It Works!

Dycem® is a non-slip, rubber-like plastic material used to stabilize surfaces. Reusable. Cut to most any size or shape with scissors. Cleans with soap and water.

When AE and Eric came they gave us some smoked salmon and a roll of Dycem® as presents. The Dycem® does work when I open jars of applesauce. With a piece of Dycem® to help my grip on the lid I needed to whack the lid only once to break the seal. With a piece on the lid and one wrapped around the side to increase my grip there, I didn’t need to whack the lid at all.

Thanks, AE and Eric!


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 7 Comments

It’s Officially Spring

Andy brought these daffodils home from the land yesterday and said,

It’s officially Spring!

It’s hard to argue with that. 🙂


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 10 Comments

Food Delivery Robots

One use of robots that seems to be taking off is food delivery.

They’re a lot quieter than drones, which is a big plus.


Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 10 Comments


I’ve been watching some Boston Dynamics demonstration videos about their robots.

I can see that they could be useful in a factory, but I would have nightmares if I had this one in my house!

I’ll stick to my Roomba.

Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 13 Comments

The Joy of Not Talking

Do you think there’s any truth in this cartoon?

I laughed because it reminds me of an incident in a sitcom a few weeks ago. I seldom watch TV, but a friend had mentioned the show and I was curious.

The father was a down-to-earth type with a genius son. The son wanted to go to a lecture at a museum and the father was happy to take him. He dropped the boy off and went to a nearby restaurant to enjoy a sandwich and watch a game on TV.

Unfortunately the mother of one of the girls at the lecture came in. She recognized the father as one of the parents so sat down and started talking to him about all of her problems with her husband. So much for peacefully eating and enjoying the game. The fellow tried to be polite to the woman while still keeping track of the game and his sandwich.

Then the woman saw her husband come in, didn’t want to be seen, so snuck off. Reprieve for the poor fellow? No, the husband sat down and started telling his tale of woe.

In the meantime the couple’s daughter had talked the son into leaving the lecture and going off to a restricted area of the museum to talk. They were just talking but got caught.

The next scene was the father coming home, hugging his wife in the kitchen, and telling her how much he loved her. He also told the wife that their son had gotten into trouble with a girl and was tickled about it. She didn’t agree, she thought it was a bad thing, but when he tried to persuade her she said,

I don’t want to talk about it!

He left the kitchen with a big smile on his face, saying,

That’s why I love you so much.

Yes, listening to other people can really help them at times, but it was refreshing to see another point of view.

Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 10 Comments

Some Days Are Better Than Others

I thought of this cartoon this morning when all sorts of little things went wrong. None of them were serious, but there were enough that I stopped, scratched my head, and asked, “What on earth is going on?” Laughing was the only solution.

Have you ever had times like this?

Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 8 Comments

Defensible Space

Defensible space — the buffer you create between a building on your property and the grass, trees, shrubs, or any wildland area that surround it.

When we built our first house we were told the space should be 25 feet from the house. That didn’t work very well:

July 18, 2011

So we, especially Torben, have been working towards 50 feet instead of 25. He has been building slash piles to burn in bonfires when they come in winter.

November 23, 2013

November 23, 2013

Unfortunately that hasn’t worked for the past two years, the first year because it was too dry to burn safely, then this year because we were snowed out. So some slash piles are still waiting.

Also, the new suggestion seems to be that 50 feet isn’t enough, it should be more like a hundred because all the fallen trees have greatly increased the fuel load,

And the fire season has already started. There was a small fire on Cochiti Mesa, the mesa across the valley from us, Sunday — even though they had snow and hail the day before. The La Cueva Fire Department (about 30 miles/over 50 minutes away) sent 5 or 6 trucks to put it out.

As usual, fingers crossed!

Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 8 Comments

Happy Tax Day?

Amazon. Delta Air Lines. Chevron. IBM. General Motors. Molson Coors. Eli Lilly.

What do these companies have in common? They paid no federal taxes last year.

Thanks to President Trump’s 2017 tax law, the number of Fortune 500 companies that pay no federal taxes roughly doubled last year, to 60, according to an analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a research group. Some of them effectively paid negative taxes, because they received a refund.

The number of companies paying no taxes has risen for two main reasons. First, the Trump tax law expanded some corporate tax breaks, such as the one for the purchase of machinery and vehicles. Second, the law reduced the top-line corporate tax rate, which means that some companies now have a low enough tax bill that they can wipe it out entirely with tax breaks.
Their Tax Rate Is 0%

I agree with the author, there were good arguments for lowering the corporate tax rate, but the way they did it just reinforces people’s beliefs that the system is stacked against them.

Sorry to be so uncheerful! Does this video help?

Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 8 Comments

I’m Not So Sure

Just in time for Tax Day, the for-profit tax preparation industry is about to realize one of its long-sought goals. Congressional Democrats and Republicans are moving to permanently bar the IRS from creating a free electronic tax filing system.


In one of its provisions, the bill makes it illegal for the IRS to create its own online system of tax filing. Companies like Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, and H&R Block have lobbied for years to block the IRS from creating such a system. If the tax agency created its own program, which would be similar to programs other developed countries have, it would threaten the industry’s profits.
Congress Is About to Ban the Government From Offering Free Online Tax Filing. Thank TurboTax.

That sounds outrageous, right? And this ProPublica article did get Congress to think more deeply about the problem: Bill to Limit IRS’ Ability to Offer Free Tax Filing Service Is Getting New Scrutiny —The attention comes after ProPublica reported on the provision.

I think the wording of the bill is important. I think it’s important that the law doesn’t permanently bar the IRS from creating its own program. Up until now the agreement was the online tax-preparing companies would offer free filing for low- and moderate-income groups as long as the IRS promised not to compete — and this agreement was reached when around turn of the millennium the Office of Management and Budget asked the IRS to create free electronic tax-filing options for low- and moderate-income taxpayers. The IRS didn’t have the expertise so turned to the companies for help, and the agreement with them made sense.

The argument against the present agreement is most eligible taxpayers don’t know about the free option, and the requirements can be confusing. I think there should be some pressure on the companies to make their free options more simple to use, and the threat of competition from the government is useful. On the other hand, the IRS is already overburdened, and developing a new program outside of their expertise could be a nightmare.

Do you have any feelings on the subject?

Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 12 Comments

NOTA (None of the Above)

The None of the Above option in India has played a decisive role in swinging results of elections in several state assembly and parliamentary constituencies, election data reveal.

In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that a NOTA option must be provided in electronic voting machines so that voters are able to exercise their voting right if they do not opt to vote for a party’s candidate.
Can ‘None of the Above’ be a game changer?

Do you think we should have that option?

Posted in Life As a Shared Adventure | 22 Comments