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grass cutting and beverages [message #306705] Sun, 16 March 2008 01:18 Go to next message
Littlefoot
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Registered: June 2005
Location: Croatia, Europe
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pablolee
[Edit: Sorry Ana, cut your grass there]

Oh, if you wish, you can came over and cut my grass (over 3500 square meters). You wouldn't have to be sorry at all, and you'd get free beer/soda/gemi系/whatever Smile
Re: Exceptions [message #306709 is a reply to message #306705] Sun, 16 March 2008 02:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
pablolee
Messages: 2615
Registered: May 2007
Location: Scotland
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LOL, already got my hols booked this year, if it weren't for that I would have definitely come over and trimmed your garden for you Smile
By the way, what is gemi系? I'm guessing a fruit juice.
Re: Exceptions [message #306715 is a reply to message #306709] Sun, 16 March 2008 02:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Frank
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Registered: March 2000
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Quote:
while gemist is white wine mixed with sparkling mineral water
(Source)
Sounds like I'd rather cut pablolee's grass in Scotland...
Re: Exceptions [message #306724 is a reply to message #306715] Sun, 16 March 2008 04:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Littlefoot
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Gem甬t really IS fruit juice. Kind of ... grapes are fruit, right? In wine production process, grapes are first squeezed and this juice is called "mo系"; it is sweet at the beginning and as it turns into wine, becomes more and more sour. Some people drink it mixed with sparkling mineral water, and yes - I can approve that Frank correctly found out what "gemi系" is.
Re: Exceptions [message #306726 is a reply to message #306724] Sun, 16 March 2008 05:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
pablolee
Messages: 2615
Registered: May 2007
Location: Scotland
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Ahhh, over here we would call that a 'spritzer' (no drink for a Scottish man) I'll stick with Beer, bourbon whisky or wine (without diluting it Smile ) I take it that you'll supply a sit-on lawnmower Smile
@Frank, any time you are in Scotland, feel free to come and sit in the garden, I may even let you off with any chores.
Re: Exceptions [message #306771 is a reply to message #306715] Sun, 16 March 2008 12:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7973
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
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It took me three hours Friday morning and three spools of trimmer line to cut the grass and weeds in my backyard with a string trimmer. My back is still killing me. I had to do this about a month ago in February and expect to have to continue monthly. My backyard is steeply sloped in some places and very uneven, so I have to use a string trimmer, not a lawn mower.

I have a 540 square foot enclosure outisde the back door, so the cats can go outside safely. It is level and easy to string trim, not a big enough area to bother with a mower. One of my cats is allergic to the bermuda grass that I had in it, so I replaced it with fescue sod and it seems to be doing reasonably well so far.

The front yard is gradually and smoothly sloped and can be mowed, but I have a terrible problem with weeds and am tired of pulling them up by hand, but I don't want to use chemicals, due to wildlife and neighbor's stray pets, such as small dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens, and guinea pigs, that occasionally find their way into my yard.

The whole property is about 1/4 acre. I am constantly looking for lower-maintenance solutions that take less time, less energy, less water, and so on. I have planted iceplant in some areas of the backyard. The iceplant doesn't have to be mowed or string-trimmed, it grows dense, survives when it is hot and dry, and very few weeds or grass manage to grow among it. I do have to use the shovel to trim it from around the stepping stone path periodically though and it attracts a lot of bees, especially when it is warm and sunny.

I have been considering tyring zoysia grass plugs for the front yard:

http://www1.zoysiafarms.com/

It is supposed to be easy to plant, grow upwards slowly, so you don't have to mow often, spread sideways rapidly so that it chokes out weeds and other grasses, require little water, and is tolerant to cold, heat, and insects. Has anybody ever tried this stuff? I have tried other things, like dichondra, put a lot of work into it, had it looking good, then had the whole thing suddenly die from flea beetles. I have also tried dwarf mondo grass, but found that it spread too slowly. So, I am looking for anyone who has tried zoysia grass or has a better idea. I don't want to use Bermuda grass because of my cat's allergies and the front yard is on the west side of the house where it gets full afternoon sun, so I don't think the fescue grass would do well there, and I don't want iceplant or a lawn full of wildflowers in the front yard either. Right now I have a mixture of various grasses, a little dichondra growing back in a few shady spots around the trees, and a lot of clover and weeds.

It is getting more and more difficult to comply with conflicting regulations that require that you maintain a lawn and require that you reduce water usage. Where I live now, they are in the process of gradually doubling the water rates, by increasing it a little each month. There have been rumors of future rationing or restrictions on watering between certain hours or not allowing watering of lawns at all. What do you do when you are not allowed to water and your loan company can foreclose if you do not maintain your lawn? Anyhow, for various reasons, water usage is one of the biggest concerns. However, I cannot just have dirt in my front yard or pave it over or put in artificial grass.

[Updated on: Sun, 16 March 2008 12:27]

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Re: Exceptions [message #306801 is a reply to message #306771] Sun, 16 March 2008 21:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
rleishman
Messages: 3700
Registered: October 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Senior Member
Have you considered a sheep?
Re: Exceptions [message #306806 is a reply to message #306801] Sun, 16 March 2008 22:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7973
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
rleishman wrote on Sun, 16 March 2008 19:08
Have you considered a sheep?


I have considered getting a goat or some such thing, but rejected the idea. I think that having to care for the animal and worry about it would outweigh the benefits. My next door neighbors have four dogs that they let run loose all the time. Their dogs have killed all of their guinea pigs and rabbits, some of their chickens, and when their horse gave birth to its baby, the dogs killed the baby horse. I have no doubt that they would find a way over my fence and kill a sheep or goat or whatever and there is no way that I can put a wire mesh top over the whole backyard like I have over the enclosure for the cats outside the back door. I fear it may just be a matter of time before these dogs kill some kid walking to school or some old person. The woman told me when she moved in that she had to put another dog to sleep because it bit a little girl. These people have no idea how to raise animals or children or anything.

The neighbors have proven to be quite a nuisance. I am getting very tired of the noise, the dogs, and the trash. One of their kids likes to smash things. His parents just let him do it and clean up after him. This evening the boy was smashing an old vacuum cleaner and something that looked like it might have been a fax machine or a printer while the parents were standing in the front yard, talking and watching. He did this in the corner of my front yard, leaving the pieces on my front yard. So, I went over and told him he needed to clean it up and he went back to playing. When I finished pulling up weeds and he still hadn't cleaned it up, I headed for the neighbor's house to talk to the parents. They saw me coming and went inside and closed the door, leaving the dogs in the front yard, apparently to prevent me from getting to the door and avoid talking to me, leaving me stuck dealing with their unruly kid. So, I called the kid over and told him again that he needed to clean it up and stood in front of it and waited for him to do so. He asked where he should put it. I pointed out where the fence and the property line are and said that it needed to be off of my property and on his property and that it is illegal to dispose of appliance and computer parts and such in the regular trash. They have to be taken to a household hazardous waste disposal. So, he picked up the pieces and put them on the other side of the property line in his front yard. I hope that tomorrow I do not find the pieces in my trash can, because if the trash truck comes and finds such things in my trash, I will get a citation for illegal disposal of hazardous waste. So, I plan to check my trash tomorrow morning. If I find it in there, I am prepared to get my step stool and my shovel and dig it out and fling it into their driveway.

It seems like I just have to keep dealing with one thing after another. It is hard enough to get through each day without all of these unnecessary problems. A couple of weeks ago, I caught a former neighbor who moved out about five years ago, abandoning cats in my front yard. She drove up, got out with her carriers, took the cats out and put them through my gate into my front yard. I saw what was going on from inside and ran out and confronted her. I told her that she could not abandon the cats there and that it was illegal to do so. She also had dogs in the car with her. She mentioned something about her daughter working for some shelter where they kill them. I suspect that she may have been taking animals and abandoning them in various neighborhoods for years. I have been trying to figure out where all the stray cats and dogs have been coming from for years. The stray dogs end up killing the stray cats.

Unfortunately, if you try to call law enforcement or animal control, it is just your word against theirs, so it is pointless. You know that song about "I see skies of blue and trees of green ... and I think to myself what a wonderful world." Well, I look outside and I see blue skies and green trees and I think to myself what a wonderful world it could be if it weren't for a lot of the people in it. I look around and I see gang members, vandals, thiefs, and I think to myself what a screwed-up world. I have just had one unnecessary little thing after another to deal with in the midst of bigger problems lately, non-stop. I can't even sit at home and have a peaceful Sunday.






Re: Exceptions [message #306844 is a reply to message #306806] Mon, 17 March 2008 01:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
rleishman
Messages: 3700
Registered: October 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Have you considered an automated border-security weapons system? Wink
Re: Exceptions [message #306865 is a reply to message #306806] Mon, 17 March 2008 02:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Littlefoot
Messages: 19536
Registered: June 2005
Location: Croatia, Europe
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We all think that our neighbours are the worst and what, oh what did we do to deserve them. But reading a story about your neighbourhood, Barbara, I'm very sorry you have to live next door to such kind of people.

It is not only unpleasant - it is dangerous! Most people have kids (better or worse), but not all of them own deadly beasts. I certainly wouldn't want to be afraid of someone's dogs who already have learned how to kill. It sounds like a matter of days when a victim will no longer be an animal, but a human being. What a horror, what a terror!

Back to beverages, if I may: although it was a disaster back then on Sep 11th, people use to make fun of anything, including such a sad occasions.
Part of our country is called Zagorje - quite a pretty place on Earth, with many hills, vineyards, where people are nice, happy and - of course - drink gemi系 all the time.

One of them (locally: Zagorec) came to the States and found himself in a jail. Why, what happened? He was in a bar and said: "Gemi系 je bil laden" (gemi系 was served cold), but other guests interpreted it incorrectly and thought he has something in common with Bin Laden. So ...
Re: Exceptions [message #306884 is a reply to message #306806] Mon, 17 March 2008 02:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mahesh Rajendran
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When I moved into the place I am living now, my neighbors were really very friendly and helpful. After a week I came to know that
the previous occupants were quite some animal lovers.
Apart from 4 boisterous kids/teens, the "humble abode" was also shared among 2 huge dogs that were particularly fond of expressing their thoughts with barking and digging,several cats and at least 2 species of rodents like hamsters, one nasty cacophonic parrot,a python , another reptile and of course, an aquarium.
My neighbor comments that they had a complete food chain.Smile
Re: Exceptions [message #307042 is a reply to message #306844] Mon, 17 March 2008 12:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7973
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
rleishman wrote on Sun, 16 March 2008 23:49
Have you considered an automated border-security weapons system? ;)


No, just a system for monitoring and recording. I have had various combinations of motion detector, lights, camera, monitor and recorder, but they seem to break faster than I can replace them and it seems to always end up that one or more pieces is not working or pointing in the wrong direction and I have never been able to record anything, so that I could seek prosecution or restitution. I have gone from hard-wired to wireless and vcr to dvd with hard drive. The part that seems to fail the quickest is the recorder.

I currently have a camera with a wide-angle lense, that sits in a window, is plugged into a nearby outlet, and has a wireless transmitter. I have a wireless receiver in the living room, that is plugged into an outlet, picks up the signal from the transmitter, and is connected to an old television set that displays the image. So, when I am at my desk in my living room, as I am now, I can just glance at the monitor to see my front yard, the front street, and my driveway, so I can see if the mail or any other delivery is arriving. You have to get to such things before the thieves do. Multiple neighbors have had problems with stolen mail. That is, when it gets delivered. For a while, the postman had so many problems with dogs on our street, that we got notices that we would have to pick up our mail at the post office for a while. I have received notices from gas, electric, and water meter readers asking me to contain my dogs so they can read the meters. I told them I don't have any dogs and if there are dogs in my yard when they are trying to read the meter, then they need to call animal control.

The television used as a monitor is connected to a dvd recorder with hard drive. The latest problem is that, although there are no saved recordings, it says "Timer Problem Detected!" and "There is no space left. On-going recordings may have been interrupted." I have tried various things, but it does not seem to be able to read its own disc.

I am a programmer, not a hardware person and my knowledge of electronics is limited. Ideally, what I would like, is a system with multiple wireless color cameras capable of photographing in the dark, a split-screen or rotating display, and a continuous recording or programmable segments where the oldest could be periodically erased, capable of storing at least a few days worth. I also need to be able to copy any portion onto a disc that I can give to law enforcement or whoever. I also prefer that the pieces are independent and compatible with other systems and can use standard connections, like RCA, so that when one piece breaks, I just have to replace that one piece, not the whole system. I also don't want to spend a fortune and want to be able to install everything myself and control everything from my home, not through some security company. Any ideas?


Re: Exceptions [message #307049 is a reply to message #306884] Mon, 17 March 2008 13:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7973
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
Mahesh Rajendran wrote on Mon, 17 March 2008 00:50
When I moved into the place I am living now, my neighbors were really very friendly and helpful. After a week I came to know that
the previous occupants were quite some animal lovers.
Apart from 4 boisterous kids/teens, the "humble abode" was also shared among 2 huge dogs that were particularly fond of expressing their thoughts with barking and digging,several cats and at least 2 species of rodents like hamsters, one nasty cacophonic parrot,a python , another reptile and of course, an aquarium.
My neighbor comments that they had a complete food chain.:)



I like animals of various kinds and have had various animals at various times in my life: horses, dogs, cats, a rabbit, cockatiels, water turtles, and tropical fish. I currently only have a few elderly cats, ages 10 to 16, and am hoping to outlive them so they are not left homeless when I am gone. The oldest cat I have ever had lived to 21-1/2 years old, which is comparable to a human over 100 years old. As I grow older, I have fewer days when I am healthy enough to do things and less money, so I have eliminated all social life and hobbies years ago and ceased replacing animals as they grow older and die off. When I had 2 dogs (they got old and died in 1996 and 1997), I was very careful to teach them not to hurt the cats, from when they were puppies, and never had a problem. Some people raise and care for lots of animals with no problems, while others either have no idea how to raise them or contain them or don't care. Once an animal develops bad habits, it is very difficult to change them. It is especially hard when owners name their dog "killer" and encourage it to kill other dogs and animals. You have to blame the owner, not the dogs. There are certain streets, where you always see dead dogs along the edges of the roadway, more than you would expect to see from road accidents. It appears that some people are dumping the losers from dog fights and/or victims used for training. You usually see them after weekends. Everybody knows that animal control doesn't work on Sundays, so that is when they have their fights and do their dumping. Although everybody sees where the dumping occurs and animal control must know, because they pick up the carcasses, I gather that they have not had anybody stake out the area at night to watch to see who is doing the dumping and trace them back to where the fights and training occur.

I should point out that there are some good neighbors who have good animals that are raised properly and there are also some cute little kids, so it is not all negative. The day that I confronted the former neighbor abandoning cats, two other good neighbors from the cross-street also got involved and one agreed to take the cats. About a week ago, when I was in my backyard, I heard a commotion on the cross-street and spotted the cat-abandoning former neighbor having a loud conversation about cats with some woman. I couldn't see or hear well enough to catch anything clearly other than, "Is this your cat?" I gather that another neighbor may have caught her at it again. She may have figured that the house of the lady who agreed to take the cats she abandoned previously is a good place to abandon more. Her vehicle and the conversation were in front of the place next to that. I think the wife of the other good neighbor that previously got involved may have caught her. They are a nice retired couple with multiple animals (horses, dogs, cats, ducks) who are all well cared for.

The neighborhood is sort of a mixture of nice older retirees with no children living at home and houses containing multiple families of young couples with children of various ages. Many of those speak little or no English (Spanish only). They seem to move in with good intentions, but have more kids and animals than they can keep track of, and so they all run wild, and that's where the problem starts. The kids join gangs and the dogs become killers and the parents either don't realize there is a problem until it is too late to fix it or don't care or just have no idea what to do and give up.

Perhaps I have just become a grumpy old lady and need to find a retirement community to move to. I mentioned to one neighbor how I hate the so-called "rap music" that consists of nothing more than shouted profanities glorifying gang violence, played so loud that it rattles my windows, and how it puts me in a bad mood all day long. He said that I just don't understand it and that previous generations did not appreciate the music of my generation. It is probably a good thing that my hearing is getting worse. I try to do most of my yardwork early each morning while the trouble-makers are still sleeping after being up late partying the night before, then spend the rest of the day and evening doing errands and sitting inside with my cats, my computer, and my television, and try to just ignore the outside world.





Re: Exceptions [message #307078 is a reply to message #307042] Mon, 17 March 2008 15:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Frank
Messages: 7877
Registered: March 2000
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Barbara Boehmer wrote on Mon, 17 March 2008 18:30
... Any ideas?

Since it says in your profile that you did a lot of work on behalf of law inforcing clients, don't you have some old acquaintances that can help you out there?
Even if you've been only half as kind for your former customers than you've been here, I am sure they will love to guide you and/or spend a saturday installing stuff.
Re: Exceptions [message #307095 is a reply to message #307078] Mon, 17 March 2008 17:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7973
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
Frank wrote on Mon, 17 March 2008 13:36
Barbara Boehmer wrote on Mon, 17 March 2008 18:30
... Any ideas?

Since it says in your profile that you did a lot of work on behalf of law inforcing clients, don't you have some old acquaintances that can help you out there?
Even if you've been only half as kind for your former customers than you've been here, I am sure they will love to guide you and/or spend a saturday installing stuff.


You might think so, but no. Your average peace officer knows little or nothing about home surveillance systems. This has more to do with electronics than law enforcement. There are some highly specialized units that use some surveillance equipment, but it is either unavailable or inappropriate or not the best thing for home use. I think people who are into computers are more likely to have good recommendations for home electronics products, of which home computers and cameras and recording equipment are a part of. Obviously I could search online and ask at places like Radio Shack and I have done that, which is how I ended up with some of my previous systems.

I have installed every system myself. The smaller they are, the easier it is. They make little tiny cameras now, that only require screwing a tiny bracket into your window frame. With wireless technology, you don't have to string wires along base boards or over doorways or whatever, just plug them into a nearby electrical outlet. They also make some that are disguised as outdoor floodlights. You get what looks like a set of three lights. It looks like the center bulb is burnt out, but it is actually a camera. I certainly don't need anybody to install anything for me, just advice on what products to purchase or not, hopefully based on someone's experience and successes or failures.

I know that some people record onto their computer hard disk. I don't know if that is any better than using a DVD recorder with a hard drive. A dvd recorder with a hard drive is certainly cheaper and I really don't want to tie up my only computer with constant recording.

I know there are also some services that allow you to use a web cam to display and record images online. Some people use this to record the area that their pets are in while they are at work, so that they can connect to the internet at work and check on their pets from time to time. A significant drawback there is that the images are available for the whole word to see and I don't know if I want anybody that wants to, watching what times I come and go from my house.

Still looking for ideas. Unless anybody comes up with an idea of how to fix the old DVD recorder with hard drive, I will probably end up buying a new one. I am looking for recommendations for reliable brands. The old one is RCA. I am leaning toward Philips. Typical problems are that either the fan quits or for some unknown reason it ceases being able to read the hard drive despite attempts at reformatting or whatever. I would think there would be lots of people out there that use such systems, if not for home security, then for recording TV shows and such. Or, does everybody in the world use tivo or some such thing now?



Re: Exceptions [message #307125 is a reply to message #307095] Mon, 17 March 2008 21:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
rleishman
Messages: 3700
Registered: October 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Senior Member
I think what you are after may be a Digital Video Multiplex Recorder (DVMR), rather than a domestic DVR / DVD.

Some on Ebay
Re: Exceptions [message #307341 is a reply to message #307125] Tue, 18 March 2008 09:15 Go to previous message
Barbara Boehmer
Messages: 7973
Registered: November 2002
Location: California, USA
Senior Member
rleishman wrote on Mon, 17 March 2008 19:13
I think what you are after may be a Digital Video Multiplex Recorder (DVMR), rather than a domestic DVR / DVD.

Some on Ebay


That looks like an interesting idea. I'll look into it. Thanks for the suggestion. That's the kind of advice I've been looking for.
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