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Pat Ring
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Gort, Klaatu Barada Nikto
Gort, Klaatu Barada Nikto

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A good Saturday night with Hallie and Angie.

I asked a couple years ago in this very forum if we had a day of celebration for brothers. If not, June 20 seems like the perfect day to me. Perhaps a day for siblings is more appropriate. At the time, I didn't know how I would survive without my brother. All of you know how this story goes - life goes on after the loss of a loved one, the pain eases, good memories surface, and if you were close, your loved one is always with you. I had a dream the other night about my brother. I am not sure what triggered it, but I am glad I remembered it. In the dream, I was trying to get away from Sean, expecting him to whale on me in retaliation for some juvenile transgression that likely involved boogers. It was a sweet dream and I consider it something of a spiritual gift from Sean. Happy Brothers Day or Sisters Day everyone!

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You know how they have fantasy camps where you can go play baseball with Hall of Fame players? I bet they could do the same thing with the Navy. I'd almost pay to go back and serve aboard a carrier. I didn't enjoy the relatively small time I spent at sea aboard the Ike and Roosevelt 25 years ago, but I think with the perspective age and maturity brings, I would be honored and humbled to serve. I'd have to have a stateroom, and a beer after work. The Navy probably wouldn't go for that.

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We are rehabbing the main guest bathroom, adding a granite top, vessel sink, fixtures, and a new tub. I also made towel racks out of some galvanized plumbing. I polished up the bar a bit, then Angie added some coats of clear coat, mounted to this stained board, and secured to studs. I could do chin-ups (if I could still do them) on this bar. I have been doing some other stuff with these parts too. Some coat hanger "hooks" in the front room, and I made a dish cloth "swing arm" over the kitchen sink using floor flanges, elbows, and threaded pipe. I am going to design and help build (because we know who actually builds this stuff in my family) a kitchen table using 1" hardware.
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12/16/16
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The Ecobee thermostat is kind of cool. I'm accessing the thermostat through my browser in the screenshot below. I'm looking forward to the first analysis, which ecobee will provide after 30 days. So far I am not doing anything I probably wasn't able to do with my old thermostat, but the accessibility intrigues me, makes me aware of when the furnace is running and when it isn't, etc. The sensors, the main thermostat and the sensor in the front room, do a good job of detecting motion and adjusting the thermostat. I have purposefully stayed in the basement office and checked the thermostat as it reduces temperature after a period of no activity upstairs, which is obviously something my old thermostat wouldn't do. I also didn't have an away or evening temperature setting - I'd set it and forget it. I am lowering the temps three degrees in the evening. I am hoping the new high efficiency furnace and ecobee will help with utilities this winter. Will see. Fun fact, the ecobee weather widget appears to be more accurate than any other weather widget, so I now use the Android app as my weather widget.
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Look at this map of representation. Isn't this called gerrymandering? This is the 5th congressional district in Missouri. To understand why I ask, the area in green just around Kansas City likely contains 90% of the population of the entire district. KC's population is over 450K. Independence is 117K. The district extends east into very-rural Missouri, representing towns like mine of just 700. When this district is compared to the presidential election results (http://www.politico.com/2016-election/results/map/president/missouri/), it seems very clear to me that the one area in blue, Jackson County, which is south Kansas City, represents 5th district citizens in areas with completely different lifestyles, different economic situations, and different concerns. It's a strange dynamic when an urban voter concerned with food desserts and gang violence majority represents voters concerned about drought and crop and livestock prices - which likely is the majority of the district. From the All About Redistricting site (http://redistricting.lls.edu/states-MO.php#institution): "Missouri also requires both congressional and state legislative districts to be contiguous, and as compact "as may be." The state further requires that county lines not be divided in drawing state Senate districts, except where otherwise required by law. [Mo. Const. art. III, §§ 2, 5, 7, 45]" This requirement seems to have been lost on those who drew the 5th congressional district of Missouri.

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Boulevard pub crawl 2016.
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+Jeff Munson I needed a new thermostat, so bought an ecobee 3. While purchasing, site said to check to see if I could get a rebate. My gas utility rebates $100 for the ecobee3, and the electric utility is $25. The ecobee 3 comes with a remote sensor thermostat. I also noticed I could get a rebate on my new, high-efficiency furnace - $200! Holy smoke! So I got the ecobee for about $65 (I had a $10 gift card) because it was on sale for $200. It claims it will help reduce energy costs by about 23%. I am hoping the 95% AFUE furnace will help, too. Anyway, I thought about you and your Nest when ordering, but this was cheaper and included a remote sensor. Deal got even better when checking for rebates.

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Grill cart / beer holder. Both are essential items for good BBQ. Angie made mine from scrap wood. Perfecto.
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