Five Things Friday – Random Fun Weekend Thoughts!


Happy Friday! Today I am taking a rare vacation day – and even more rare a solo vacation day – and heading away for the weekend for my fraternity 150th anniversary celebration as I mentioned yesterday. In fact, as you read this I am probably close to Troy or already there. As I noted to a friend on Facebook, in contrast with past visits this will be the first time I ever went running in Troy, and there will be much less alcohol consumed than when I was young! But I am anticipating loads of fun!

So I wanted to just blast out a few random things on my mind – and hope everyone has a great weekend!

Invisible Fence1

1. Invisible Fence

If you have dogs and own your own home, Invisible Fence is definitely something you should know about – it is a system comprised of a collar with electrodes and a buried wire that runs around the perimeter of our property. When the dog gets close to the boundary a high pitched been starts, and when they cross the line they get a shock. It might sound a bit nasty, but generally the dogs will stop even before hearing the sound after a bit – and the result is they have free reign of the yard!

We’ve had the system since just after we moved to New York, and the dogs love it because they can run around outdoors, bask in the sun, and generally watch the world go on around them.

Well, we’ve been on the annual battery plan (new batteries every quarter for each collar), and kept putting off replacing them, first because they were still working, then because of various other things … then we got lazy!

We have seen them start pushing the boundaries and a couple of weeks ago when Lisa and I were going to go for a walk without the dogs Rosie followed right along. But neither ever left the property … so naturally on Thursday Rosie decides she’s going on a great explore of the neighborhood. Lisa texts me about the adventure getting her home then I get an alert from the Whistle app that she already met her activity goal (Whistle is like Fitbit for pets).

Fortunately it all turned out fine – we made a priority stop to get new batteries, and the dogs quickly readjusted to their borders. Whew!


2. Mark of the Unicorn

Way back in 1985 I took my first electronic music class at RPI, and the software we used was Performer from MOTU (Mark of the Unicorn) running on a 512k Mac. After using it in the lab for all those years, when I bought my own Mac, naturally I grabbed Performer, which was probably version 2 or 3 by then.

I kept upgrading until version 6, when MOTU end-of-lifed it and replaced it with Digital Performer, which brought in video and audio capabilities. I upgraded THAT a couple of times, but then let things lapse for a number of years.

After moving I never made sure I had all of my registration info, so when I recently decided to get my studio back together, I searched everywhere physically and electronically for the information … to no avail.

So I send an email to customer service with my name, the last address I THINK I used to register, a couple of potential emails, and the versions I thought I had. Total crap-shoot … but they came back in minutes with my info, and when I asked about versions for older PPC and 040 Macs (I might be getting an old one back after many years) they said they’d send an installer CD for those as well as the brand new version.

Oh, and they even sent me the digital registration for the newest version – so I was able to quickly get things going again! It was pretty awesome! Great, great customer support!

Walk and Rings2

3. Wedding Rings!

I think it is a very common thing to twirl and twist your wedding rings – and they tend to spin on their own as it is. The problem – particularly for someone wearing multiple rings (engagement, wedding and anniversary bands) – is that all that spinning translates into wear on the rings. This is exactly what happened to Lisa’s rings – the prongs holding the diamond in place were worn, and the channels were wearing down and the channel stones were starting to get compromised.

Last year she had a mall store jeweler look at the prongs and they ‘repaired’ it – but not all that well. Fortunately we have a good jeweler in the area, and this week they replaced the setting, repaired everything and soldered the rings together. The channels are still very worn down (amazing contrast compared to mine!) but things are safe and secure and it buys us more time.

Speaking of which – since our 25th is coming in a few years, it seems like an opportune time to possibly replace the entire ring set … and we saw a cool set that we will keep in mind. But for now we are just so happy to have Lisa’s set safe and looking better than ever.

The big thing for us is the sentimentality – these have been part of our lives for a very long time (just past 23rd engage-aversary), and it isn’t about the money or value or size or carat weight or whatever. It is about us, and the meaning of these rings. Hopefully our current set will last for a while longer, but we know it won’t be forever. On Instagram Megan mentioned having done hers already after 2 years, and I encourage everyone to consider it.


4. Bringing Back the Garmin

For some reason this week I wanted to get my Garmin back out and start using it again – actually I know exactly why, Garmin launched a new version of their connect site with a separate app for syncing up your device.

It was fun getting the FR-10 back into service, having to sit it on the windowsill as I put on my running shoes to link to GPS, and so on. The fit and feel are great, but one thing I noticed after having used many other devices over the last several months? The elevation was considerably ‘off’ from the rest, and there was a patch that was installed that … you guessed it, dealt with making elevation more accurate!


5. Nutri-Bullet!

So yeah, three weeks in and I continue to use my Nutri-Bullet every day. Generally it is breakfast and dessert – which makes for such a great way to get an ice cream-like dessert that is much healthier.

People at work have taken an interest – one friend was thinking about it for her and her husband, so we were talking, then another person in that group got hooked in, and another … it is kind of crazy. But it is a really fun way to mix things up!

Oh – and thanks for the recipes and pointers! I have used some of them and variations of others … great and yummy stuff!

Bonus: Walking Season!

The picture at the top is from the end of a walk Lisa and I took with the dogs this week. The weather has just started to warm up to the point where we can go for evening walks – the dogs love it, it is so much better than sitting down after dinner, it feels great, and is a great way for us to get to chat even more!

So … what are your weekend plans? Do you like going for walks with spouse / friends / family / pets / alone / etc?

18 thoughts on “Five Things Friday – Random Fun Weekend Thoughts!

  1. I have thought about doing that to my rings. My only problem is that when I run I take off my engagement ring. I guess I am so scared of something happening to it so I wouldn’t be able to run with just my band anymore. I’ll have to consider it though!

    Hope you have a great time this weekend!

    • It is a tough call – Lisa was nervous about how it would look and feel, but would never go back now that they are together. I also think you are more likely to have issues working around the house, doing dishes or whatever … I know some people who are constantly taking their rings on and off – not me! I never take mine off for anything but to clean it, and even that isn’t very often.

  2. When I run over my lunch, I can’t use my Garmin because I work in the heart of downtown. Both of our tall buildings (that’s a joke, but it is Lincoln, NE-we don’t have many!) inhibit the GPS from ever connecting to the satellites. I spent half my lunch hour waiting to connect a few times and decided never again. That being said, I’m glad I’ve mapped a few of my favorite from work routes, because mapmyfitness is wildly inconsistent with distances. I have to use it as a guideline and not much else. Probably not a coincidence that my running’s gotten much better now that I’m not as focused on how far I’ve gone already and the other fun stats!

    • I think most cities are a challenge for the relatively weak GPS chips in watches. I am definitely happier now using the Magellan Echo paired to my iPhone. My resurgent Garmin fix didn’t last long once I found the elevation was not very accurate – even after the latest firmware.

      And I also find that not having to wait for my GPS to link when I’m running a ‘standard route’ is very liberating. But I do like having it on different routes. Oh well!

  3. Fitbit for dogs, outstanding! As our pups get older, it has been tough to juggle the activity needs against hip displaysia and other ailments. That’d be a fun idea to track it.

    This weekend will be mostly resting in prep for the Pittsburgh marathon next weekend, a belated family Easter gathering (where I will forcibly resist the temptation of the world’s best cheesecake my mother-in-law makes, I’ll freeze some for after the race). Most importantly, I’ll be scouring thrift stores for bargain tech fabric shirts I can use as scrap fabric to fabricate a collar-bone-shield to put on my camelbak which has recently begun chafing me, and I’d like to wear it during the race.

    • Definitely looking forward to hearing about the Pittsburgh Marathon on your site next week! Been loving the progress updates along the way.

      I do like the Whistle, it shows us the difference between our dogs, and also ‘active’ time versus just wandering around.

  4. When my parents moved a few years ago they put in an invisible fence for their dog. They love it and they are glad they didn’t have to have a real fence built.
    I have thought about getting that done to my rings but I think it would be a little more difficult because my engagment ring doesn’t line up evenly with my wedding band (its hard to explain but the main diamond is held by prongs that are wider than the band of the ring). I think I would have to have my engagement ring altered so that they lined up evenly before they could solder them together. Right now there is a little gap between the two rings. I’m not sure if that is better or worse for the wear and tear. The next time I’m in NY I might go by the place where the rings were purchased to see what they think.
    Glad you are liking the nutri- bullet! I use my blender every day to make smoothies. Have a great weekend!

    • Our dogs are fairly small so it wasn’t clear (to our old vet) if we could do it … but it has been the absolute best!

      Yeah, I don’t think the soldering is for everyone or every ring set … but definitely check it out when you can. Contrasting my ring to Lisa’s … it is amazing how much was worn down through the years.

  5. I remember hearing about invisible fences when I was a kid and I wanted one so bad and I wanted to sit on it when the mailman came and he’d wonder how I was floating in the air.

    I really wanted matching rings, so we both have 3 interlocking bands and no stones — just right for us and no real maintenance, at least not so far, but it’s only been 5 years.

    • haha – you crack me up!

      I think finding the rings that are right for you is what is most important … and if they interlock there might be much less wear over time. Just something to be aware of.

  6. Pingback: Thought for Tuesday – On Bandits, Blog-Scrapers and Proportional Responses | Running Around the Bend

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