Back yard awning. Card class. Potluck.

awning in place
This is the first step: the awning structure is in place

Marv Fitchett worked today installing our back yard awning. This awning is about 4 ft wide by 20 ft long and covers the back porch and back to the rear of the house. The idea is to keep rain off the porch and to some extent off the dogs’ outside area. It will also provide some shade except in late afternoons in the summer. We have fenced the area off so far using the portable foldable dog fence we used during our RVing years, but Marv will be installing a 4 ft high lattice fence in the new system. Continue reading Back yard awning. Card class. Potluck.

Alexa and Dish. IKEA. Las Glorias Grill.

shopping bags
Elaine’s two large IKEA shopping bags

Elaine got invited to go to IKEA this morning with Pete Petersen and Bill Russell. They have often talked of shopping there but we have never been to an IKEA store mostly because they are just too large for me to last long in. So she was pleased to have this opportunity. They left around 9:30 and returned around 2:30, which means they spent about four hours in the store! She came home with two very large blue shopping bags as you can see in the photo, plus a box containing a knocked-down hassock or footstool for the deck that will need to be assembled. Continue reading Alexa and Dish. IKEA. Las Glorias Grill.

Pro 4 setup. Kindle vs Kindle. Elaine phone to Best Buy.

I continued setting up my new Surface Pro 4 tablet today. I downloaded and installed my Kaspersky Internet Security 2017 applications; this is the system that comes with the Geek Squad package I use for our computers. I ended up doing it twice, because I first downloaded the wrong package and then had to uninstall it. But I finally got it done and working. Our package allows us to cover up to five computers, so I have my laptop, my two tablets, my previous Galaxy S6 smartphone, and Elaine’s laptop enrolled. I will be dropping the Pro 2 tablet and the S6 smartphone; I haven’t decided if I will enroll my new Galaxy S8+. I will look further into whether Kaspersky gives me an advantage on a smartphone. Continue reading Pro 4 setup. Kindle vs Kindle. Elaine phone to Best Buy.

Surface Pro 4

Pro 2 vs Pro 4
The Microsoft Surface Pro 2 (l) and the new Pro 4 (r), showing how much larger is the Pro 4

My new Microsoft Surface Pro 4 tablet came in today, and I spent some of the afternoon getting it set up. This Windows 10 tablet will replace the Surface Pro 2 tablet I have been using for more than four years; I have been having lots of battery problems with the Pro 2. I’ve often had to recharge it 2-3 times per day, leading me to believe that the battery is failing. I considered several other Windows tablets but concluded that I would be best off with the Surface Pro 4. Continue reading Surface Pro 4

Galaxy S8+. Lucky’s.

S6 and S8+
The Samsung Galaxy S6 on the left, the Galaxy S8+ on the right.

After vacillating about it for several weeks, I finally broke down and got a new smartphone. My Samsung Galaxy S6 has served me well for several years but for the last few months the battery has been charging more slowly and the charge has not lasted long. In fact, on a typical day I have had to recharge the phone two or three times a day. I’ve done all the proper things to extend battery life and have had both Verizon and Samsung techs look at it. I decided to skip over the S7 series and go straight to the latest S8 series – just released last month. Continue reading Galaxy S8+. Lucky’s.

Never too late. Tire down. Surface Pro 4.

HVAC controls for our Equinox

Never too late … to learn. I guess. Last winter I noticed that when we turned to heat in our 2012 Chev Equinox the air came out on the floor. I usually run the system on Auto (yellow pointer) and simply turn the A/C on or off (blue pointer) for cooling or heating. But we wanted the heated air to come out the console vents, to warm our upper bodies. So I used the upper airflow control (red pointer) to make the air come out the console. Instead it came out the floor vents. When I pressed the lower airflow control it came out the console. So I thought something had gotten messed up with the controls. Continue reading Never too late. Tire down. Surface Pro 4.

107 – I guess that’s hot. AC stage 2. Finding storage boxes. Elaine, the Doll Doctor.

Our high was 107 today here in Phoenix

It got up to 107° today, and we could feel the difference between that and the 105° from earlier this week. That’s natural; as it gets hotter we become more aware of it. I think the boys felt the difference as well, as they did not want to spend much time checking p-mail; they got their jobs done and headed home. The pool sure felt good today!

HVAC run
HVAC run history for this last week.

Late this afternoon I noticed the air conditioning sounded louder, so I checked with the Nexia app on my smartphone and saw that the AC had gone to Stage 2. Normally it runs at Stage 1, which is a lower power setting which consumes less electrical energy. But when the temp gets higher it switches to Stage 2 to provide a higher rate of cooling. The bar chart in the center of the screen capture at left shows runtime for the AC the last week. If you click on it to get a larger image you can see the lighter blue bars on Monday, Tuesday, an Saturday; that shows the hours running at Stage 2. The darker blue shows the hours running at Stage 1. The Stage 2 run time has not shown up yet for today (Sunday), but will later. As you can see, the air conditioning ran from 9 to 10 hours a day all week and is up to 12 hours already today – and the day is not over. It is 7:25 PM and the temp is still at 101+.

I need several plastic small parts storage boxes for the shop, for nuts and bolts and washers and screws and so on. I bought some several months ago at Harbor Freight but did not like them because they were too hard to open and close. I went back and bought two different ones, and I like those. I am using them for my irrigation system parts. Recently Elaine bought me a new one at 99¢ Only, and I could use it if I could get some more. Pete tried but could not find more and today Elaine and I went to two other 99¢ Only stores and found none. I tried to find some online but could not find a supplier. So I looked for ones like the two I use for irrigation and was able to buy them at both Amazon and eBay, so I bought two packages of three boxes each at eBay, where they were less expensive. That was all the supplier had left. I was looking for eight, but I can always move the irrigation parts to other boxes and add those two to the small parts use.

box of doll parts
A box of doll parts. Elaine has taken on the job of repairing those dolls.

An elderly lady here in the Park has a lot of old dolls that have come apart and need repair. Pete helps her a lot and told Elaine about the dolls, so tonight they went over to talk with Lois about them. Once Elaine saw them she knew she could repair them so she brought the box home with her. Another project for that busy lady! But she is talented and can do it.

Breakfast in the Park. Video visit with Destry family.

We had Breakfast in the Park this morning; 45 people attended, which was a good turnout for this time of year. It was the usual offerings – biscuits and sausage gravy, scrambled eggs, sausage and/or bacon, blueberry pancakes, hash browns, fruit, and juice. While I didn’t eat all of those things, my biscuit and gravy, eggs, and sausage were great. The best part is all the people we got to have breakfast with! Continue reading Breakfast in the Park. Video visit with Destry family.

Getting warm. Lizards. Violette sign. Organizing workshop.

Here’s our weather forecast for the next week here in Phoenix.

It is June, and as usual it is getting warm. If you do a Bing search for hottest month in Phoenix you will probably get the following: “The hottest month of the year in Phoenix, Arizona is July with an average daily temperature of 106.2. The second hottest month is August at 104.5 degrees, followed closely by June at 104 degrees, and then September 100 degrees even.” Today we were at a high of 102° – just barely above the average for this date of 100°. So, while for those who do not live in this area those may seem to be high temperatures, they are only a few degrees above average. Continue reading Getting warm. Lizards. Violette sign. Organizing workshop.

Outstanding House. 24PetWatch. Shed light switch.

Our house was selected as the Outstanding House Of The Month here in Royal Palm

Our house was selected as Outstanding House Of The Month in Royal Palm for June. This was the second time we were selected; the first was after our remodeling and repainting a year or so ago. We are proud to be so designated. We have put a lot of work into making our house more attractive, and would enjoy the result even without this honor. You can see the sign in our front yard all this month.

Having updated the licenses for Kerby and Gizmo, today I updated the info at – where their microchips are registered. The last address on file was our Texas mailing address and Gizmo’s info was not complete and there was no photo for him. While I was at it, I updated Kerby’s photo as well.

I added a z-wave light switch to operate the ceiling lights in the shed today. Or rather, I should say that Marv Fitchett did the wiring for me. This replaces the regular switch that has been there all along. The GE 12722 In-Wall Smart Switch connects nicely in our Nexia system. While it works locally by pushing the paddle on the switch, with a z-wave connection I can also operate the light from my smartphone, tablet, or computer. I also set up two buttons on the button panel by the front door to turn the light on and off as well.

Elaine did some major shopping at Winco and at 99¢ Only Store today. Part of it was shopping for the Royal Palm Rescue Pantry, part was for our own stores. Pete Petersen is an avid shopper at both places but has no car of his own, so he went along with her. I wish I could, but the Winco store is so large I cannot walk that far so Elaine has to handle it.