Friday, October 20, 2017

Aerowave HD Frequency Cable Cutter

The idea of having a standalone tv work without a cable subscription finally dawned on me last month. We have two tiny apartments. One is fully equipped with cable, wifi, modem, router, etc. The other one used to have basic cable, but we discontinued it because we really never used it and it was a waste of money. If we are in that apartment when we have visitors, we rely on our iPad, phone, and personal hotspot. But the tv was sitting there doing nothing. I wanted to get an Apple TV there so we could at least mirror shows from my iPad. For a variety of reasons we abandoned that idea. Then I searched for whatever we needed to just get basic tv - like in the old days before cable. I found a couple of recommendations for a digital indoor antenna that could be easily added to our seven year old Sony Bravia tv. I found the directions for hook up specifically for use with our Sony Bravia and was prepared for the main event. I think it helps that we live in an urban environment. When I searched on available channels, there were at least 30. The Aerowave antenna arrived yesterday. With a very skeptical husband, we hooked the cable to the antenna and then to the tv, fumbled around the programming with the remote to find the internal antenna source option for programming, then searched for the available channels, and had instant tv within five minutes! We are so happy to have just the essential stuff - 52 channels - for free! If my new laptop had an HDMI port we could probably 
 se it too. But this will have to do for now. There is nothing worse than a tv that doesn't work. It feels like such a great accomplishment! 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Rain X on Glass Shower Door?

We just had our tiny bathroom renovated. We took out the old iron cast bathtub and had a shower installed with glass panel doors. When we renovated our bathroom in our Midwest house many years ago, the glass shower doors didn't stay crystal clear. Over time, they developed a white scum even though we used a squeegee every day. We really didn't want that to happen again. So after reading about what bathroom shower cleaner to use, my husband came across the idea of using RainX on the glass - the stuff you use on car windshields. The principle is the same so why not give it a try? So we got a spray bottle of the stuff, followed the directions, and waited for today to see if it made any difference after taking a shower. I have to say all I noticed was a barely visible light film on the glass and I'm not sure the water drops were being repelled? The glass just fogged up like it always does and I didn't see any droplets of water. I still squeegeed the doors but didn't spray them with the shower cleaner first. Maybe I should wait to see what happens over the next few days before I make a final judgement. All I care is that the RainX didn't ruin the glass and hopefully it will just wash away over time. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Freer Museum Courtyard

Yesterday we visited the Freer Museum. It just reopened after a major renovation that lasted at least a year. We haven't been there since we moved to DC eleven years ago and went to the opening ceremony last weekend to check out the light show that was displayed on the north side of the building. Since Tuesday is usually a crowd free day to check things out anywhere on the National Mall, it was a good time to go. After seeing all the beautiful Asian exhibits around the exterior sections of the building, we walked in to the courtyard in the center of the building. It was such a beautiful sunny day, we sat there awhile to take in the scenery. There was a lovely fountain in the center, and the leaves were beginning to turn from green to gold and red. Just a few people were milling about. In some ways we found this part of the museum more interesting than all the precious art pieces inside. From the lower level the hallway is connected to the Sackler Museum underground. We will go there on another day to visit the Iranian section specifically, but to also see what has changed since we were there last. It's an absolutely beautiful week to be in DC. These wonderful places make it even more interesting. All we have to do is walk on over. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Freer Sackler Smithsonian Museum Visit

We haven't been inside this museum since we first moved to DC eleven years ago. The Freer Sackler Museum has been closed for renovations for quite some time. This past weekend it reopened with an grand ceremony that included a light show. So on our morning walk today we decided we would stop in the Freer Gallery. The crowds are sparse now, and Tuesday is always a good day to visit most things on the National Mall. It was a delightful, gorgeous, sunny - but cool - walk over. We picked up a map at the entryway and started walking to the Chinese section, then to the Korean area and in to the Peacock Room. There was a small American section, and then we headed towards the Japan, Islamic world, and Indian Subcontinent exhibits. The Sackler Gallery is connected to this one, but we saved that for another time. We did stop in the beautiful courtyard, and then walked over to the Smithsonian Castle for a quick lunch. This is a great time to be in DC. Lucky for us, we just need to walk there. 

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Good Neighbor?

When you live in a single family home you can get away with making loud noises, tramping about, and having a surround sound on your tv. But when you live in an 1890's old building without insulation, even the lightest footsteps can be annoying. And when you live on the first floor there is no getting away from it. We have been living in our tiny condo for eleven years. Since this is a very transient neighborhood, our neighbors have come and gone. Some are better than others. But it seems that with every new upstairs neighbor, they don't realize - or don't care - if they make any disturbing noise. So after a few months of a breaking in period, we usually have to write a note about the fact that the walls are like paper. Such was the case last week. I have a draft note I keep on file because invariably it needs to be used. So we reprinted it and left it on the mailbox. Generally, the occupant complies - to a point. This time the gentleman came down to leave a written response on our door. But when he saw my husband in the hallway, he introduced himself and asked if there was anything more he could do. I am sorry to say that most people who live in this town react in more of a hostile manner, so this was a pleasant surprise. Luckily this person is only here during the week so there are quiet times as well. It just amazes me how people in general seem to have little regard to whatever goes on around them. There are certain rules of etiquette that apply when one lives in a community setting. Or at least we always thought so.


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Freer Sackler Illuminasia

We walk to the national mall almost every morning, but rarely in the evening. I had heard the Freer Sackler Gallery was having a grand reopening ceremony this weekend with an Asian theme. Then we saw the light display mentioned on the Friday news. So last evening around 7:30, we wandered down Independence Avenue to the gardens and museum to see the Illuminasia event. It was packed! So it was quite unlike our morning walks where we practically own the place. The galleries were open too, which meant there were at least twice as many people underground as there were above. We headed to the north side of the museum, under the lanterns, just in time for the light show to begin. The music and show were quite nice. We did feel like sardines stuck in between the crowd. After the show we walked about the mall where there was food and entertainment. But we could hardly move so we decided to head back home. This morning we did our usual walk back and they were setting up again for today's events. Perhaps this week we will actually stop inside the newly renovated museum. It's been almost ten years since we were last inside the main building and weekdays are the best time to avoid the crowds. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

An October Gourd Wall Vase

On our wall is a vase that we use to showcase the seasons. It has two levels and can be used in a variety of ways. Usually it is filled with pebbles that support the flowers that are added. The last time I added some philodendron cuttings to see if they might root, along with a couple of greens and twigs, and added a bunch of tiny yellow carnations. That bunch lasted a good two weeks. Since it is October and Halloween is just around the corner, I thought it might be a good seasonal opportunity to try something different. Last weekend we picked up a tiny pumpkin with a very long stem, but I noticed a pack of gourds that were small enough to fit in the glass vases. So this week we got the gourds. I emptied out the water and the pebbles and added the gourds to both vases. But it seemed to be missing something. So I added back the twigs and the philodendron. It looks a lot better and fills the space. But it still didn't look quite right. So I put the pumpkin in the top vase and placed three gourds on the laptop stand. That seemed better. I have a feeling this arrangement may change again. We have a couple of weeks to think about it.