Something From Nothing Log

What skills to learn, what tools to get
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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Tue Jul 05, 2016 10:52 pm

We had another violin/computer lesson today. When I arrived Maestro was excited to show me the two tuxedos (one white, one black) and this suit he had purchased at the thrift store for $5. While his first love is music, he also worked for many years as a tailor. Over the weekend he pulled the sleeves off of all of the jackets and is in the process of completely resizing them, pockets and all.

He has a few violin gigs lined up for weddings and he was hoping to get the black tux done for that.

Image


He's been thinking about flying home to Italy for a visit so we searched for flights on the computer. It is really quite wonderful to be reminded just how incredible the internet is when seen through the eyes of someone who is still living in 1985.

IlliniDave
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by IlliniDave » Wed Jul 06, 2016 4:29 am

Great ongoing story with the maestro. My great grandfather was an Italian immigrant who came to America to farm in north central Illinois, but also played the violin. I never met him, but have a soft spot for Italian immigrant violinists.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:45 pm

Dave, if you ever decide to get your Italian citizenship, I am glad to help.

Mrs. Ego volunteered at a yoga conference the weekend before last and was chosen to model some of the clothing in the fashion show. They allowed her to keep an outfit. I just sold the pants on ebay for $50.

Yesterday I bought a vintage Gregory backpack that had a few brand new Sam splints inside. I am keeping one. Anyone want the other? I will gladly apply some of the proceeds from the yoga pants to mail it for free.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nMS3HkV7sM

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Mon Jul 11, 2016 12:35 pm

Ego wrote:Today I was coming into the building by way of the back door. One of the tenants was about to flatten the packaging for a Dyson heater/fan. She told me she had ordered a second one when the first stopped working. She said she knew I was handy and asked if I wanted to try to fix it. "Absolutely!" I took the box from her and told her I would take care of it.

https://www.amazon.com/Dyson-AM09-Heate ... B00SMLKEYG

The bottom plate was held in place with a bunch of security screws. A few months ago I had purchased a set of 33 torx bits on ebay for $5 and had the correct one to remove the screws. With the plate off I immediately noticed that the power supply line was disconnected. I plugged it back in. Screwed the plate in place and now have an obscenely expensive remote controlled fan/heater in new condition with a box. Going to craigslist.

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Just sold the Dyson fan/heater for $170. The young woman drove down from Orange County to get it. She bought it for her mother-in-law who lives in a house with no heat or cooling. On the coast this is not unusual, but MIL lives slightly inland which can make a big difference.

enigmaT120
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by enigmaT120 » Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:38 pm

Do those things work?

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Tue Jul 12, 2016 5:47 pm

enigmaT120 wrote:Do those things work?
Absolutely! They are fabulous at generating $170 out of thin air.

As far as the fan/heater goes.... meh.

enigmaT120
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by enigmaT120 » Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:05 pm

I want a Dyson Sphere (not around Sol). And a way to get to it.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Wed Jul 13, 2016 8:21 pm

Ego wrote: Also in the trash was a Keurig thingamajig and a Delonghi stainless toaster oven. Both appear to work. If so, craigslist they go.....

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I sold the Keurig and the toaster over together with the espresso machine I got in the trash a while ago, all for a $100. The couple just purchased a condo on the beach near Ensenada, Baja and they are setting it up as an Airbnb rental. I felt like an appliance salesman, testing everything in my little office. Hah!

Enigma, I have no doubt one of my tenants will throw away a Dyson sphere soon enough. It seems like the entire universe ends up in my trash cans eventually.

enigmaT120
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by enigmaT120 » Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:03 pm

That brought up some oddly delightful images.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Tue Jul 19, 2016 2:24 pm

Some disappointment regarding the cooperative violin/computer lessons. The Maestro has a long list of things with which he needs help. The more he learns, the longer the list grows. The last few classes we've spent almost the entire time working on his rather complex problems. Of the six hours of reciprocal lessons, 5 1/2 hours have been spent on his issues with another two hours spent by me at home on his issues.

I went into this with the understanding that it probably wouldn't be 50/50 because I have to spend as much time understanding problems* and explaining them to him as I do in finding solutions. Last night when he took me through the same abbreviated violin lesson we did the last time, I realized this may not work much longer.

Most of the problem is his excitement at having scratched the surface of learning/understanding and being lured in ten directions by all of technological doors that are opening to him. He is enthusiastic and I want to help, but the time and attention he needs is much more than I am able to provide. I've tried to find resources/classes that can help him with some of the things he wants to do, but each time I make a suggestion he looks at me confusedly and says something like, "why can't you just push the buttons and make it happen?" Trying to explain, "give a man a fish, teach a man to fish" to a 75 year old has proven harder than I expected. My parents were both tech savvy and self-reliant problem solvers so this is rather new to me.

Last night I explained the problem to him for the first time. I suspect I will have to explain it a few times before it sinks in. My concern is that we've reached the end of his ability to teach me anything new with the violin, though I am trying to be mindful of the fact that the most valuable lessons I am learning have to do with the * below.

There are some good online violin resources and I am shifting my focus in that direction. Makes me sad to say that.

* I've realized there are six distinct barriers involved in the issues he is experiencing:
-cultural
-language
-inexperience with technology
-dependence on daytime public transit
-lack of confidence to try new things that involve understanding the motivations of others (does theory-of-mind diminish with age?)
-Earning limitations for Social Security & low-income housing. (he is eager to work but the resultant benefits cuts keeps him from doing so)

Lots to learn here.

JamesR
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by JamesR » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:36 pm

If you can move it back to 50/50, would that help? Maybe keep the sessions shorter/more targeted, or only meet at specific times such as in the evenings? Are you also speaking in Italian and getting that practice? (was that a goal?).

Is he tied into the local Italian community?

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:54 pm

Good questions. Yeah, one of the goals was to learn Italian. We haven't done anything in that regard (other than him scolding me in Italian for the position of my hands), in part because I wanted to focus on getting the basics of violin down before introducing a possible monkeywrence. We've been meeting in the evenings but they seem to run on very late. I am a morning person so this has not worked well for me. He is up until 3am. I've tried to shorten the sessions but that resulted in zero violin for one of the sessions. He is not tied to the Italian community at all. I'm not sure why that is. He's not a loner, but I think he gets his "projects" into his head and works on them with maniacal focus.

saving-10-years
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by saving-10-years » Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:05 am

@Ego Could you set him homework so that you set up what he is to learn? He expects you to practice and do things for yourself to learn the violin and so should you have expectations. That way he cannot simply ask you to do it because its so easy for you and it is literally teaching the man to fish. He needs to work on it when you are not there and you can 'mark' and comment on your tests easily (find XX sites that show YYY, take NN photos and upload one and send it by email, the sort of thing that its easy for you to comment on and teach but takes up time for him when you are not there. That might allow you both to 'examine/critique' the homework in your lessons and move onto the stuff that has to be done face to face when you are present in the room together. It makes it more predictable for you and pushes some of the work of discovering the internet onto him.

At least some of his assignments could focus on Italian websites (booking train tickets etc) and you could try and make those lessons about the Italian language as well, so that you are learning the language and discussing the way systems work in Italy?

Can you take a little control about the violin lesson also? Ask for him to teach you a specific (difficult) piece which challenges him as well as you?

Good luck. I have an on-going relationship since retirement with an 81 year old who is very knowledgeable about a textiles area I am learning in. She also is interested in the online world and we often have much longer meetings than I had planned that veer off into the internet and new tech. I have now registered to take a qualification in textiles and asked her to be my mentor. This is working quite well as it gives us a timescale and focus (I am going for effectiveness and not efficiency here). We do have a similar background (both some history of teaching) which makes things easier. We also meet roughly monthly (with some online and phone comms between). I find that she is in a hurry to learn new things (its a joy that she is wired that way and great that your violinist is too). This can come across as being quite greedy about having more time and more information, but she is also very generous and hugely knowledgeable.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:41 am

You think you got it hard. Try teaching new sexual practices to men over 50. At least you don't have to worry about getting "dropped during the dip." Good thing I am so bouncy! I just tell myself "Patience. Relax. Smile. Resume the pose."

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Wed Jul 20, 2016 3:26 pm

@saving-10-years, Thanks for the tips. I will give them a try. I like the homework idea. We'll see how well he reacts to it.

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Sun Jul 24, 2016 8:17 pm

We had a pretty serious crash yesterday in the peloton. A big group went down in front of me and I went over the top, landing on my shoulder and back (as I should) but I stupidly straight-armed myself and wrenched my wrist pretty badly. Adrenaline allowed me to help a few of the guys until the ambulances got there. In the group we have a few medical people. One of them checked me out when I got back to the house where we all meet and she was fairly confident that it was soft tissue damage and will heal soon enough.

A few of the guys have cameras on their bikes and I tried to use the videos to do an after action review to determine how I could have avoided this.

https://youtu.be/l-Z8O8RUr38

I normally don't like riding in a group spread across the road like that. We generally ride in a paceline. When it breaks up into a bunch like this I usually try to get out in front or hang off the back. So I have a new cardinal rule. Lesson learned.

Also, I am going to add some tumbling into my workout to build in the automatic response to roll over rather than reach out with my arm.

Left wrist so no violin for at least a week. The Maestro was understanding. I helped him with a few details today.

In other news, I found a Mystery Ranch backpack the other day. I got it second hand (so not something from nothing) but I'll be able to mark it up significantly.

George the original one
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by George the original one » Sun Jul 24, 2016 9:13 pm

Red shirt. Red shirt got wobbly for no apparent reason. It's always the red shirts...

Toska2
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Toska2 » Sun Jul 24, 2016 9:42 pm

For me it looks like the blue shirt got startled when he looked left and saw the red shirt gaining.

Advocate wrist mirrors?

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Sun Jul 24, 2016 10:49 pm

I'm going with the blue shirt too from the video evidence. But I could be wrong. Both of them are good guys. Accidents happen.

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C40
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by C40 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 10:48 pm

From what I can tell (the video is only 240p at the moment) looks like blue shirt guy crossed wheels with white shirt guy. Pretty negligent on his part. Red shirt guy could have possibly noticed (the sound of two wheels/tires rubbing together is distinctive.) and moved over to the left or braked so he wouldn't have gotten caught up in it. Assuming you were the third guy crashing in the light jersey, you were just fucked (unless maybe you noticed him crossing wheels?)

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Tue Jul 26, 2016 12:44 pm

Yeah, that's what I thought. I was further back and came over the top unseen in the first vid. It is my 1970s steel rim and campy derailleur on top of the camera at the end.

Eight broken ribs for red. The guy in the light jersey who face planted only broke his clavicle. I got off easy. Several lessons learned.

That said, I had been gradually training up to 49 consecutive pullups for my 49th birthday. I was getting close with twice weekly sets of 36/30/25-20/20-15. With very little grip in my left hand that is out the window. Still swollen somewhat at 72 hours. We'll see how it heals.

enigmaT120
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by enigmaT120 » Tue Jul 26, 2016 1:33 pm

One-handed pull ups for Ego for a while.

I've never biked in a group, never been interested. I don't like riding motorcycles in groups for the same reason, stupid pile ups. Maybe if I'm enough of an asshole in the triathlon in Sept. people will stay away from me or just pass me safely.

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jennypenny
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by jennypenny » Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:58 am

@Ego--if it's still swollen or painful, you might want to splint the wrist in case you have a buckle break

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Ego
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Ego » Wed Aug 17, 2016 8:48 pm

The wrist was broken but seems to be healing rather fast.

Yesterday Mrs. Ego found a bag full of textbooks in the trash. I sold the first one today for $60.

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Sclass
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Re: Something From Nothing Log

Post by Sclass » Thu Aug 18, 2016 12:01 am

Ego you're amazing. I get a kick out of this journal.

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