Monday, August 31, 2015

Fixing the floor

They screwed up the floor while we were away: boards of a totally different color from the rest, bad joints, areas that still squeaked, and expansion joints running the length of the room that they promised would close up that didn't.

So I had a little meeting with them this morning, and the fact that they didn't give me too much push back about any of the above leads me to beloved they knew they'd fucked up.

Anyhow, they upshot is they're upstairs now ripping out whole sections and replacing them, and then hopefully tomorrow they will come and resand and redo the finish and do it right!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Jackie finally wins...

...a hard-fought game of Catan :)

Crisp wasn't really in it, but he had a happy sheep ;)

Lazing with a book

I shall miss this view when we have to go home tomorrow.

Stratton Mountain

Leaving Jackie at home in an adirondack chair with her book and her ankle elevated, Crisp, Holly and I took the gondola to the top of Stratton, checked out the firetower and hiked down :)

Usual Facebook album here.

At Stratton...

Crisp, Holly and I are taking the gondola up and hiking down :)

Friday, August 28, 2015

Bondville Fair

Today we went to the 218th Bondville Fair, "The greatest little fair in Vermont!"

One step up from Craggy Island Funland!

Backup quadcopter

Sorry to keep droning on (ha ha), but I was still having some problems with the calibration of my big drone this morning. So, rather than spending ages trying to troubleshoot it I decided to break out my little backup drone :)

It's a little (tiny) Hubsan X4 that I grabbed on sale on Amazon for next-to-nothing a while back so I could have it in reserve in case of a situation just like this. It comes ready-to-fly out of the box, and, apart from just making sure the motors span when I got it, I haven't actually flown it before.

It's so tiny it fits in the palm of my hand, but I've got to say- it's a blast to fly! Luckily this morning the wind was very light (I wouldn't try and fly it outside in any kind of breeze), and it is zippy and responsive and great fun, and even has a little 720 HD camera!

I'm really glad I brought it with me- it doesn't have the fpv setup the big drone has, but it's great fun and I had a wonderful time with it. Hopefully the wind will be light enough to fly it again tomorrow morning...

Roaring blaze

For the second night in a row it is cold enough for a nice fire :)

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Holly proves why it is National Dog Day!

After Jackie's trip to the ER this morning we decided to not let it be a completely blown day by taking a drive to Quechee Gorge to go for a wander around the antiques market (well, Crisp and I did, Jackie stayed outside with a book and her ankle elevated) and to get some excellent "private stock" cheese from the Cabot shop.

Then we came back and I decided to take my drone out for some flying before firing up the barbecue to cook dinner. I was having some problems with a loose connection from the fpv camera, so I did some quick and dirty field adjustments to get it working again and then should have re-calibrated the controller board before flying it again, but thought I could get away without- big mistake!

As you will see in the video below I was having real trouble controlling it and keeping it in the air before I lost it and crashed- hard. In the crash the rubber bushings supporting the main HD camera ripped free and the whole camera flew off the drone into the long grass. I went to pick up the drone and couldn't find any sign of the camera... I searched for about 10 minutes with no luck, so I went in and brought Holly out figuring she might as well get to run around while I was searching (she has to be shut in the house while I'm flying the drone as she goes nuts barking and chasing it). She watched me searching for a couple of minutes and was looking at me quizzically, so I told her to "seek", which is what I tell her when she can't find a tennis ball I've thrown, and she started sniffing around. Less than a minute later she zeroed in on one spot and looked at me expectantly- I looked where she was indicating, and there was the camera buried deep in the long grass!

The camera was running the whole time- if you look closely at the timestamp where I fade out to black and back again you will see about 15 minutes has passed :)

What an awesome dog! Truly worthy of her own day :)

Night falls... the end of an interesting day!

Antiques and cheese... Quechee Gorge :)

National Dog Day

In honor of National Dog Day, may I present Holly looking dozy and noble :)

Walking wounded

Back at the house, it's just a sprain so she has it strapped up and an aircast on it. They decided crutches would be more hinderance than help so I grabbed her a cane at the pharmacy when I got her painkillers and icepacks.

She needs to elevate it and ice it and be careful for a week or so, but then she should be right as rain :)

Jackie's ankle

Looks like just a strain, but we're waiting for the radiologist in Pennsylvania to look at the X-rays. They're probably going to strap it and put on an aircast and put her on crutches for a few days.

Nothing to freak out about!

At the cutest little ER (Grace Cottage Hospital in Townshend, VT). Jackie slipped on the steps this morning and turned her ankle- we don't think it's broken, but came to get it checked out.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

More Vermont flying :)

After all the rain this morning, it turned into a warm and humid day. We went off to Weston to the Vermont Country Store for a spot of silly shopping and then came home (via the hardware store) and spent the afternoon just hanging out doing our own things before settling down for some serious gaming after dinner :)

While Crisp and Jackie were reading and making dinner and stuff, I found that the wind had dropped and it had turned into a lovely evening for flying. I will put together a fuller edited video of all my flying while up here later, but for now, here's another of my flights...

I'm a little out of practice, but being able to fly on consecutive days makes it much easier :)

My hard-working and hard-wearing little quadcopter, the upper camera takes the video above, the lower one is for when I'm flying it "first person view"

Charging the batteries so I'll be ready to fly again tomorrow :)

And finally...

...a game of Quirkle where I can see the colors... though I'm losing anyway ;)

Catan... the light of our fancy new uplight (see earlier post), much easier than the slightly dim games of Quirkle we've been playing ;)

Ghetto uplighter

One of the few things this house is lacking is enough light over the dining table for evening board games...

$10 at the hardware store- and problem solved :)

Chef's notes

Crisp left these in the kitchen from last night :)

Vermont, day 2

Absolutely crashing down with rain! So sadly no drone flying this morning.

Oh well, I'll just have to curl up on the screen porch with my coffee and book until the others wake up, then we can look at the weather forecast and decide whether this is s good day for a trip to the Vermont Country Store, or maybe we'll just settle in and play board games all day and listen to the rain :)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Pics from today

I don't have access to my usual photo editing software, so I'm just having the camera take jpgs as well as the full size RAW files that I will edit and post later- this way I can post some on Facebook as we go along... click here :)


The end result... it's really good!

Chef Crispian...

...preparing his signature Steak au Poivre :)

Drone flying in Vermont

I brought my drone away on vacation with me, and this morning I just did a quick few minutes flying it line-of-sight to make sure nothing had shaken loose in the trailer on the way here- and everything seems fine :)

We had to go and do shopping and things for Crispy's elegant dinner this evening, and he's entertaining us as he cooks, so the next flight (when I get out the fpv mask) will have to wait...

Dinner Theater

Not only do we get dinner prepared for us, we get to watch the chef work and listen to his witty banter :)

Tonight's menu...

Crisp is cooking us dinner tonight.

We just went and shopped for the ingredients and he is currently sharpening his knives and setting up his station ;)

Morning coffee and dog

In South Londonderry, VT

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Vermont view

This is the spot where I shall be drinking my morning coffee for the next week... Holly approves and I can feel the tension slipping away already :)


We have arrived :)

We made very good time and the new car was very comfortable... it handled the trailer as if it wasn't there and between Rye and here we got 1 1/2 mpg more than the car is supposed to get on the highway!

The house is great, were still exploring...

Vermont bound!

All packed and ready to go :)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

New Kia Soul :)

 So we finally got to bring our new car home
(why do car dealerships make it such a long, drawn-out process?).

It's a 2015 Kia Soul Base.

Even thought it's the base version the stereo is very hi-tech- it has full voice recognition and Bluetooth integration (it syncs to your phone and you can just press a button on the wheel and say, "call Jackie", and you can plug in a USB stick with mp3s on it and it will suck them right on to it's own hard drive :) 

It's a bit funky, but it has character ;)

One of the best things about it is that with the high roof that comes all the way to the back there is tons of headroom in the back (something the little Hyundai Accent lacks) and it has 4 doors- Crisp is very happy :)

Overall we're very happy, and we hope it serves us as well as the old Kia Sedona we traded in that we had for the last 10 years!


Almost done :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A late walk...

...and a new car!

Just a leash walk today as I spent another 4 hours at the car dealer in Yonkers this afternoon, but came away with a new, grey, Kia Soul that we pick up tomorrow after they install the tow hitch I got them to include- I also got them to include 5 years of full maintenance :)

The Sedona has served us very well for the last 10 years, but has started to need money spent on it, so it was time. And we'll get the new one in time to take it to Vermont next week and really put it through its paces :)


Laying out the oak :)