Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
How about growing your own Mosquito repellent? We've noticed an upsurge in mosquitos recently probably due to the rain we've had so anything that helps discourage these bites is fine with me. Studies have shown that Lemon Thyme to be one of the best natural repellents, equal in effectiveness to some concentrations of DEET which is found in over the counter insect sprays and lotions. Actually, any lemon scented herb will do well. Lemon Verbena is one of those as is Lemon Balm. The Lemon Verbena grows well around here.
However, it isn't enough to just have these plants growing, to keep mosquitos off your skin you need to rub the leaves on exposed extremities. This has to be better than using insecticides.
You never know what you've got until it's gone. Certainly this applies to a working washing machine. Ours quit working a couple of weeks ago, it forgot how to spin and it forgot at one of our busiest times of the year. This meant hauling dirty clothes to a nearby laundry or hauling them over to our working machine in Collinsville. ugh. Last week there was finally time to schedule a visit from a repairman and it's worth noting that this man was one of the best guys in the business. If you ever need an appliance repair, call American Appliance first.
They don't sell appliances, just fix them and they know what's what and will be very honest with you. Randy came out, asked me lots of questions, looked the machine over, tried somethings, open up hatches I never knew existed and finally gave us this opinion:
The motor control board was dead. This is a computer like board hooked in front of the motor under the machine. He could get a new board but he wanted to level with us, it was expensive. It would cost 285 dollars to get the board and install it. It was our decision, he said, but there was no guarantee that something else wouldn't break down since it was an 11 year old washer. He also said that they don't make washers to last 15 to 20 years anymore. We really appreciated his honesty, he could well have put in a new motor board, taken the money and waited for the next break down.
So we talked it over and decided on a new machine. Randy also advised us to buy the simplest machine of any style we preferred, there are fewer things to go wrong and we don't need all the bells and whistles to get a clean wash. That also meant having to spend less money. I asked his opinion on the pros and cons of front loaders versus top loaders because our 11 year old was front loader and I haven't been too happy with it. He said nowadays if we go for the high efficiency washer, the front loaders are made better now and will drain most of the water which they haven't done in older models. The top loaders still have a drain issue. But, if we went with the old style agitator top loader, well and good.
I did some research and was pretty much taken with the idea of an old style top load agitator washer. The reviews were excellent, clothes came out really clean and the spin cycle got a ton of water out of them so that drying time was less. And , they weren't all tangled up. The only negative by a few people was that the agitator was a bit noisier. With our washer in the basement, I don't care if the agitating has sound.
I went to Home Depot, bought the GE agitator model and it comes today. They'll install and haul away the old one. I can't wait.
Ah yes. Most credit card companies have begun sending card holders new cards which have a chip embedded in the bottom which must be inserted in the sales machine and left alone until the data goes though. It is to take the place of the traditional swiping of cards at the store.
The problem is, though, most places do not use it at all even though there is a chip slot. They aren't ready or some entity is not ready. And, we're told by the clerk, "just swipe the normal way, it'll work."
That's ok by me because when you do come across a store that does allow the chip to work, it takes forever. You're instructed to "leave card in place til told to remove" and the time ticks away while other customers behind you start drumming their fingers on their carts. I really don't care if the chip machines ever work if it's going to take so long to approve each time you use them.
I read this today. Our National Anthem is the only country's anthem which ends with a question. That would be the first verse and about the only verse we ever sing or hear sung. I never realized this.
Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light, What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming? Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight, O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming? And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there. O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
Now this is an interesting piece of science news. Have you ever walked into a room with something on your mind to do or look at only to get into that room and have totally forgotten what that thing was? We all have at one time or other...or every day.
Now Psychologists at the University of Notre Dame have discovered that passing through a doorway triggers what they call an Event Boundary in the mind, separating one set of thoughts and memories from the last. "Your brain files away the thoughts you had in the previous room and prepares a blank slate for the new locale."
It's not age! hurray. It's the door! This must be why I am so forgetful here at the seminary house, I have to go through door after door after door to get from one place to another.
In business news, the parent company of Sears and K-Mart announced a ton of stores which will be closed beginning April 29th and liquidation sales will start on May 12th. There aren't many of the traditional large Sears stores left, they used to be one of the anchors of large malls, but were sacrificed in favor of the smaller stand alone stores like the one in Collinsville.
The list does not include the Collinsville Sears Hardware nor the large Sears in St. Clair Square. For the moment these will still operate. K-Marts have been falling by the wayside for some time.
A study found that these people avoid one type of person at all costs: Pessimists. Successful people look for individuals who are optimistic, enthusiastic, and who have an overall positive mental outlook."