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

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.

Plants done. Crash Plan. Card class. Fire Storm outdated.

Andy Goodhart got the remainder of our plants set in the ground this morning and did some smoothing and leveling of the excavated dirt. Since we had to add water to soften the ground for digging, much of the excavated material was wet and lumpy so he spread it out to dry and will do final smoothing another day. At this point, our next step is to lay the landscaping fabric and put the stone layer on top of it. That will happen next week. Once the fabric is down, I will expand the irrigation system for the new plants before the stone is added. I added the white chain to the post put in yesterday, so that part of the project is done.

The recent cyber attack over the weekend made me check to be sure my Code42 Crash Plan software was up to date and working, so I was dismayed to find it wasn’t! Apparently it became disabled when the Geek Squad did the work on my computer last week. This is the program that does data backups for my laptop; one backup regime goes to an online backup store with Code42, another does a backup to my local external hard drive. Should my computer data become held for ransom it would probably affect both the internal and external hard drives but would not affect the online backup since it is kept on a remote server and does not show up as a drive letter on my computer. Once I made this discovery I immediately went to and looked for a fix, and ended up doing a regular uninstall and a reinstall. Everything was working at that point.

Elaine headed over to The Paper Collage in Sun City West today for a card class, and came home with some good projects. She also went to the Scraps of Love store in Peoria to do some shopping, and found the paper she was looking for along with some other items.

I started to cut some aluminum angle for part of our planter project only to find out the only metal cutting blade I had for my Black & Decker Fire Storm reciprocal saw was too dull. I went to Ace Hardware this morning to get a replacement, only to be told they do not stock them. Back home I did some web searching only to find out that none of the other stores (Lowe’s, The Home Depot) carried them either. But I was able to find those blades on Amazon, only they were listed as Black & Decker Navigator, not Fire Storm. Further searching at the Black & Decker site showed the only Fire Storm results were the 14.4 volt batteries that system uses. The Navigator blades are for a corded saw, not cordless. However, as long as they fit my old Fire Storm I don’t care, so I ordered a package. If they work I will order some more. I hate to have to replace my old Fire Storm 14.4 volt cordless tool set; I bought it back around 2003 when it was the latest thing. I have that reciprocal saw, a jig saw, a sander, and a drill from that system.

Thanks, Tom and Marlys. Rod genealogy. Card making. Computer back.

light post
The light post Tom and Marlys James made for us. Elaine added the greenery.

I have been so busy reporting about planter and front yard activities that I forgot to show you a front yard attraction made for us recently by Tom and Marlys James. They are friends from our RVing days, and Tom is on the board of the Freightliner Chassis Owners Club. Over the years they have made front yard light posts for their RV friends, and several years ago they gave us one. I put it out at every campground we stopped at, but one time someone stole it from our yard. So Tom and Marlys made another for us and gave it to us when we met with them at the recent FCOC rally in Mesa. We hope it won’t be stolen from our current front yard! We will add a name sign to this, probably at the bottom. Continue reading Thanks, Tom and Marlys. Rod genealogy. Card making. Computer back.

Edge is in. Working on posts. Computer to Geek Squad.

Our front yard now has a violet (Violette?) border

Andy installed our new landscaping border today, so another part of our front yard project is done. I have some touch-up painting to do and a couple of spots to fix, but that part is done. As you can see in the photo, the edging color matches the trim color on the house. Continue reading Edge is in. Working on posts. Computer to Geek Squad.

New printer. Costco shopping. Web progress.

Envy 4500
The HP Envy 4500 all-in-one printer

Though my existing HP 4500 Envy all-in-one printer has been doing a great job for me, it was time to buy another. One thing the Envy would NOT do is print on heavy card stock, and Elaine needs that capability. I did a lot of research – there is simply very little information about what paper stock thicknesses printers will handle. They instead list the paper “types”, and I have to impute to what thickness each type is equivalent. The replacement? A Canon Pixma TS9020. I have had Canon Pixma printers in the past and was happy with them, and this one had good ratings. Continue reading New printer. Costco shopping. Web progress.

Las Glorias Grill. Coyotes. WordPress membership sites.

Alfredos Combo
I had the Alfredos Combo – jalapeno marinated steak and shrimp

We have heard from others here in Royal Palm about how good the food is at Las Glorias Grill on N 19th Ave, just south of Northern. I have seen that restaurant hundreds of times over the last 14 years driving by and have always thought we should try it. Well, tonight we did, and it won’t be the last time! We both had excellent, tasty meals. I had the Alfredos Combo – a combination of grilled marinated steak and succulent shrimp, sautéed in a jalapeño butter sauce, atop a bed of rice, and it was one of the best Mexican dishes I have EVER had!

Elaine had Fajitas Supremas – very good

Elaine had the Fajitas Supremo – grilled steak, tender shrimp, and marinated chicken breast served on a sizzling bed of sautéed vegetables. She exclaimed about the flavors of it as well.

The restaurant has an unpretentious interior, but very comfortable. There were plenty of servers so everything moved along very smoothly. I started with a Long Island Iced Tea – never had one before and when I saw it on the menu I thought I would try it. Good. Elaine had a house margarita; good but not as good as the ones I make.

We have had a pair of coyotes in the Park over the last day or so. At first people were seeing only one, but today there were two. I sent out an alert message early this morning after Bill Schuling stopped by the house and told me about them. We haven’t seen them yet, but several people have told us about seeing them. In fact, Bill said the two were in our backyard this morning. We are very careful to be sure the boys are not in a position to become food! It will be interesting to see if the several rabbits in the Park survive.

I spent several hours researching WordPress plugins for managing organization memberships. The first problem I had was in finding the proper search terms to use. “Membership” brought up plugins that handle paid membership, and especially where there are products for sale. I tried “association” and it brought up dues-paying groups. After reading about the various plugins that came up with those searches I decided what I want is to have a custom member profile, so I used “profile” in a search and came up with at least four candidates. One was very expensive, two were moderately expensive, and one was free.

I ended up selecting the free one, mostly because it seemed to offer better features. Then I installed in on my SitePower test site and did some exploring. My conclusion is that probably none of them will provide the specialized features I need for the Violette Family Association web system, so I will have to write my own.

Drip good, grip bad. Bridge over troubled… teeth? SpamFighter.

The irrigation controller. I had connected the common wire to the blue MSTR terminal instead of the white COMMON terminal. Duh!

Remember I said a week or so ago that I could not get the irrigation valves to operate? Today Pete Petersen came over with his multimeter to check out my system to see if we could figure out what was wrong. It didn’t take long – I had connected to common wire to something other than the common post! Once moved where it should be all valves worked fine. Continue reading Drip good, grip bad. Bridge over troubled… teeth? SpamFighter.