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Bare grass in backyard

Improving lawn with multiple bare patches – Summer 2022 Project

My lawn always looks kind of crummy early in the season.  This year is no different.  I was thinking maybe it even looked worse than usual.  My front yard looks thin.  The backyard looks thin with many bare patches.  The backyard I’m thinking is worse because I’ve had so much clover growing back there, which may be crowding out the grass.  The other possibility is that we may have a… Read More »Improving lawn with multiple bare patches – Summer 2022 Project

Growing Green Dragon Hybrid Cucumbers – 2022

I’ll update this thread throughout the summer – bookmark it and check back for updates! I’ve been growing cucumbers for a few years now.  My wife really hates seeds in her cucumbers, so we usually get English Cucumbers when we buy them.  I have a spot in our yard where I’ve grown cucumbers – it’s a small area near the house with full sun.  I didn’t have an actual trellis,… Read More »Growing Green Dragon Hybrid Cucumbers – 2022

Breville Barista Pro – Second Shot Slower Than First

Update 3/13/2021: I emailed Breville with my question.  Long story short, they told me to send it in for servicing.  They paid for UPS to package and ship the machine.  A few days later I get an email that a new machine is being sent to me.  I called and tried to find out what they found wrong but they had no information.  Rather than open the replacement, I decided… Read More »Breville Barista Pro – Second Shot Slower Than First

Breville Barista Pro

Breville Barista Pro vs Breville Barista Express – My Analysis

Early fall I was looking to get an espresso machine. At the end of September 2020, I wound up buying the Breville Barista Pro.  This post is meant to review my thought process in how I made that decision. At the time, I was pretty sure the Breville Barista Express was going to be the right choice for me, after doing a lot of reading and watching YouTube videos.  Bed… Read More »Breville Barista Pro vs Breville Barista Express – My Analysis

Illinois COVID-19 Trend Tracking – are case counts going up or down?

6/24/20 – The 7 day average was pretty flat this week, rather than trending down as it had been.  Also, today the case count was higher than would have been expected, which is a worrisome sign. I created the above graph because Illinois cases are tracked weirdly, with low cases recorded on the weekends and those extra cases reported during the week.  In order to get a better sense of… Read More »Illinois COVID-19 Trend Tracking – are case counts going up or down?

Illinois COVID-19 – did we peak yet??? (Tracking Deaths)

I created this page for my own use as Illinois has weekly trends that make it hard to tell the overall trend.  By doing a 7 day moving average, I think it is easier to see where we are. Update 6/24/20 – I’ve added a new post on tracking COVID cases in Illinois, as tracking deaths will not show us trends as quickly as tracking cases.  This was a good… Read More »Illinois COVID-19 – did we peak yet??? (Tracking Deaths)

COVID-19 Antibody Testing Experience with Quest

Every time I venture out where I encounter other people, I ask myself if it was worth it.  I don’t do it often, but I decided to do it to get a blood test for antibodies to COVID-19. Why did I bother?  I’m hoping and wonder like everyone else if that cold that I had in the last few months could have been a mild case of coronavirus.  And if… Read More »COVID-19 Antibody Testing Experience with Quest

male dog tick

American Dog Tick Bite – Northern Illinois

My daughter got bitten by a tick.  First, she reported something itchy on her scalp.  Upon inspection, we noticed this tick: Rather than looking online to see what to do, we removed it with our fingernails, removing a small piece of her scalp with it. You shouldn’t do that – you should remove it with a sharp pointed tweezers, grabbing as close to the skin as possible and gently pull… Read More »American Dog Tick Bite – Northern Illinois

Illinois COVID-19 Tracking with Graphs

Updated 4/26/20 at 17:15.  I hadn’t updated for a while as other websites are getting better at also tracking this data.  Overall, tracking numbers of cases is only slightly useful, as there are clearly many more cases that are not being identified.  Tracking deaths is much more accurate as we are probably tracking most deaths related to COVID accurately.  Tracking the ratio of positive tests to total number of tests… Read More »Illinois COVID-19 Tracking with Graphs

Coronavirus COVID-19 – Can you get re-infected after recovery?

One of the big unanswered questions is whether someone is immune to reinfection with COVID-19 after they’ve recovered from a positive case.  The current thought is that people are most likely immune.  But what is the evidence?  Unfortunately, it is still not a confirmed finding. There was a recent report giving some information about four cases in Wuhan China where the individuals initially tested positive for COVID-19 and then recovered. … Read More »Coronavirus COVID-19 – Can you get re-infected after recovery?