Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Solving more problems

Greetings, friends.  It's a beautiful fall Tuesday afternoon here in central Kentucky.  Had a bit of a cold snap over the weekend, and it's still pretty cold early in the morning, but the afternoons have been glorious!

When last we visited, I was negotiating a few minor issues and resolving them gradually.  A couple more have cropped up and I always like sharing how I/we resolved them.

First up is a major bout of sciatica, which is still not resolved.  As you recall, I woke early on a Saturday morning about ten days ago with searing pain down my left leg.  Since that time I had what felt like a perpetual cramp in my left calf, and numbness through my foot.  Now the calf has eased up, but I have spotty numbness in my foot and the back of my leg.  The back of my thigh is still sore, but I'm functioning pretty well overall.  I expect that this will eventually calm down to a normal set of sensations, but given that I've had some back problems over the past twenty-plus years, not entirely unexpected.

My wife enjoys attracting and feeding wild birds.  A lot.  So our back yard, and parts of the front, too, are well equipped with feeders and other items for the birds.  We actually have a total of three bird bathes.  One of them is carved from a piece of stone, another is a metal stand with a resin basin (we replace the basin with one that has a heater built-in for winter) and the third is cast concrete.  It's that third one we worry about, as cast concrete tends to crumble if precautions are not taken.

A few years ago, I hit on the idea of using a cover that would be used for a kettle-style charcoal grill to cover this bird bath.  We even put a ball in the basin to give it more shape, and keep the top of the cover from inverting and allowing rainwater or snow to collect.  Well, the incumbent cover had multiple holes in it last spring, so we discarded it with the understanding we'd replace it this fall.

Saturday my wife and I were running errands and went to our preferred home store.  They did not have ANY covers for grills of that type that cost less than $35 (believe me, we never pay that much).  So we were left to look elsewhere.  Last night, as luck would have it, we went to a discount general retailer and found the item we wanted, on sale for $8.  Bought two, put the ball in the basin and covered that thing up.  Problem solved!

Here's another.  The upstairs toilet has been running periodically.  My wife was wanting a new toilet for that bathroom, which gets the least use in the house.  I objected, saying that I could replumb the insides for less.  I won, paid $12 instead of $140 and the thing is fixed.  For now.

Last one.  I think I mentioned buying a new Macbook, a small one with a high-definition 12 inch screen.  Small.  Light.  And nearly impossible to balance on my lap.  I already have a lap desk I bought for my iPad.  Good item, but not so much for a laptop, regardless of size.  So I began looking at lap desks.  Do you know how hard it is to find a decent one?

Well, I found one online that's actually made from bamboo, with ventilation holes bored into it.  It's wider than my lap, a little deeper than the computer, and has enough space I can set the iPad into its own slot next to the laptop.  Again, problem solved.

I suppose that I'm going to have a few things crop up that won't be quite so easy to resolve, but, for now, I'll take it!


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