Monthly Archives: June 2013

Mad Scientist

Yesterday, I checked the pool chlorine, free chlorine, PH and alkalinity (those are the standard things you check) and the levels were ALL exactly where they’re supposed to be! This was the first time I’d gotten these much sought after readings.

To get all of these readings takes some know-how and some patience. There’s no luck involved.* In addition to the excellent readings, I also have eliminated the remnants of the cloudiness caused by the sub-standard Wal-Mart PH balance I’d added a week ago.

So, the pool is awesome!

Note: why check the PH of the water and then check the alkalinity separately?  Alkalinity is on one end of the PH spectrum (which runs from acidic to base AKA alkaline) I think I’m right about that, but there must be a reason that both are checked…

*remember: belief in luck means you believe that some people defy the laws of probability or you believe in cause without effect

On this day in history…

June 29, 2006 is Irene Freak-Out Day.

Although not celebrated, this is a holiday in my Perpetual Calendar of all things significant and noteworthy. (The calendar dates back to 1992.)

Explanation of Irene Freak-Out Day:

The exact reason for the end of the friendship with Irene is related to her indignant reaction to our moving our business out of her building in Worcester, MA and moving into 26 Valley Rd. in Barre.

As far as I know, the reasons behind her reaction involved some expectation that we were going to buy a building and her business and ours were going to move into it…and/or we were just supposed to stay in her building indefinitely. I’m not really sure what were the reasons because they weren’t ever verbalized even though I asked several times.

When we moved our travel business and art gallery to Worcester, we were very upfront about giving the move a one-year trial. After one year, we’d sold exactly TWO pieces of art, so we realized that being in Worcester didn’t mean a larger customer base. Since it was about a 35-40 minute drive to Worcester and we’d found space in our hometown of Barre (The Tatman House) we decided to move.

When we told Irene, she didn’t say anything and pretty much stopped talking to us altogether. Moving out was stressful and awkward. I had offered the July rent, which she refused.

The friendship ended at that point, which was very upsetting. We’d been the very best of friends for a couple of years, and an abrupt end to the friendship was totally unexpected.

That’s the story from my point of view.

Music catalogue

I now have about 12 new songs for my next CD project. I hope to record them this fall. I’ve created the cover for the CD. Speaking of CD’s, I have 2 huge boxes full of them. I have no idea what to do with them. I think I’ll make sure they are all in my iTunes folder then I’ll bring them to the swap shop at the dump.

Only 30 more days until solar energy system gets turned on

The town building inspector came today to inspect the solar panel installation. This is the last hurdle before National Grid comes out and installs a 2-way meter, and net metering begins….but what is Net Metering?
Net metering is an electricity policy for consumers who own (generally small) renewable energy facilities (such as wind, solar power or home fuel cells). “Net”, in this context, is used in the sense of meaning “what remains after deductions” — in this case, the deduction of any energy outflows from metered energy inflows. Under net metering, a system owner receives retail credit for the electricity they generate.

Most electricity meters accurately record in both directions, allowing a no-cost method of effectively banking excess electricity production for future credit.

Net metering is generally a consumer-based renewable energy incentive.
But back to the town inspector…. he came out to “inspect” the system installation but all he did was talk to me about the nice location I had and how I no longer had “bad neighbors.”  Then he counted the individual panels, not because it was part of the inspection, but just because he wanted to see how many I have compared to how many he has on his house. A little small talk about the weather and then he was gone. He inspected NOTHING. And, how much did it cost me to have him inspect nothing? 
About $100.

Still moving……

Yesterday, I set up the new office, that is, I placed the furniture in the room and hung a few things on the walls. Allen will now make it look organized and functional. I found it interesting that we’ve slimmed-down the business to the point that it all fits very neatly and compactly into one room (approx. 12 X 12). I think the next time me move (which is inevitable) we should be able to fit into a closet.

Banana Phone, ring, ring, ring (it’s a phone with a peel)

I’ve chosen a VOIP telephone service, it’s called Ring Central. It’s very complex (it seems complex now because I’m not familiar with its features). But complex is good; it has many features that will certainly meet all my phone service and PBX needs.

The service costs about $29.99 per month for unlimited local phone service. Each phone number you choose comes with a free number. I actually found consecutive phone numbers when running through the set-up process ((978) 894-1186, 1187, 1188 and 1189). I bought two phone numbers, so I actually have 4. Each number can send and receive faxes, so you can use a number for both or just assign fax activity to one phone number. Having an 800 number costs $4.99 per month. I’m in the process of porting my existing 800 number to Ring Central so I’ll have the same 800 number… additional phone numbers, users and 800 numbers are only $4.99/month.

The service has excellent auto-receptionist features, all kinds of forwarding capabilities and a slew of other features: voice mail, call handling and forwarding, flip a call, fax, messaging, unlimited texting, activity logs, contacts, softphone, mobile apps, departments, customizable personal greetings, dial-by-name directory, call recording (legally tricksy), extensions, call screening, hold music, music during call transfer, customizable outgoing caller ID, customizable outgoing fax settings, full-feature IP phones, ring out, crazy amazing conferencing (up to 15 people), cheap international rates with a certain amount of free calls to select countries, email notifications for anything/everything and other features I don’t have a handle on yet.

The service has assigned me an account manager and they want to make an appointment to go through the entire system with me over the phone.I’m definitely going to need this tour and I’ll probably try to do that later today.

I’m optimistic that this will work well for the business. In the past, we’ve spent $29.00 on one 5-6 minute phone call to Australia, so having an unlimited local phone service for the same money is really a bargain. I have a 30-day free trial in the works, so I’ll take this test-drive and see what the service has under the hood.

I’ll update the service’s performance and suitability to our phone needs in a future post.

To rent or not to rent. That is the dilemna.

It’s not really a question. Just a psychological dilemma. Renting is inevitable. It’s just going to take some time…and a whole lotta wine…

I showed the apartment yesterday without having advertized or even put a sign in the front yard. I wasn’t ready to begin this arduous process. Plus, the apartment isn’t empty or clean. Hmn, I don’t even know where my ‘For Rent’ sign is.

The couple were pleasant enough, but hard to read. They really didn’t say much of anything at all. The man asked how much it was to heat the place. Good question, rough answer. I estimated that it would cost between 250 and 350 dollars a month (every month of the year). That’s a LOT of oil.

So it begins. The search for the elusive normal tenant. Today, I hope to go and clean the apartment and set the furniture up so that it looks presentable.

I updated the website ( and the rental agreement and application. So, I’m ready to rock-n-roll. Hopefully, this time it will be an uplifting upbeat pop tune rather than a funeral dirge.

I’ll mention the progress and experiences that I meet in upcoming blog entries. I’d say “wish me luck.’ but that would mean that I believed that I could either defy probability, or that some things aren’t a result of cause and effect. But I don’t.

Although now, I’d welcome a little rental faerie.

What’s up with ants, spiders and other insects (yes, I know spiders aren’t insects) coming into houses? There’s a huge planet out there for them. Why do they want to come in and risk getting stepped on by people? Is there not enough food outside of houses for ants? And when I see a spider waiting in a little corner where there’s almost no chance of a little bug coming along to be entrapped in a web… uh, what’s the point?
I’m not so sure insects are all that smart.