Saturday, March 28, 2009


This is my new laptop PC. So far I think it is a good tool, like a decent hammer.

It's made by Hewlett Packard.

As a younger man before I became an engineer, I was an electronics technician for 20 years. I calibrated and repaired a lot of electronic test equipment, about half of which was made by Hewlett Packard. Didn't have to repair HP stuff much compared to Tektronix or Genrad. Over the years I learned that they do not cut corners on their designs or hardware.

In the mid-90s they decided to start making computers. They changed the brand name of their test equipment to Agilent and kept the good HP name for their computer business. After a few years they acquired Compaq computer company. Compaq made the Cadillac of computers back then, and they still make a good product. I think both companies are among the best.

Also, I now have a wireless HP printer/scanner/copier and Verizon High Speed with WI-FI.
I am grateful that God has provided me the resources to have these new tools.

Went on a milk run in PA last weekend. Snapped this photo of one of the fuel-efficient vehicles they drive up there...

Robert washes his car his own way...

Watching a movie, Barb's always crocheting.

Takiyah needs a little help getting off our couch these days.

They won't be smilin' so much in a couple of months (just kidding!)

I don't know what Barb is making. Joe sits in my chair and eats all the string cheese.

Looky me! I have lost 25 pounds since Christmas.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Baby's Almost Here...

Takiyah and Bob
Takiyah's due to have our 4th grandchild in May. Thought I'd post this photo of her "great with child".

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Lord, Help Us Remember...

Heavenly Father, Help us remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night is a single mom who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children.

Lord, help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who couldn't make change this morning is a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.

Help us to remember that the old couple that was walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress, was savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together.

Lord, help us to remember that the frumpy, pot-bellied, balding, middle-aged guy that was selling magazines and gum at the airport is a highly decorated war veteran who saved the lives of several of his buddies in battle while we were home safely asleep.

Help us to remember that the three teen girls we saw hanging out at the mall, dressed like little prostitutes and trolling for boys, come from indifferent homes, their parents God-less and consumed with themselves, their worldly goods, and their careers.

Help us to see that the pale woman with the ill-fitting wig that was arguing with the pharmacist had just finished her 3rd chemo treatment and is deeply worried about what her husband and children will do without her.

And Lord, don't let me forget the lady on the cell phone that was driving erratically in traffic had just learned that her only son will be going back to Afghanistan for another tour of duty…

Lord – help us know that the dark-skinned man that had 20 items in the 12 item express lane just emigrated to America from poverty last month, and he is very grateful to be working and buying food for his family in America - where there is more opportunity than he had ever dreamed existed.

Lord, Help us remember the person who was so disrespectful and hurtful to us yesterday does not have a personal relationship with You, and is living an empty existence without You, a slave to worldly goods and desires. He probably doesn’t even realize his actions hurt us so deeply. Remind us to pray for that person often.

Heavenly Father, remind us each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. Open our hearts not to just those who are close to us, but to everyone, like you do. Let us be slow to judge & quick to forgive, show patience, empathy and love.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pausing Posts

My computers at home are down. I will resume posting as soon as I fix one of them.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Here is the new 2009 Calendar from the company I am part of: Cobham Defense Electronics, M/A-Com Signal Intelligence Products. Our customers are a scary bunch but they are on our side and their checks are big and don't bounce. The plane in the photo is a stealth bomber - we don't make them but we do make several electronic devices inside of them. We don't live in a perfect country - but God has always blessed it and but somebody's gotta keep it is an honor to help to do that.

Here are the new pulleys and spreader for the Amish clothesline I will be constructing. It will be a 63 foot run from the back door to the smoke house. We see these wonderful clotheslines everywhere on the Amish homesteads in Lancaster County PA on our bi-weekly trips for fresh milk and eggs. We are going there this morning again.

This is the sign at the entrance to Wentworth's dairy farm where we buy our milk, eggs, and grass-fed beef. We bought a 110lb. hind-quarter from Rob Wentworth last fall and it is very good beef. Their website is They are not Amish and he keeps his cows and free-roaming chickens (careful not to run over them when going there!) the way we would. His son Nathan attended a college course in Wisconsin last fall to learn more about grass-fed beef "best practices". These are good people - wish they were my neighbors!

Here is the Wentworth Dairy Farm.

This is the Lehman's Non-Electric catalog I ordered the clothesline hardware from. Lehman's has supplied us with goods since 1997.

I still have their 1997 catalog and it has just about the same items as thier newest catalog.

This is what is left of the Avacado cheesecake that Barb made this week. It was good. She brought it to the ladies' Thursday Crochet meeting and it was consumed heartily.

Barb crocheting. She does this a lot and she is having fun and being creative and productive even when resting. I think this is a blanket for somebody's baby. She has made many blankets for many babies among friends and family.

Barb is also making a quilt. I got her a new sewing machine for Christmas in 2007. It has many capabilities but Barb likes it because it threads the bobbins so nicely.

I had to do the monthly maintenance on the Berkey Light water filter rig this week. I take it apart and wash it thoughly with hot soapy water so as to prevent biological build up of germs.

I am going to back-flush the ceramic filters this afternoon. I will use a garden hose adapter to force pressurized water through the filters backwards, so as to clear them of any accumulating contaminants. I noticed the water in the top chamber gets a little cloudy before it is filtered so this should cure that. I'm hoping to prolong the life of the filters from 2 to maybe 3 years.
The filters are rather costly but worth it.

We bought the Berkey Light from Lehman's and theoretically it will filter polluted swamp water be safe and potable. It removes metal, biological, chemical, and other contaminants. I understand these rigs are popular among disaster and humanitarian relief groups who camp out in remote areas of the world. Thanks Steph for suggesting we get one of these!

Barb made coconut-chocolate chip cookies yesterday. I let myself eat 2 and they are soo good. The trick is to freeze a coconut for and hour before you drain the juice out of it and smash it with a hammer. The meat separates from the hairy shell very easily if it's frozen. Barb shredded the coconut meat in her food processor.

As part of healthy living as God expects, I decided to minimize procrastination so I tackled a plumbing problem this week. The faucet in the bathtub had been leaking for several months, adding like 10% to our water bill from Harford County.

So I disassembled the valve assembly and cleaned/lubricated it with silicone grease and reassembled it but it still leaked.

I turned off the upstairs hot and cold water until I could buy a new valve at Lowes on Friday. Well, Sherry needed to take a shower before I could finish fixing it so Barb turned on the valves for that but she turned the 2 cold valves and not the hot water valve (the upper left one). Sherry was in a hurry and decided to endure a cold shower and was really annoyed at that. I don't know why she did not call me for instructions. After Sherry was done and gone, Joe took his time and found the hot water valve and turned it on for his shower - but nobody's telling Sherry...Ha Ha!

I got the new valve assembly in last night and it works great now.

I have been putting up more shelving units in my workshop. I bought these from the company at auction. They are heavy duty. A place for everything...

These frames are ready for the shelves...

This frame will likely go in the basement.

This is a Saturn Relay we bought at Christmastime. It has side-impact airbags, traction-control, anti-lock brakes, and OnStar. It also has a DVD player so we can watch classic movies when we go camping. It is 3 years old and had 38000 miles on it. Several events led us to finding this vehicle - we know it is the one God set aside for us.

I will be cutting down this tree soon. It's weakening and might fall across the driveway. In the meantime I put a cable and turnbuckle around the trunks to stabilize it.
I might add more to this post later today...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

No Tickets Needed For This Circus...

Merryland Media reports Snow “Storm” has disastered the entire area.
Some areas receive a massive 5 inches of snow.

Many Merrylanders freak. They rush to stores for toilet paper and Wonder Bread.

Apparently the snow makes them crap their pants and eat sandwiches at an alarming rate.

Government, schools, and businesses shut down. Teens pack the malls - I don't know why...

Many Merryland drivers ignore ice on roads and create many accidents. No tickets needed for this circus.

Starlings swarm the feeding stations. Birds have taken 30 lbs of seed in the past 12 days.

No bird seed left - I'm putting out corn so the little feathers can peck at that for a while.

It'll be a while before the garden's planted...

Barb cleared the driveway before I got home from work. She's baking bread and making pot-roast vegetable-noodle soup. She's lost like 12 pounds on the South Beach diet.

The picnic table reveals the massive depth of the Merryland killer snow storm.

The homestead.

The driveway. Treated with 30 lbs of salt.

Back of the homestead.

Joe works part time for a landscaper who has contracts for snow removal. Joe knows he will be called in to work soon.
See how happy he is?
Hershey-cat sits there and absorbs warmth from the heat-stove.

Merrylander who lost it...

Another Merrylander who lost it...

And a third Merrylander who lost it...

Route 7 looking East from the driveway.

I95 going into Washington looks SO treacherous.
Ironically, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi had to cancel an appearance at a global warming rally in D.C. due to the snowstorm.
God continues to show His sense of humor.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Real Snow... Finally

It started snowing Sunday night.
It doesn't snow here much so this event is noteworthy.
This is the second snowfall of this winter. The first snow came the day after the Steelers crushed the Ravens. That was mixed with frozen rain and ice.
Most of the Raven Maniacs were already pretty cooled off by then anyway.


Here is a motivational poster sent to me by Gary in Kentucky.

Guess the kitty's name!

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