure that they could spend time with their families just got taken over by their jobs again. So now not only do we not get to spend time with our families on what is traditionally a family day, but now we get the equivalent of TWO Black Friday days to deal with jack-asses who think that because they’re spending money they can treat me like dirt.
What I found quite interesting yesterday (and Thursday night), locally at least, there weren’t half the crowds that had been expected. Local news covered the Thanksgiving opening of a local Target store. Instead of the expected several hundred shoppers waiting for the doors to unlock…..there were maybe 50 people. And the folks who worked the 8pm Thanksgiving opening of the store I work at (not a Target), reported that although business was steady for the first few hours, it was by no means a normal “Black Friday” opening. I also know that although Friday was certainly a busy day for us, it wasn’t a normal BF crush either.
I’m wondering if people are starting to react to the idiocy of corporate America……or maybe just the bad weather Thursday night/Friday morning kept them home.
One last gripe: I know the ad stated “all boys fleece” but if you’re going to picture a very distinctive fleece hoodie in the ad then you damn well need to make sure that its available for sale……
(and no, I don’t think a higher minimum wage is the answer to ” retail employee problems”, I do however think that any employee who works Black Friday (and Thanksgiving) damn well ought to be paid overtime wages for doing so)
Several months ago (maybe even a year ago) I was made aware that the EPA was looking at extra restrictions on wood-burning stoves/fireplaces/furnaces/etc.
I was, of course, less than thrilled at the idea. But I wasn’t worried about it for ourselves PERSONALLY. The stove we have is the Lopi Patriot and according to the manual its rated at 4.4Grams/hour (scroll down to the bottom of page 6):
4.4 Grams Per Hour (EPA Phase II Approved) – Tests conducted by E.E.S.P.C.
Well below the 7.5G/h for non-catalytic wood burning stoves that the EPA was going to require. Heck, its even within the stricter requirements for the state of Washington.
Guess what stove isn’t on the approved list.
And its not because its no longer in production. If you check the above linked list they list several stoves that are no longer in production.
Sure its not going to affect us NOW. But I suspect that if we ever have to move it, change it, or anything else that technically requires a permit from the town or county to do work involving it we could run into some issues…..
My spam count has suddenly increased dramatically again. This time its mostly the fake drug spammers. 10+ a day most days for the last couple weeks. If you posted a comment and it got held for moderation and you don’t see it posted to the blog it may have gotten caught up with the spam, please either re-post it or email me and I’ll see if I can find it in the spam folder!
I’ve not posted on it, and I expect that this will be about it unless something happens. Among other things, since I’m in NY, I can’t just hop on the .gov site and get a list of quotes. I have to create an account on the NY site and give them all sorts of personal info. And since at this point in time I don’t need their assistance I’m quite reluctant to do that just to see whats going on.
However my Aunt, who lives in FL, has been working her way through it as she’s been hoping to retire a bit early and health insurance has been the big stumbling block.
She had all sorts of problems getting quotes. Website based problems.
This past week she finally managed to get all the ducks to line up……
My Aunt is 62. She’s never given birth to a child, never adopted a child, never had custody of a child. To the best of my knowledge (and certinally since they got married) the same is true for her husband (substitute fathered for given birth).
ObamaCare is requiring her to buy pediatric dental coverage.
Whats almost worse, in my opinion, its apparently so common a problem that her preferred health insurance company has a no-cost pediatric dental coverage policy specifically for people like my Aunt.
I’ve been a little slow to post this, alot of you readers come here via the same avenue that I used to find this post. But little Major still needs a home, and so let the networking begin!
This is Major. She’s from the last litter that the Atomic Nerds have raised. And she as a potentially major heart defect:
unfortunately, the consultation I had with a veterinary cardiologist revealed what she’s actually got is pulmonic stenosis, a different and much less common (the cardiologist commented she’d simply never seen it in an Akita before now) issue. We do not yet know how severe the stenosis is- she was too young at the time to get a good picture- but the cardiologist suggested it wasn’t likely to be mild. We’ll know when she is old enough to have another, clearer ultrasound done in another month or two. She also has a defect in the wall between her ventricles, which the cardiologist said may either be making things worse or actually helping; apparently they often occur together and the treatment for THAT defect on its own is giving the patient an artificial case of stenosis. Apparently Major is very medically interesting! I could have done with boring, personally.
So Major needs a home. She needs a home that can handle an Akita (which isn’t the easiest breed to work with) and she needs a home that can handle potentially major medical bills and possibly the far to early heart-break if her condition means her life is shortened.
Those factors combined have made finding her a home difficult. If you are up to the task please contact the Atomic Nerds via the email in the linked post. If you know someone who might be up to the task please share this with them!
We’ve had a pretty nice fall, weather wise. We had an early mild frost mid September, that barely touched anything except heavily shaded areas. And then it was gorgeous. Temps in the upper 60′s and 70′s, lows just cold enough you wanted a coat.
Its finally come to an end. These last few days its been colder and colder, the high progressively chillier and chillier though the lows only barely touched the freezing mark. Then last night it froze. I’m not sure what low we actually hit, but our thermometer said 22 degrees at 8am this morning. I forgot to bring in the pumpkin yesterday before dark (I worked extra hours and by the time I remembered it was already full dark), so that’ll be coming in today. And tomorrow I’ll dig up the remainder of the carrots. I can safely assume everything else is dead.
Course, this coming Friday we have a predicted high of 67…..
Final garden tally:
1 cantalope (the rest rotted on the vine for no obvious reason)
0 watermelons (they looked good…till they all split before they were ripe)
2 pumpkins (one tiny)
1 batch of hot peppers (mixed hot wax and jalapeno), enough to make 1 batch of jelly (I usually get at least two, and last year I got 3 batches)
a random assortment of carrots, some did better than others
8 onions ( I only planted 10)
several zucchini, enough to keep us in zucchini muffins for the winter no problem
popcorn: the popcorn planted in the containers did pretty well though I had some fertilization problems, the popcorn in the ground mostly drowned, however I had 0 problems with ears being stolen. Though I can’t prove it I suspect that the fact that it wasn’t sweet corn means that the critters weren’t drawn in. I WILL be doing popcorn again next year.
Sunflowers: did pretty well despite the rain, we’ve got several heads of seeds drying
Berries: the ONLY survivors from my original plantings are my mixed assortment of blueberries. Between being drowned, then scorched, and then drowned again, everything else died. The blueberries aren’t huge, but they’re alive, putting out new growth, and even had a few berries this year, I’ve been highly impressed, especially since one of the varieties is a fancy thats only barely tolerant of this sort of climate. I planted new berries this year using tires as raised beds. They all survived the summer rains and one of the golden raspberries even produced some late berries!
I’ve made a deal with a local repair shop to get used tires for free. As many at a time as I can fit in the back of my Dodge Caliber. Which means 4-5 large truck tires or 8-10 car tires per load. I’m picking them up after work every day till I have the shed as full as I’m willing to get it, and then I’ll spend my free time this winter cutting sidewalls. Nothing will be planted in the ground next year, everything will go in “raised beds” courtesy of those tires. Filling them with dirt is going to suck. I’ll have to see if I can arrange a couple pickup-loads before the ground thaws in the late winter so that we can drive right on back and shovel it into the tires from the truck bed. But I think it’ll be worth it in the long run for the garden. And I need to figure out how to handle the weeds. Standard weedbarrier just doesn’t hold up well to that sort of abuse. I’m thinking some cheap tarps held down by the tires and cut under the tires to allow roots through, but we’ll see what I can get, and I’m not sure about the run-off from those…..
So, the following post is going around Facebook again:
THIS ARTICLE CAME FROM ALEXIS JONATHAN SALYERS, FROM FACEBOOK.
PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR RECEIPTS – THIS IS IMPORTANT AS YOU START YOUR SHOPPING FOR THE CHRISTMAS SEASON CHECK YOUR RECEIPTS BEFORE LEAVING ANY CASHIER’S STATION!!!!! THIS SCAM CAN BE DONE ANYWHERE, AT ANY RETAIL OR WHOLESALE LOCATION!!! It happened at a Wal-Mart Supercenter a month ago. I bought a bunch of stuff, over $150, & I glanced at my receipt as the cashier was handing me the bags. I saw a cash-back of $40. I told her I didn’t request a cash back & to delete it. She said I’d have to take the $40 because she couldn’t delete it. I told her to call a supervisor. Supervisor came & said I’d have to take it! I said NO! Taking the $40 would be a cash advance against my Discover & I wasn’t paying interest on the cash advance!!!!! If they couldn’t delete it then they would have to delete the whole order. So the supervisor had the cashier delete the whole order & rescan everything! The second time I looked at the electronic tab before I signed & a cash-back of $20 popped up. At that point I told the cashier & she deleted it. The total came out right. the cashier agreed that the electronic pad must be defective. (yeah, right!) Obviously the cashier knew the electronic pad wasn’t defective because she NEVER offered me the $40 at the beginning. Can you imagine how many people went through before me & at the end of her shift how much money she pocketed? Just to alert everyone. My coworker went to Milford , DE Wal-Mart last week. She had her items rung up by the cashier. The cashier hurried her along and didn’t give her a receipt. She asked the cashier for a receipt and the cashier was annoyed and gave it to her. My coworker didn’t look at her receipt until later that night. The receipt showed that she asked for $20 cash back. SHE DID NOT ASK FOR CASH BACK! My coworker called Wal-Mart who investigated but could not see the cashier pocket the money. She then called her niece who works for the bank and her niece told her This is a new scam. The cashier will key in that you asked for cash back and then hand it to her friend who is the next person in line. Please, please, please check your receipts right away when using credit or debit cards! This is NOT limited to Wal-Mart, although they are the largest retailer so they have the most incidents. I am adding to this…. My husband and I were in Wal-Mart North Salisbury and paying with a credit card. When my husband went to sign the credit card signer, he just happened to notice there was a $20 cash back added. He told the cashier that he did not ask nor want cash back and she said this machine has been messing up and she canceled it. We didn’t think anything of it until we read this email. I wonder how many “seniors” have been, or will be, “stung” by this one???? BEFORE LEAVING THE CASHIER’S STATION!!!!! CHECK YOUR RECEIPT BEFORE LEAVING THE STAND. I’VE SEEN PEOPLE DO JUST THAT. NOW I’LL START! PASS THIS ON TO YOUR FRIENDS, KIDS, LOVED ONES
Alright folks. Basic common sense ought to tell you that this one has only the TINIEST little bit of truth to it. The rest of it is as false as it comes.
Fact one: although some credit cards do allow a cash advance to be drawn on them in order to do so you HAVE TO ENTER A PIN # and it has to be done at either an ATM or at a bank. It CANNOT be done at the register. Also, you CANNOT enter your PIN at a register in order to pay for a purchase you when you are paying with a credit card. I’ve had customers try. On most registers there isn’t even an option, and on the few that allow you to do so it declines for “incorrect transaction type”.
Fact two: If you ARE paying with a debit card, and have chosen to use your PIN instead of hitting credit, on all but the OLDEST of register systems the cashiers do NOT have the option to choose cash back for you. You have to hit all those buttons yourself. AND you then have to re-approve the total amount. So if you get cash back you didn’t want the only one to blame is yourself.
Now, the tidbit of truth: IF you are paying using a DEBIT CARD, AND instead of hitting credit on the keypad you choose to enter your PIN #, AND if the cashier is slick enough and fast enough, it is in theory possible for this to happen.
But the solution to keep this from happening is REALLY REALLY EASY: always hit the credit option and never use your PIN at a register to pay for a purchase. First off your bank is probably charging you a fee for making purchases that way, if not at first then likely after so many a month. Second the keypad of a register in a store is NOT a secure location to type in your PIN (trust me on this, were I so inclined I could have stolen a billion PIN numbers by now, and not just because I’m the cashier, but also on occasion when I’m behind people in line!).
If you really need the cash go find an ATM where you have a chance of using your body to shield the PIN pad while you type.
If you simply HAVE to use your PIN to make a purchase instead of hitting credit there’s two things you should be doing:
First: NEVER allow the cashier to grab the pad and hit buttons for you (its actually against company policy for them to do so ANYWAY in most stores), and
Second: if you didn’t request cash back then the cash drawer on the register SHOULD NOT pop open on all but the oldest of register systems, so if it DOES pop open then stop and check your receipt. Its a security precaution taken by companies, unless the cashier has to get something out of the drawer or put something in it the cash drawer DOES NOT pop open, both to keep dishonest cashiers out of the cash and also to prevent snatch and grabs by thieves.
The one other tidbit of truth to this hoax: always check your receipt. Even the best and most honest of cashiers makes mistakes, its entirely possible to accidentally double scan items for example. And there are certainly lazy cashiers who don’t care, and there are certainly dishonest ones too.
Additional info: Snopes,