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Thread: Trivial (or not so trivial) stuff that makes you happy.

  1. #31
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    A few months ago, I got us all going to family therapy. At the beginning, the kids were really against the idea and I had to pretty much tell them that it was not optional. I've noticed, lately, subtle changes in the way we interact. When things start getting bad, I use her suggestions and as simplistic as they seem, they work. The best part is always the drive home after a session. There's this honest joy in talking to each other; playing off of the other person's joke, and even if it's for a limited time, there is a period of forgiveness between them. It really gives me hope. For once I really feel like I did something right and it makes me happy.

  2. #32
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    That gets a <like> closetgeek.
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  3. #33
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    That's good to know, closetgeek. I'm happy for you.

  4. #34
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    I managed to figure out and un-flummox an error in my computer by myself, instead of calling for help. It turned out that a new security download had two versions running, so I just had to delete one. Given my usual phobia about doing anything that might mess up my computer, it's an achievement, albeit a minor one.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  5. #35
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    It's a rare sunny winter day here in the Northwest, and while driving down the hill into Port Townsend I could see THREE of our volcanoes. Rainier was a bit hazy but Mt Baker and Glacier Peak were gorgeous. Glacier Peak is the least known of our volcanoes because of its location but from here you can see it.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  6. #36
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    We've had the same sort of thing here for the past couple of days. Mounts McKinley and Foraker have been showing off nicely, about 130 miles (LOS) from the house.
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    Man is a tool-using animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)

  7. #37
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    When flagrant hypocrites finally get what they deserve.

    Oh, did I mention this already - in the "trivial amusements" thread?

  8. #38
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    I was able to see Venus well after sunrise this morning.

  9. #39
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    I got a greenhouse yesterday! Well, a cheap, plastic, small one, but the simple fact that agreement has been reached to put one in our backyard makes me happy.
    ____________
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    "This is really very simple, but unfortunately it's very complicated." -- publius

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  10. #40
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    A really good/nice supervisor.

    Crinkle-cut french fries.

    Gothic novels by W.E.D. Ross (he really "kicked it old school").

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by slang View Post
    I got a greenhouse yesterday! Well, a cheap, plastic, small one, but the simple fact that agreement has been reached to put one in our backyard makes me happy.
    Gosh, if I'd known, you could have had mine. Of course, you'd have had to be responsible for disassembly and shipping nearly 8000 km!

    Stuff that bugs me: Spellcheck doesn't think "disassembly" is a word. Of course, it doesn't think "spellcheck" is one, either. That kind of makes me smile.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  12. #42
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    Prolate spheroids, jiggling prolate spheroids.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkepticJ View Post
    Prolate spheroids, jiggling prolate spheroids.
    Why would eggs be jiggOooooh.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  14. #44
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    I just got the Tom Corbett: Space Cadet! books on my Kindle.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Why would eggs be jiggOooooh.
    Growing up, if an "attractive" woman walked by, my dad would say "look at the lungs on that one". When I got old enough to reply in-kind to my dad, I would response "Dad, those aren't lungs".
    At night the stars put on a show for free (Carole King)

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  16. #46
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    Today was just lovely. We went on campus to use their pool--I got a membership, and Graham and Simon get in free--and on the drive back, it was bright and partly clear, and the cherry trees are in bud.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  17. #47
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    Finally get to sleep in my own bed tonight!
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  18. #48
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    Just outside of Port Townsend, WA, is a lot with (currently) eight old Morris Minors, which are for sale. This morning when I went buy there was a couple who had stopped there in there original BMC Mini to have a gander. The Minors looked amazingly large next to it and the whole scene reminded me how large the current BMW Minis are compared to the original.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  19. #49
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    Last year I ordered a Doctor Who boxed set of Series 1-7 on Blu-Ray. It cost US$334.85. I was a bit uncomfortable spending that much, especially since it was just for me as my wife was not a fan.

    It turned out that my wife became an instant fan. And they now want $900 for it! Wow! I'd never have bought it for that price. Perhaps I should sell it, but my wife would never let me.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  20. #50
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    I just found a site that has the show The Joy Of Painting. Bob Ross is more relaxing to watch and listen to than any ocean waves or white noise.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  21. #51
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    We were at my parents' house flipping channels some years ago and discovered Bob Ross was on. "Oh", I said, "he can paint us some happy little trees." My folks thought I was joking. Within five minutes, he said it.

    We put ocean waves on the white noise machine at night, but when I'm napping in the recliner I put on the New Age music channel on the cable TV. Puts me right to sleep.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  22. #52
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    I love Bob Ross! "Happy accidents." And also must have white noise to sleep (fan in warm weather, New Age type music in cool weather).

    Rain. Makes me happy.

    Not that I entirely remember what rain is, it's been SO LONG, but apparently there's a bit (... a bit ... ) of rain about 60 miles south of here; which is EVAPORATING before it hits the ground. That's how severe our drought is.

  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    I love Bob Ross! "Happy accidents." And also must have white noise to sleep (fan in warm weather, New Age type music in cool weather).

    Rain. Makes me happy.

    Not that I entirely remember what rain is, it's been SO LONG, but apparently there's a bit (... a bit ... ) of rain about 60 miles south of here; which is EVAPORATING before it hits the ground. That's how severe our drought is.
    You'd like it here. We're having a very wet March (even for us...): we're at 7.7 inches of rain for the month to date. The average is 2.9, and the rain is coming down hard right now.

  24. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I just found a site that has the show The Joy Of Painting. Bob Ross is more relaxing to watch and listen to than any ocean waves or white noise.
    He's soothed me right down out of panic attacks before.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  25. #55
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    Crinkle cut french fries. And now Ore-Ida is selling the sweet potato variety too.

    I associate that cut of potato with happy childhood memories. Especially family road trips.

  26. #56
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    Short version: In a matter of minutes, using a free, open source vector drawing program and a laser printer, I was able to print a series of thin lines at precise spacing onto a piece of paper so that I could cut it into strips of different widths. This saved me from having to buy several $70 pieces of glass that I would probably only ever use once.

    Long version: I need to estimate the volume of timber on a family property. There is a very efficient method of sampling trees based on projecting a horizontal angle from sampling points and counting the number of trees that appear wider than the projected angle. The number of trees multiplied by the "Basal Area Factor" (BAF) for the projected angle provides an estimate of the amount of cross sectional area of the trees per unit area of ground. This value is related to the amount of timber present. Typically, a precision ground wedge prism is used to project the angle. I have several such prisms, but their BAF is optimized for the smaller sized trees that grow where I live. The trees on the family property are much larger and if I use any of these prisms the method will be inefficient. I remembered that prisms aren't the only way to do this - they just happen to be a really good tool for the job. The original way to do this was with an angle gauge, a piece of metal held a known, comfortable and repeatable distance from the eye. So I measured that distance, and calculated the widths for pieces of paper that would create a range of angles. A quick walkthrough of the property will tell me which of the slips is the optimum width, and then I'll be down to business - so long as it's sunny.

  27. #57
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    Wow, not just forestry flashbacks, but forestry school flashbacks... the prism trick is one of those things I remember being told about in school and doing a few times just to learn it but wasn't one we used in the agencies I ended up working for. The make-your-own-instrument story is sort of like my old Biltmore stick: I actually did the trigonometry to mark my own stick for my arm length, then never ended up using it after the end of that semester. My favorite jobs I've ever had were the ones where I just wandered around in the woods collecting data all day; whenever I'm reminded of that part of forestry, I have to also remind myself of the political & car-salesy parts that drove me away... plus the fact that the "technician/ranger" jobs I'd be going for are not year-round like "forester" jobs are... or else I start considering trying to find a way back.

    Back to the subject of stuff that makes people happy instead of mixed... the only thing that beats getting to spend days in the woods (especially one of the deep dark lush temperate rainforests along the west coast) is getting to spend nights there. I don't even know how to try to put in words the deep stress-dissolving mind-cleaning relaxing effect of my last vacation. I camped out along Redwood Creek, and for a few days I'd leave my tent in the morning and hike back to it by evening, but some of the memories that stand out the most are of walking around alone at night in the moonlight with the fog slithering among the treetops and the pale rocks seeming to almost glow. I wasn't even there for very long and it was over a year ago and rather costly for someone in my financial position, but I'm still benefiting from having had several years of stress and frustration almost completely unglued from my spirit there. Now the worst dilemma related to it is whether to go back to the same place for my next vacation or pick a new place, like the Cascades.

  28. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    Short version: In a matter of minutes, using a free, open source vector drawing program and a laser printer, I was able to print a series of thin lines at precise spacing onto a piece of paper so that I could cut it into strips of different widths. This saved me from having to buy several $70 pieces of glass that I would probably only ever use once.

    Long version: I need to estimate the volume of timber on a family property. There is a very efficient method of sampling trees based on projecting a horizontal angle from sampling points and counting the number of trees that appear wider than the projected angle. The number of trees multiplied by the "Basal Area Factor" (BAF) for the projected angle provides an estimate of the amount of cross sectional area of the trees per unit area of ground. This value is related to the amount of timber present. Typically, a precision ground wedge prism is used to project the angle. I have several such prisms, but their BAF is optimized for the smaller sized trees that grow where I live. The trees on the family property are much larger and if I use any of these prisms the method will be inefficient. I remembered that prisms aren't the only way to do this - they just happen to be a really good tool for the job. The original way to do this was with an angle gauge, a piece of metal held a known, comfortable and repeatable distance from the eye. So I measured that distance, and calculated the widths for pieces of paper that would create a range of angles. A quick walkthrough of the property will tell me which of the slips is the optimum width, and then I'll be down to business - so long as it's sunny.
    Cool. I learned something new and interesting about an area of work I had never thought about. That makes me happy.

  29. #59
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    Double doors... if no one is around, I'll place my hands on the door and mimic almost a video game animation to push both doors open. Make's me feel all epic ;p
    "The only one who knows this ounce of words is just a token, is he who has a tongue to tell that must remain unspoken"

  30. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    He's soothed me right down out of panic attacks before.
    An interesting coincidence...after seeing this discussion, I listened to this week's episode of This American Life. Act Two, A Tribe Called Rest, in which The Joy of Painting was mentioned for similar reasons.
    So many bugs, so little time.

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