St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Back Surgery April 2nd

Margo got a surgery day of April 2nd for the second back repair -- the upper part this time.  She would have liked it earlier, but this was the first available for the surgeon who will do the repairs.   Mostly it is to straighten the back, remove the areas pressing on the spinal cord and fuse everything together with rods, screws and bone grafts.   She will have 3 days in the hospital, three weeks in a rehab center and then be home in May, hopefully out of the severe pain and able to get around again.  

Starting to cloud over this evening as a 3-6 inch snow expected tonight and tomorrow.  A good day to do our income taxes!

We had a nice maple syrup kickoff meeting at the Luck Museum with Norman Anderson telling us about 80 years of syruping on his farm.    I have posted a low resolution video of Norman's talk.  Norman Anderson

In the meantime we are at the farm as maple syrup season will soon get underway.  The forecast is for 30s this weekend, 40s and even a 50 next week, so my guess is tapping will be this weekend if not earlier.  I think we will put out 100 taps this year -- less than many years, but plenty for a season that may be interrupted by surgery (usually we have sap mid-March to mid-April). 

Spent some time watching our son put together a computer last weekend.  He bought a case, motherboard, cpu chip, memory, power supply etc.  Then he put the pieces together and managed to get it to start up and installed Windows 8.1. 

The big silver thing in the middle is a 4 inch aluminum and copper cpu cooling tower with fan.  Upper right a 600 watt power supply.  Very fast system. Scott can set the cpu speed somewhere in the 4-5 mHz range.  Quad core cpu, solid state 1/2gigabyte system drive for a very fast boot. Everything he knows he learned from his Dad (and maybe some college training helped too..)
Margo prepares to seat the CPU chip

He wanted a very fast machine, and building it from the parts you want get you a lower cost and tailored machine.  He put in a huge cooling fin/fan for the cpu chip and a couple of case fans as these high power machines run hot.  A friend of his bought a liquid cooler for his cpu chip -- just about the same as an automobile. 

Feeling left out of being hi-tech, I bought a smart phone for $9.99 to replace my dumb Tracfone.  The new one is still a Tracfone (you buy minutes rather than a contract) but has WIFI also so you don't burn minutes using the internet doing email or facebook. It also had a camera.  My old one, also $9.99 didn't have these features--it was mostly just a phone. 
I should have spent $19 and moved to an Android Tracfone as then my google accounts and connections would have all been automatic rather than having to enter passwords for everything.  

Watching and old episode of Seinfeld, Margo and I were amused by the huge phone (size of a loaf of bread) that he held up to his ear--with a TV type antenna rod pulled up.  Sure has changed a lot in 25 years (Seinfeld started in 1989).

My next blog post will likely be tapping the maple trees!  Can't wait.  If you tap them too early then they will dry out before the end of the season, so we tap a test tree and wait until it drips and then rush out and tap the rest.  

The clouds are moving in tonight for the next big snow.  The deer were out getting in some last minute browsing before it all gets covered again.