Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Jigsaw Puzzles

I've always been a fan of jigsaw puzzles. Only problem is that I have a cat. Therefore a jigsaw puzzle can not be left alone in the same part of the house as the cat. One can only imagine what any cat can do with a 3000 piece puzzle. 

I've found the solution. Jigsawplanet.com

Online jigsaw puzzles FREE. OK, you can sign up with them and be one of the group that has to put a puzzle together in 15 seconds, or not sign up and take your time like I do. Kind of pisses me off when it says John Doe did this puzzle in 37 seconds and it takes you 8 1/2 minutes just to set it up. Sounds like cheating to me. 

On the site, there is a category called Explore. It has a drop down and you can pick from 5 different categories. I usually choose "Popular Searches". There you can choose from 53 categories of puzzles you'd like to do. 

Categories like "animals" has 339,548 pictures to choose from. I like to do cars and there are 134,924 pictures etc. If you have a specific picture in mind, it has a search function. 

Once you choose the picture you want, on the right hand side is a drop down called "Play as". The picture you picked has X number of pieces. Could be anywhere from 4 to 300 or more pieces. If you want a different size pieces, the drop down (Play as) let's you do the puzzle normally from 24 to 300 pieces OR, the last line is "Custom Cut". There you can pick a size OR change the shape of the pieces. There is also a button for rotation of the pieces.  

The puzzle gives you the pieces in up and down direction as they would fit in the puzzle. The rotation button mentioned above allows you to rotate the pieces making it harder to solve the puzzle. 

Everybody knows I've been following the family genealogy for some years now. Below is one of the Kautz family coat of arms. Note that there are two owls on the coat of arms. 

The owl is a screech owl. The Kautz name is from Middle High German Kuz or Screech Owl. 

Going back to jigsaw puzzles, the picture below was a 238 piece puzzle of a screech owl. 

I did it in 63 pieces. Still took me 10 1/2 minutes to finish. 

Maybe you can find the animal, castle, or any of a number of pictures on your family crest. Might be a fun way to get the kids to learn about your family history. Besides, with all the puzzles to work, might take some stress off of staying home and not getting Covid-19. 

Just a thought.....   

Monday, March 29, 2021

The Big One In The Suez Canal

 It's hard to imagine a container ship that's as long as a football field. That's a big ship. 

Looks like thousands of containers. Wonder if that sucker is top heavy? 

Years ago I worked for a company that shipped stereo speakers to foreign countries. 

I had the opportunity to have dinner on a couple of them and was able to tour one of the ships. We were at the Port of Stockton (California), one night on a ship with an English crew. I won't guess at the registry of the vessel because they are from all over the place, mostly third world countries. 

Apparently the English like food cold. the dinner (as I recall) was some type of meat (cold) and cold peas.  

Another time I was on a ship with a Norwegian crew, but unfortunately it's been so long (sometime in the 80's) I've forgotten what the dinner was. The vague memory I have is that (what ever it was) was really good. 

I also had the opportunity to get a personal tour of one of the ships. Two items stand out. One was the computerization of the containers that needed to be kept cool or frozen. The other was the engine room. Spotless. You could have eaten off the floor it was so clean. 

These ships back in the 80's weren't nearly as big as the one stuck in the Suez Canal. But then, none of them got stuck. 

Lastly, they got that sucker loose this morning and are moving it to "The Great Bitter Lake" for further inspection. Yeh, I wondered about that name too. Seems when the canal was dug (I thought it was natural), there was a dry, salt valley right in the middle. They flooded it to use as a bypass or turn around for ships. 

By it's very location, the lake has twice the salinity of ocean water and therefore doesn't support life, whether plant or animal, very well.  

There is a bunch more information about Gastropods and BiValves on Wikipedia if you're interested in things with shells and long names. 

That's it for today. 

Stay Tuned

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Time To Build A Better Mousetrap

I'm back, but in a different format. Future posts will be about fishing (duh), camping, and generally getting out and about. I guess I should explain the new title for the blog. In the past couple years, I've come to recognize that I have Osteoarthritis in my back, left hip, both knees, and with the neuropathy in both my feet, getting around is, at times, difficult. I've looked into hip replacement. My neighbor across the street had his replaced 6 months ago and he's still limping. The last time I was operated on, it took 3 years and an additional surgery to repair the damage from the first surgery and to recover. At that point, I decided, no one is going to cut me unless it's life threatening. So I gimp. 

I miss writing. 

This past year has been depressing for all of us. Camping last year was a disaster as you can see from the last three posts. Camping this year has started out right where last year left off. 

Mid March, we planned and booked 9 nights in 4 different RV sites. First stop was to be Newberry Springs, California. Then on to Phoenix, Arizona, followed by 2 nights outside Death Valley, California, and then one night in Bakersfield, California just so we didn't have to drive a gazillion hours home in one day. 

Trailer loaded and ready to roll. Oh, seems the bed has a wet spot on the bottom. Oh, so does the booth in the dinette area. Seems we have two vents leaking. Did I mention it was raining? No, been raining all night. Trip cancelled and a call to the dealer we got the trailer from. Trailer has a 2 year structural warranty. Seems to me that the vents (actually one vent and one skylight) are structural. Nope, covered by the one year bumper to bumper warranty which expired in November of last year. More 2020 crap. 

Did I mention I miss writing?

Well, I informed them that I wasn't going to pay to have this fixed and someone had better approve fixing this because (I found out later) that the skylight had been replaced last year with a faulty skylight and the caulking on the roof was also faulty. After a short discussion Lance's National Maintenance Manager, it was agreed that the repairs would be done free of charge and my warranty for these repairs would be extended until September 19th just in case. 

Next camping trip is the end of April and we're only going a short distance. A way to get out from the house and the shack nasties. 

Next on the agenda: Katherine and I both got our Covid vaccine shots. In two weeks we will be 95% safer than previous. I am relieved that we made it the entire year without getting the bug. Our family doctor wasn't so lucky although he had underlying problems and it killed him. Spent a good part of January and February finding a new doctor, getting Medicare and the supplemental insurance set up. If you haven't had the joy of setting up Medicare, expect to be hairless by the time you're done. It is definitely a hair pulling experience.    

Don't know how often I'll post, but I'll wade into a lot of different subjects. 

Stay tuned.