Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Think About It

 Something wonderful to aim for...

(Thank you, Life In Grace, for sharing.)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

New Shipwreck Discoveries

Divers are back exploring an old shipwreck in the Antikythera, Greek Islands region...and finding unusual stuff. Game pieces (shades of the Lewis chessmen - a pawn was found), beautiful glassware -- even sections of a decorative armrest they believe was part of a throne!

The shipwreck was actually discovered around 1900 by fisherman. It dates to c.65 B.C., and has already produced a number of intriguing finds, including four large marble horse sculptures.

If you're wondering if this same wreck produced the Antikythera Mechanism, thought to be the world's oldest (though possibly not the first) analog're right.

Go here for more.       Who knows what else will turn up!

No, it's not this one...

Monday (Ok, Tuesday) Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Quietude

It looks like it will snow any second here -- but the mountains on the Western Slope are clear, and the weather apparently is sunny there. For now, at least. Go figure. 
    The Brick is full of himself -- we noticed an oven out on the curb by our neighbor's house, free for the taking. The neighbor told him nothing was wrong with it; they'd just updated their kitchen and gone to stainless steel, instead. (The oven is black.) 
     Mr. Engineer saw right away that it wasn't just an ordinary appliance -- it's a convection oven. He has been dying to try this type for ages; it's supposed to cook more evenly, and at lower temperatures. (The neighbor said, 'What's a convection oven?')
    Lots of panting, crashes and pans rattling are ensuing from the kitchen now, as our new 'purchase' gets put in place. Okay with me -- it's just in time for the Brick's new commitment to cook  supper every Monday night.

                                       * * * * * * * * * * * *

Apologies --  I  planned on getting this out sooner, but other things got in the way. We had a flurry of paperwork to be finished up for the Brick's retirement, and some other things. Business-wise, it's been extremely dead...but I am happy to report that the boatload-of-appraisals job (an appraisal day booked by a guild two years ago, who knows me well and insisted on my keeping the date) has been done for some time now. Other than a quickie appraisal or two and some orders, all's been quiet. 
      It's no fun to have your income go down. But it has given me some time to write in other areas -- and reflect on my dad, gone now for years.  A bluff, tough Dutch farmer, he didn't speak unless he absolutely had to. (Unless it was in private to his daughter about subjects ranging from the idiots in office to pioneer history, or the books they'd read together. Even to Bigfoot. Then he wouldn't shut up.) 
     He enjoyed saying, "I'm just a dumb Hollander," using that as an excuse for bowing out of commenting, giving talks, etc. Truth was, he was one of the smartest, wisest men I have ever known -- and a master at the art of listening.
     He knew his reputation for honesty and integrity preceded him. (That same reputation, he taught his children, was priceless -- worth more than any amount of money.) He knew some people were so busy shouting that they weren't listening for answers. And saying it loud, however effective in the short term, doesn't necessarily make it in the long run.
     When I was just starting out in this business, it was easy to be The Expert, making comments (sometimes loudly, I am sorry to say) on anything and everything. What I have learned over the years (thirty-plus as a teacher, more than a decade as a judge, and 18 1/2 years as an appraiser) is that experience, study and research count. A lot. Sometimes the wisest course is to say nothing at all. 

      Thanks, Dad. I miss you more each day. See you soon.  

One possibility for paying your student loans back even faster: refinancing. (From the Penny Hoarder)

Dealing with unintended consequences. From J.D. Roth, the founder of Get Rich Slowly. Although I don't agree with all of his decisions, he's a thoughtful writer who deserves to be heard. Think about subscribing to his new site, Money Boss -- there's a link in this post.

The verdict on Burger King's Halloween Whopper.


'Amazing Race' past winners pass along helpful tips.

Ghost-shaped rice krispie treats...just in time for Halloween. (From Who Needs A Cape)

Doing it -- but doing it on your own. (From Funky Junk Interiors)

A fishtank in the shower?? Yes, in this 200 sq. ft. tiny house in the Ukraine. (From Treehugger)

And in honor of the Brick's (and Daughter #2's) upcoming hunting trip:

Have a great week -- and stay warm. 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

A New Bigfoot Development!

I collect all things Bigfoot. Experience-wise, that is.

Other than bits and pieces here and there, I haven't had much to consider --
     except Daughter #2's personal experience last year. 
         Which was scary enough.

This year, she and partner Keith were out bowhunting in the boonies...
    Keith even went back to what they now refer to as "Sasquatch Mountain."

     No weird sounds, no wood-knocking, no upright-crunching-sounds-around-the-tent.

Until Keith went back a second time this weekend...
    And lo and behold, what did he find crossing the trail?

This footprint. 

(Btw, Keith's boot here is about a man's twelve.)

Either someone with Really Big Feet is wandering around barefoot in the back boonies --
       or something interesting is happening.

At the very least, you can see the pretty golden leaves. Maybe Mr. S. is like Ferdinand the Bull...except instead of sitting and smelling the pretty flowers, he likes aspen. Who knows.

I'll keep you posted.

It's not this guy. Not Abby the dog, either.

UPDATE:  Had a chance to ask Daughter #2 more about the Bigfoot Footprint. Keith found it approx. 100 yards from his tent, way in the backcountry. He did not notice any other prints. (And took this photo, I suspect, because I've been pestering the poor guy for more BF evidence.)

A Saturday Song

The fall colors were good, especially above Georgetown...but we have rain coming in. Not like the East Coast, but a lot, for Colorado. Wind's coming with it -- the Brick and I got caught in a wonderful shower of falling gold aspen leaves. Very cool.

Traffic will be horrible this weekend up in the mountains, if it's true to form. You may want to stay home, instead:

Nimoy, you silly man. I'll bet you loved doing this!
(By the way, that's Bruno Mars himself exiting the grocery store as Nimoy walks in.)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Discouraged...and Encouraged

Warning: some 'gripe, moan, complain' stuff coming.

Why does it take so dingdang long to finish things?!?

Why can't we get out to the mountains to see the fall colors?!
      (Because we can't finish our work, that's why.)

Why can't the Brick completely get rid of this pesky infection?

And why am I fighting feeling blue...


Actually, life IS going better. It's been a month since the Brick retired, and our bills are paid. Our projections are on spec, in spite of slower business, and a laptop crash -- with the subsequent need for new software and a battery. (Oh yes, a new cellphone, too. The Brick had to return his to the school district.)

I am nearly done with deadlines and paperwork. (The restoration jobs are not finished yet.) The last appraisal report is waiting to have photos added...and I have some appointments with a gallery to finalize. (I'm getting ready to start a new part of my business, too...will tell you about that shortly.)
     Plus a TON of putting-stuff-away.

We just got the last seasons of Walking Dead and Person of Interest, as well -- so there's something to watch while the stitching and paperwork gets finished up.

It could always be worse.  And...

At least it's the loveliest season to do it in.

Now I've bored the fur off myself, let's talk about something nicer: the wonderful autumn. We may not have the East Coast's heartstopping reds and oranges, but we do just fine in the golden department. Take a look here -- you'll find all sorts of Colorado webcams to let you see what's going on.  

Look quick, though -- our fall colors are nearly finished. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Rembrandt Found?

A small oil painting of three people, one of them a fainting lady, went up for auction recently.

No big deal in art circles -- valued at $500-800.  (It had some damage, too.)

Only, after research, some believe it to be the missing "Sense of Smell" in a series based on the Five Senses, painted by a young Rembrandt c.1625.

It sold for $870,000 on Sept. 22 at Nye & Company's auction in New Jersey.

"The painting had been noticed by some in the trade... the pictures are considered to be the very first paintings made by the Old Master, possibly done while still a student in the studio of the Dutch painter Pieter Lastman." Three others in the series are owned by museums or collectors: "The Operation (Sense of Touch);" "Three Singers (Sense of Hearing);" and "The Spectacle Seller (Sense of Sight)."

More here, via the Appraiser Workshops site. Yow.