Sunday, April 24, 2022

Royals Lose on a Saturday Night, Yard Work, and Oliver Being Scared of Thunderstorms… Uneventful Weekend

Oliver Watching Royals Baseball
Oliver and I stayed up late Saturday night watching Royals baseball. Managed to get my hopes up as we took the lead in the top of the seventh and then did not score again through the end of the game. The bottom of the 7 Seattle scored one run to tie the game and in the bottom of the eighth, Seattle scored six runs. Brentz walked four guys with one of his walk leading to a run. One of those evenings where when it is done, I sit there and think what I could have been doing with my evening instead of baseball. 

The game finished sometime after midnight and I watched until the end. Disappointing way to end the night especially after coming back to lead the game and then lose it just as fast. The Royals started the season with two wins, went on a five game losing streak, won three games, and now are on a three game losing streak. Ah, the joys of baseball. We are once again in last place for the AL Central.

The Royals play again today at 3:10, so I plan on doing yard work today. I may or may not be done with yard work by the time the game starts, but that is OK. I can listen to the game and switch to music if I do not like the direction we are headed.

It is a beautiful morning and this will be my first time mowing for the season. I must say, this is the best our yard has looked in a long-time. I had the yard over-seeded last fall and it is paying off. A dark green lawn so far and I have not done a thing except over water in the late fall months. We had a good rain storm Saturday afternoon, so I should be good on watering at least for a while. I do have to monitor moisture as last year in the late summer months our lawn started to go dormant. 

The storm we had Saturday early evening caused Oliver to hide behind my chair. When it thunders, he does not really want us to look at or touch him. He knows how to keep himself safe. He is a funny little guy!

Short update for this week. One of those weeks where I was not sure what I was going to post until I sat down and started writing. Have a great week!

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Happy Easter!

Photo by Anna Tis from Pexels

Happy Easter! Have a happy and safe Easter. Today, we will be heading to Lawrence to see my Mom and other siblings who are able to make it. It is a rainy day here in Kansas, but looking forward to spending the day with family. This afternoon, we will likely spend time on the patio to talk, eat, and enjoy company. It has been a while since everyone in the Haverty family has been able to be together. I think the last time was last fall when we got together to clean out the shed and garage. So, happy we will get many people together today. We will miss Jen and Kent, but we will see them later this month for a wedding.

We had brunch at Joan and Eddie’s yesterday to celebrate Easter. It was a nice Saturday and good way to start the day. Plus, the Royals won, so that was good. Today, the Royals have been postponed due to rain in the forecast all day.

Carrie is making deviled eggs and I know there will be a lot of good food to enjoy this afternoon that others are taking. I hope you have a good day and enjoy Easter Day.

Spent April 9 and 10 Cutting down a Honeysuckle Tree in our Back Yard Which was a Mess

Honeysuckle Tree Cut Down in Back YardLast weekend I spent both Saturday and Sunday cutting down and cleaning up a volunter tree that started in our back yard by our family room a few years ago. Ok, it has been there a while as it was huge towering above the roof of our family room. The tree was a honeysuckle tree and it was huge! I did not take any pictures prior to cutting it down, but it was probably as tall as our second story house. Thus, I spent the all of Saturday cutting down the tree and most of Sunday morning and afternoon cutting up the limbs. 
I knew it was going to be a job and had put it off the past few springs, but decided for some reason last Saturday I would head out and begin cutting it down. I was concerned a few times I was going to blow out a window, but luckily the windows survived limbs coming down. Not that there were a few that were close, but no damage was done.
You can see in the picture to the left that part of the tree from this Saturday picture still shows some of the tree still up by the back corner of the family room. It was the process! Carrie came out to help with organizing limbs and snipping off the small portions of the limbs. She came out to help for a bit on Sunday too.
Honeysuckle Tree Stump After Cut DownThe stump of where I cut down the tree was fairly large. I have heard that honeysuckle trees are basically like weeds and that’s what I dealt with last weekend. It was a mess and had me spending the whole weekend cutting up limbs. At one point on Saturday, the chainsaw (electric) I was using stopped working where the chain would come off as I started to cut a limb. So, that required a trip out to hardware store for chain oil. Of course by the time I found a hardware store with the chain oil, it was too late to keep going, so basically I got home with the chain oil, a case of beer, and put the oil in the chainsaw, did a test, and called it a day. There were more work to be done on Sunday.
It was a good lesson to get rid of small trees when I see them coming up in the yard or around the house. I usually do so around the fence to get rid of anything that does not look good or might cause issues. In this case, the honeysuckle tree looked like it would be a good fit where it was growing, but it was a mess! The tree was hanging over the family room roof, rubbing against our drains, and generally causing havoc with the house. Who knows what it is doing to the already degrading cement floor in the family room, but I am sure it was not good. 
Good to have the tree out and basically cut up. I need to do more work to cut up some more of the small junk that came out of the top of the tree, but a lot of that is kindling for back yard fires and future camping sites. I felt pretty good following the finishing up from Sunday. My body was telling me I had worked both days as I was sore in my back and legs. It was a long two days, but felt good to finish it up and see the final results of the tree stump opening up our southeast corner of our family room.

Wood Pile and More Limbs to Cut Up Over TimeThe final result is to the picture to the left with a pile of cut up limbs and then more junk from the top of the tree. Going to work well for kindling to get fires going, but still a lot of it to go through. There might be a branch or two waiting to be cut up over there too as I was exhausted the end of Sunday last week and decided to put it all in the corner and cut it up as I am out in the back yard grilling or doing the fire pit.
It felt good to finally get the tree cut down and somewhat cut up. It was a large task and I am glad that Carrie helped with the process. Overall, it went well and it looks much better where that tree was coming through. Now to focus on other areas of the yard such as the front yard, that is my next goal to do some pruning and cleaning up of trees in the front up by the house. Going to be a lot of work, but I think we can get through it and improve how our home looks.
Here a week later and my back has recovered for the most part. See what I can do on Saturday to get after it again and begin another project that hopefully can be limited to only the one day (Saturday) of yard work. Still have a ton of gumballs to pick up in the front yeard, so that will be fun. 

Sunday, April 10, 2022

March Stats for Working Out Have Gone Way Down Compared to January and February

Monthly Stats for March Working Out

With it being March Madness, it really disrupted my workout plans. As you can see during the month of March I had a week where I only worked out once and three weeks where I only worked out twice. It was a struggle! So, looking over the stats, you can see I was down four days from the previous month for working out. There were some days I could have worked out as I knew my schedule for the week, but the motivation was lacking in March and it continues to lack on this Sunday late afternoon as I write this update. In fact, today, April 10, I did not work out at all this past week. I had planned to ride today to get in something, but spent the morning and afternoon working on cutting up a tree. I am exhausted, so I sit here writing this watching the Master’s finish up and drinking a beer. I am spent! My back hurts and I could fall asleep. I did manage to get in a mediation to keep my weekly streak going on Peloton, but it really feels like cheating.

So, overall, I was down on everything from workouts, to calories burned, to miles. This month is not looking much better, so hoping it is a wake up call for me to get back at it again. After today, I plan to get on the bike again on Tuesday. 

Not a lot of updates on my exercise routine other than it is down considerably from previous months and not looking much better so far for April. I still have time though to improve April, so we will see how it goes. I do plan, as I mentioned a few months ago, to start running at least one day each week and now that the weather is warming up, I might start that this month. I do enjoy running and the routine of running. My knees do not like it much, but our dog Oliver loves it because it knows when I run we will go on a walk afterwards. 

I hope you are keeping up with your workout routine and I look forward to getting back on my three day a week routine this next week.

Final Results of the 2022 ESPN Tournament Challenge in the March Madness Hopefuls Group

What a March Madness we had! All kinds of fun games, late nights, and good memories. The final result helped a number of us in the end with Kansas Jayhawks winning. It will be one week on Monday that KU won the national championship. What a run and what a game! But this update is about the top winners in the March Madness Hopefuls group.

The group saw a number of people rise and fall from the top spot from game-to-game and week-to-week. In the end, we had four that finished in the top three spots. Uncle Charlie won our group with a total score of 1,180 points. Followed by yours truly with 1,140 points. Third place was locked in by Betsy Hoke and Shawn Geil with 1,130 points. 

Uncle Charlie had only one entry to the tournament and it ended up clinching the top spot in our group. Meanwhile, I had three entries in this group alone and a total of seven entries overall. Betsy had three entries in our group and Shawn had two entries. So, Uncle Charlie won our group with only one entry. Nice job!

I am sure we will hear from Uncle Charlie during the off season and into next year when the tournament starts how he won it all. Congrats!

It is so exciting to have people playing in our group and entering multiple entries. It makes the tournament fun as we watch the changing leaders following each upset or after each week ends. What a fun time! We had over 40 entries in the group and the average points scored for our group was 555 points.

Great year and looking forward to next year!

Sunday, April 03, 2022

Picture-in-Picture Finally Arrived on YouTube TV Apple Devices App #YTTV #PIP #iOS

Finally! YouTube TV finally rolled out Picture-in-Picture (PIP) to iOS and iPad through their application (see article on 9to5Google). Prior to this past week the only way to watch a show on YouTube TV while doing something else on your Apple device was to use Safari or split screen with the application. Not ideal! It is good to be able to multitask and keep current on a game that is playing or a show from the DVR.

The ability to be able to use PIP on my iPhone while watching a show is the best improvement from this change. Prior to this week, it was not possible to use Safari on the iPhone to watch PIP or even to use the app and split screen as the iPhone does not allow this to work. Starting Thursday evening, I am now able to do PIP without any problem. The ability for Android customers on YouTube TV have been able to use PIP for a long time, so it is finally good to get the feature on Apple iOS devices.

I am still waiting for a new guide to show up on our Roku devices for YouTube TV (see article on 9to5Google). Having been with YouTube TV for over two years, the guide has been the same since we signed up. A new user interface was needed for the guide. The existing guide works, but it does lack in the ability to read about a show before tuning into the show or seeing which shows are selected to record. From what I have read, it sounds as though the option to read about a show before tuning in will be available as well as seeing on the guide which shows are set to record. The whole interface will be different, so I am excited to see how it looks and any other new features that are added.

A few new features rolling out from YouTube TV is good to see and I hope to see more features sooner rather than later. Having been with YouTube TV for two years with no changes, it feels good to see some improvements for the user interface being introduced. That is not to say that YouTube TV has not added other new features such as channels or features to add such as 4K or downloads, but having these features added to the base is a bonus. Once the new guide is available, I will post a follow up to post my review of the new user interface.