Louis Self
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Arizona Lou

Blog Archive 2012 Apr

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Sun 4/1 - Today I went shopping with Mildred; switched my six myoporums to 1 gallon emitters and reprogrammed the drip to 1 hour every 5 days; went to LA Fitness, Moon Valley for a light full-body workout. Biggest thing I did there was to get my pulse rate up to 136, walking at 4mph on treadmill set at 15 degrees incline for two minutes hanging onto the pulse-rate bars.

Non 4/2 - Hate to say this, but I saw more doctors etc. today: Optometrist, Dr Jeff Pyritz, who gave me a slightly stronger prescription; Optician, Marina, who measured my puplary distances and was a delight to visit with, as always; Pulmonologist, Dr Khaled Saleh, who confirmed that I am pulmonary-embolism free and that I will need to stay on Coumadin for only three months(half as long as usual); Dentist, Jeff Krohn who made an impression for making the crown he will mount on my implant abutment. Stopped by LA Fitness, Moon Valley for a light full-body workout on the way home where I got my pulse rate up to 142, walking at 3.5mph on a treadmill set at 15 degrees incline for two minutes WITHOUT hanging onto the pulse-rate bars. Mostly took it easy the rest of the day.

Tue 4/3 - Driving my van around with a screwdriver this evening. I took it in (the van, not the screwdriver) to Auto Tune because about a third of the time the van was not starting on the first try. They found the ignition switch to be the problem so they replaced it. Of course they couldn't tell that it also needed an ignition switch holder casting. By then it was too late in the day to get and install the additional part, and I need my van tomorrow morning. So, for now, when I want to drive, I turn on the key (which does not do anything but unlock the gearshift lever and the steering) and then use the screw driver to start the van and operate the ignition switch.
- In the finance department, I moved all the money in my Total World Stock Index mutual fund to my Total World Stock Index ETF (exchange traded fund). Why? because the annual expenses are about half.
- This morning
younger brother who lives in Mesa
left me a voice mail that he was going to have some sort of a trans-rectal probe, due to a high PSA reading.
- You know you're too busy when you forget important things, like I was supposed to go over to
Harold Dean
Harold Hayes, my X brother-in-law
's house to tech out.

Wed 4/4 - Early this morning I drove my van, using the screwdriver, to Lab Corp for an
PT (Prothrombin Time)/International Normalized Ratio - a measurement of the anti clotting properties of a blood sample
blood draw, then to Auto Tune for them to finish installing the ignition switch, and they brought me home. Later in the day Auto Tune found that the closest ignition switch housing they needed to finish the job was in Los Angeles, so they will be keeping the van and, hopefully get it done tomorrow.
- Major website update, although most visitors will not notice changes in the 30 web pages I updated. Read on if you're interested in some technicalities. To make things a little more refined, I renamed the file that generates my Technology web page from techcool.html to tec.html. Then I had to update all the 80 links in 30 web pages that pointed to Technology. In the process, I learned how to do a multi-file search/replace in Notepad++, in which I edit my website's
Hypertext Markup Language that your browser uses to generate web pages
code. Then, as insurance, in case I missed a link or in case someone has created an external link to the old name, I changed techcool.html so it redirects to tec.html and tested it in seven different browsers, so it ought to work for anyone using my website. Whew!
- I couldn't go to the gym because with no van, so I worked on my income taxes his evening with the Tax Act Online software. Every time I do taxes I get more and more disgusted with our congressmen who seem to feel free to screw us to make themselves look good and to cater to special interests.

Thu 4/5 - Worked on taxes today; measured and taped the new 1" rope for my front-yard bridge;
younger brother who lives in Mesa
picked me up (since my van was in the shop) and we were among the six people in the theater to see The Hunger Games;
younger brother who lives in Mesa
dropped me off at the shop on the way home because my van was ready after two days and $345 to replace the broken ignition parts. That is less than one car payment, and the rest of the driving is almost free.

Fri 4/6 - I've been heating and icing my left wrist and right foot pretty aggressively the last few days and have resisted the temptation to lift weights or walk a treadmill due to some joint pain, as that seems to aggravate the situation. I took it to a new level this morning, during a hot bath using my 1/3 horsepower single-jet Jacuzzi, opened all the way and with full air on my hand and foot, followed by more icing in the afternoon. It seems that I am falling apart at my tender age.
- This afternoon I did some shopping, which included stopping by the new WinCo Foods store (employee owned company) at 7 Ave & Bell where the Walmart used to be. It was like a busy bee hive in there and their prices beat Food City's.

Sat 4/7 - This morning I ordered 2-conductor shielded 22 AWG cabling for monitoring the current of my van's
house battery. - New glasses with the works at my local optician's shop would cost $500 to $600 so I checked online (sorry Marina). First I read many reviews of and researched about five online opticians and narrowed it down to glassesusa.com and zennioptical.com (where I bought my previous pair). Next was to find the frames that met all my specifications, finding seven.

Sun 4/8 Easter! - Had delicious Easter dinner with
Harold Hayes
my X brother-in-law
and his family, numbering around 20, including children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. It was, as usual, a lot of fun. Chet gave the kids dollar bills for doing stunts found in the large plastic Easter eggs and I gave Chet and Edith a Ben Franklin for having a debt free Christmas last December.

Mon 4/9 - Mostly financial stuff today: I worked on my income taxes using TaxAct and researched land auctions by Maricopa County because the buyers of my 10 acres (my #4) have not yet paid the property taxes that were due the first of March. It appears that the county starts the ball rolling in January each year, so I don't need to worry about it for now.

Tue 4/10 - Under the auspice of Duet today I took little old Nanci to a doctor's appointment, sprayed Round-Up on my weeds, reduced my drip interval from five to four days (still at 1 hour starting at 9:00 am) because the myoporum was not looking real fresh, and mixed up 27 ounces of my minced garlic/powdered garlic/mustard sandwich spread.

Wed 4/11 - Up to LabCorp at 7am; my
PT (Prothrombin Time)/International Normalized Ratio - a measurement of the anti clotting properties of a blood sample
was right where we want it at 2.0.
- Out of curiosity, I checked Google analytics for my website. The past 90 days (1/11/12 to 4/11/12) it was visited 1415 times by people from the 55 following countries:
Visits   Pg/Visit   Avg time on   % new visits   Bounce rate   Country
1014 3.00 00:05:16 37.87% 47.93% United States
147 3.78 00:09:32 26.53% 38.10% Philippines
52 2.60 00:03:03 84.62% 46.15% Canada
24 2.54 00:02:48 70.83% 41.67% Slovenia
22 1.41 00:01:00 54.55% 77.27% United Kingdom
20 1.80 00:02:00 75.00% 60.00% Mexico
12 1.33 00:00:25 75.00% 66.67% Brazil
11 1.73 00:00:52 90.91% 36.36% Germany
11 1.27 00:00:01 100.00% 72.73% France
9 1.78 00:02:24 100.00% 55.56% Australia
6 1.67 00:00:28 100.00% 50.00% Italy
6 1.00 00:00:00 100.00% 100.00% Russia
5 1.20 00:00:02 60.00% 80.00% China
5 1.60 00:01:12 60.00% 60.00% (not set)
4 2.00 00:02:38 75.00% 50.00% India
4 1.75 00:00:43 100.00% 50.00% Netherlands
3 1.00 00:00:00 66.67% 100.00% United Arab Emirates
3 1.00 00:00:00 100.00% 100.00% Belgium
3 2.00 00:01:21 66.67% 33.33% Spain
3 1.00 00:00:00 100.00% 100.00% South Africa
2 1.50 00:00:04 100.00% 50.00% Argentina
2 3.00 00:01:33 50.00% 50.00% Switzerland
2 2.50 00:10:01 50.00% 0.00% Dominica
2 1.00 00:00:00 100.00% 100.00% Dominican Republic
2 2.50 00:00:26 100.00% 0.00% Greece
2 2.50 00:00:38 100.00% 50.00% Hungary
2 1.50 00:00:04 100.00% 50.00% Indonesia
2 1.00 00:00:00 100.00% 100.00% Japan
2 1.00 00:00:00 100.00% 100.00% Norway
2 1.50 00:00:03 100.00% 50.00% Portugal
2 2.00 00:00:09 100.00% 0.00% Romania
2 1.00 00:00:00 100.00% 100.00% Serbia
2 2.00 00:00:53 100.00% 50.00% Thailand
2 1.50 00:00:07 100.00% 50.00% Turkey
2 1.50 00:00:10 50.00% 50.00% Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
2 2.00 00:01:03 100.00% 50.00% Vietnam
1 1.00 00:00:00 100.00% 100.00% Austria
1 2.00 00:00:49 100.00% 0.00% Bangladesh
1 1.00 00:00:00 100.00% 100.00% Bulgaria
1 12.00 00:15:21 100.00% 0.00% Bermuda
1 2.00 00:00:42 100.00% 0.00% Costa Rica
1 3.00 00:02:30 100.00% 0.00% Czech Republic
1 1.00 00:00:00 100.00% 100.00% Denmark
1 1.00 00:00:00 100.00% 100.00% Ecuador
1 1.00 00:00:00 100.00% 100.00% Egypt
1 1.00 00:00:00 100.00% 100.00% Guam
1 4.00 00:00:59 100.00% 0.00% Ireland
1 1.00 00:00:00 100.00% 100.00% Kenya
1 1.00 00:00:00 100.00% 100.00% South Korea
1 1.00 00:00:00 100.00% 100.00% Sri Lanka
1 1.00 00:00:00 100.00% 100.00% Nigeria
1 1.00 00:00:00 100.00% 100.00% New Zealand
1 1.00 00:00:00 100.00% 100.00% Pakistan
1 1.00 00:00:00 100.00% 100.00% Sweden

Thu 4/12 - I e-filed my income taxes and the returns were accepted by both the IRS & the AZ Department of Revenue. Income Taxes! What a mess!
- My morning project was emailing the five contractors I had contacted last year regarding building the
my rental house located on Dahlia Drive
car port into a garage.
- I did a load of laundry and picked up my two digital atomic wall clocks from Walmart (Internet site to store) - my reward for getting my taxes in.

Fri 4/13 - Another load of laundry today and, although it was only medium weights, my first legs workout since January 13th, before my Philippine kiteboarding trip and another load of laundry.

Sat 4/14 - Got my new van
house battery ammeter and bench voltmeter connected to the cable I bought for the purpose.

Sun 4/15 - Did an official arms workout (first since early January) on my way to WinCo Foods for my semi-monthly shopping. The first time, I think, I spent $55 on food. Then to Mildred's to deliver a couple of bottles of Vitamin B-12. She was not up to going shopping with me. I also helped her to better follow the instructions for using her computer.

Mon 4/16 - What does a person do while waiting for a tow truck other than spending about 30 minutes cleaning out and straightening one's van? That was this afternoon. I started the day early at 8:00 at my dentist's (Jeff Krohn) where he installed the crown where my baby tooth used to be and bonded to two adjacent teeth to narrow the small gap where an old offset tooth had been.
- then to
my rental house located on Dahlia Drive
to meet with Don of Master Touch Contracting regarding enclosing the car port into a garage, painting the house and repairing the tiles on the front.
- This afternoon's big trip was to Fry's Pharmacy to drop off a $4 30-day prescription of Warfarin; to Union Hills Ace hardware for a brass washer and cable clips for my van's
ammeter project; Walmart looking for 2025 button cells (they were out); LA fitness for a quick torso workout and then toward my urological appointment in Sunnyslope. My van started to hesitate a little and the Check Engine Soon light came on. The hesitations got worse as I got closer to the doctor's office. Finally it quit altogether about two blocks from his office. I was able to coast into an apartment parking lot and got it into a parking slot by starting it repeatedly. I put sunshields in its windows, locked the van up and walked to my urologist appointment - on time! After the appointment, I called Amica Mutual Insurance, who said my tow was covered and sent out a tow truck which took my van to Auto Tune. In retrospect, I could have made it to Auto Tune, rescheduled the urologist appointment and saved a lot of time and the cost of a 7-mile tow.
- This evening I checked my website out and it looked good in 29 (the main ones) out of 92 browsers checked. All the browsers had the content, but the older, outdated, browsers did not format my web pages correctly.

Tue 4/17 - With my van in the shop I worked around home: Website: located one of my Rio Vista, CA. windsurfing pictures on an external backup drive and substituted it here for the generic windsurfing picture on my Definitions web page.
- The van was fixed in a surprisingly short amount of time. Turns out the problem was a $75 crank sensor. The diagnosis cost $80 and labor was $33, for a total of about $200 including taxes and fees - about half of a typical monthly car payment.

Wed 4/18 - Even the best and most expensive thrift-store ear buds always seem to fall out of my ears while I am listening to my talk shows. This evening I bought the most comfortable, best sounding and most expensive ear buds yet, after way too much time spent researching them. The Yurbuds, Ironman Series Headphones Model 10112, were on sale at Best Buy and they DO NOT FALL OUT!

Thu 4/19 - I was away from home almost 9 hours today. My trip started with my Dentist's office (Jeff Krohn) for a teeth cleaning (no cavities), going out to my van in the parking lot to draw diagrams for for a PM-128E panel meter as an ammeter for my van's
house battery, driving to Circuit Specialists in Mesa to buy one of the meters, wiring it in (my van was a full-fledged workshop with tools, wires and 110V soldering iron), and ended at 24-Hour Fitness for a medium-weight torso workout. The meter did not give the correct readings, so I've almost given up.

Fri 4/20 - Received my new prescription glasses

Sat 4/21 - I mailed my check, which was supposed to be postmarked by last Tuesday, to the IRS for the balance of my taxes. I hope they don't notice that it is a little late. Why? I forgot :( .
- Had a long visit by phone with my cousin Herald Walton, in Colorado Springs, CO, and rescheduled our trip to the Springs possibly in the fall because it turns out that they plan to be in LA,CA, Seattle, WA and Vancouver, BC in June.

Sun 4/22 - Miraculous find! For several days I have been unable to find my Plantronics Voyager Pro bluetooth headset. That is a problem on several fronts: it was very expensive (for me, that is) and it has the best sound and noise canceling characteristics of any that I have ever had. It fell into my hands when I was getting down my white cowboy hat from a high shelf in my hall closet. Evidently I was wearing the headset when I took my hat off several days previous and it got tangled in the hat's chin strap. I may never have found it if it had become untangled and fallen down onto the shelf itself.
- Since I am having a little difficulty getting my mind around all the offers for building the
my rental house located on Dahlia Drive
car port into a garage, I made a chart.
- In the homestead department, I put up sun screens on the west and two south windows to keep the A/C from having to work so hard.

Mon 4/23 - Armed with a some garden gloves, needle-nose pliers with shrink-wrap tubing on the tips and a pan of boiling water, I adjusted the frames of my new prescription glasses so the optical centers of the lenses are correctly lined up with the pupils of my eyes.

Tue 4/24 - on my second day of trying, I got on the national Clark Howard Show with a solution to the USPS problem and a way to get credit cards under control.
- I have been shuffling my clocks around the house lately, trying to find the best location for the new atomic LCD wall clocks, as they are not easy to read unless the light is reflecting off at the correct angle. I have learned that nothing beats the old black hands on a white face of the analog moon phase clock I moved back to the office wall where it was to begin with. The only things it does not have going for it are the day, date and temperature.
- Katie, my granddaughter, is doing very well with her swimming. She is swimming in a fundraiser. I'll donate a dollar for each lap she swims.

Wed 4/25 -
younger brother who lives in Mesa
may have made it on the 6:00 news this evening - not a good thing. Their house was struck by lightning and started burning. Fortunately he was home from the dentist and called the fire department so, except for smoke, the damage was mostly limited to their master bedroom, which is upstairs.
- Early this morning I got my blood drawn (INR was 2.1 so I will maintain my current dosage of warfarin), met a couple of roofers at
my rental house located on Dahlia Drive
about replacing the clay Spanish mansard tiles with metal look-alikes, drove to Circuit Specialists in Mesa where I bought two more universal LCD panel meters and the to Gangplank where I added my new Panasonic camera to my Technology web page here.

Thu 4/26 - Spent more time coordinating bids for my
my rental house located on Dahlia Drive
garage and mansard roof project.
- This evening I went to the
Arizona Repeater Association (ham radio operators)
meeting down in Tempe. The interesting meeting was presented by Troop 599, a Boy Scout troop for ham radio. After the meeting Dennis Campbell and I talked about my van's
house battery amperage monitoring and did some testing, attempting to determine why the ammeter was not reading zero when there was no current.

Fri 4/27 - This morning I met Tim Wirtner from A Better Garage Door Company, Inc which works with Holtzman Home Improvement. While at
my rental house located on Dahlia Drive
I reprogrammed the irrigation system to give more water to the front lawn and less to the trees and shrubs.

Sat 4/28 - Most of the morning was spent getting my house straightened up for Dennis Campbell's visit regarding my van's
house battery amperage monitoring problems. He had done a lot of thinking as to where the 25mV error (which read 2.5A when the current should have been zero) was coming from. After some testing and experimentation we found that he was correct: The culprit was in the resistance of the ground wire leading from the 100A/100mV shunt in the back of the van to the front where the digital meeter is located.
- Hamfeast this evening in Glendale at Thee Pitts Again on West Bell Rd.

Sun 4/29 - The most exciting thing I did today was to go to Harbor Freight (you can tell I have a really exciting life) and buy 5m of 10mm diameter shrink tubing. I'll use it to wrap the 2-conductor 24-gauge shielded cable with the 10-gauge ground wire so they will functionally be one cord connecting the
battery in the back of my van with the monitoring meters in the front.

Mon 4/30 - Organized new morning routine to include lots of things I typically do every day. Bunching them up in the morning delays my start of the day's activities and projects, but hopefully will allow me to accomplish more by spending the rest of the day more focused. I put the plan here for your reference, and particularly, for my own edification:

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