Sunday, September 02, 2018

Labor Day 2018

Because of my new work schedule where I am working 4-10's, I am into day two of a four day weekend. And so far, productive it has been.
We just put up the last repaired panel in the Dining Room. Our support bracket is in place and we will have it there until tomorrow. Susan will do a little touch up on the woodwork and then we will never have to deal with that issue again. Cuz it's never going to be leaked on because of a dumb ass mistake.
I have completed my fourth phase of projects in the TV Room. Phase four was to center the light fixture in the room. I had to use a ceiling fan bracket that I happened to have in my collection of electrical supplies. There was nothing else to attach the can to in the area of the center of the room. 

The bracket worked fine and now if anyone ever wants to hang a fan in there, they have the support to do it.

My car is still in surgery and the price has jumped another thou. Had I known that, I would not have gone through with this repair.

The good news is that the whole top end of my engine will be rebuilt so I'm hoping that will get me a few more years of mileage.

In the meantime, I've been riding my bike a lot. I'm going to go to the General Store a bit later to get some stuff I need and I'll be on the bike for that trip.

In the meantime, it's noon. Time for a beer!

Later: The rest of the day has been lazy. We took a nice long nap and I fixed a couple of items with help from the General Store.  

Now we are waiting for Mark so we can go downtown to Pigout in the Park.

Much Later: We made it down to Pigout and enjoyed food, drink music and friends. We stayed for the first part of "Too Slim and the Taildraggers", a local well known blues band.
About half way through the show, we headed for home where we lit a pit fire and toasted some S'mores while watching Raccoons try to eat up our grapes.
A lovely day!

Monday, August 27, 2018


I woke up this morning on my day off to wonderful rain. I guess about a quarter inch fell over the night and into the morning. It's the first rain we have had since July 27th and that was a minuscule .02 inches.

Whatever the amount of rain that fell was, it knocked the smoke we have been inundated with out of the sky. I could see Mt. Spokane this morning.

We made some progress in repairing the ceiling panels in the Dining Room. Susan did what she could do to the panels and now it was time to get them back up. We used a whole tube of liquid nails on Panel Number One and got it up on the ceiling. However, we had a major problem in that the panel was kind of bowed and it did not want to stick up. 

So we improvised a support beam. I grabbed an extension pole we use for paint rollers and extended it as far as I could. We placed a short 2x4 up against the panel and them propped the pole up against it to keep it in place. 
Susan them built up a base of 2x4s on the floor until it reached the pole. Then I fine tuned it with shims until the support held itself in place. That is one Mickey Mouse piece of engineering.

We are leaving it in place for 24 hours and we shall see how it holds.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Ogden-Thompson-Burke Weekend 2018

Arnie and Rob are two of my oldest friends that I still have regular contact with. We've known each other since Kindergarten. Arnie lives in San Francisco with his wife, Haley. Robba lives here in town and recently we hate him.

A month ago, Arnie e-mailed to Rob and I and said that he and Haley are planning a trip to Spokane where we will all go out to Rob's lake place and enjoy a long weekend together.

So we planned and worked the numbers and set this past weekend for the festivities. We would all go up on Friday morning and stay until Sunday afternoon.

Rob has a great lake cabin at Coeur d'Alene lake that his Dad built in the 60's. It's very comfortable and sleeps about 90 people. It has all the comforts of home except TV and the Interwebs. TV is available if you have a DVD.

So the stage is set for our wonderful weekend.

Arnie and Haley flew in to town about 7PM on Wednesday. I picked them up and brought them back to the house where Susan was preparing a lovely dinner.

We sat around and ate and drank and chatted but we were all in bed by ten.

I had to work on Thursday and so did Susan. So I left my car behind for Arnie and Haley to go out and adventure around the area.

Thursday night was a trip to Spokane Indians Baseball. They won!

Friday morning we had a leisurely breakfast and finally got around to heading for the lake around noon...with a stop at the Hub.
We arrived at the lake about 1:00. We got ourselves unloaded and into our rooms and then set out for the dock. Many beers were consumed while we sat on the dock and occasionally jumped in the water.

At 5:00, we went up for cocktail hour. Rob made margaritas and we prepped a fabulous dinner. The drinking continued into the evening as the sun set and darkness enveloped the deck.

Our wives all went off to bed about 10:00 and that left the boys and a bottle of whiskey all to ourselves.

At some point, I believe Rob said, "Let's go skinny dipping." Without a thought, we threw off our clothes and dashed down to the dock and jumped in. It was fabulous!

To get back to the cabin, one must climb a long flight of stairs.
It begins here.

As we stumbled back up to the cabin, I climbed up on hands and feet to just short of that bench. Then I lost my balance and rolled to the right. That vegetation at the top of the wall is a thorny bush. I rolled my naked body right through that bush and six feet down to the beach...landing on my ass.
Here is the scene of that bench the next morning. I sat there for quite a while. I finally hiked up to the cabin, leaving a small trail of blood all the up.

I have a series of many scratches from just under my left armpit, wrapping around to my butt and on down my legs.

It was a wonderful weekend.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Phase Two

I have done a horrible job of updating our progress on the TV Room. Nor have I waxed on about life in general here in the Summer of '18.

We are in the middle of a hot streak as far as the weather is concerned. The official high temperature yesterday was 102 but I saw as high as 104 on a couple of signs.

I have noted before that we have the best neighbors. Neighbors with cars, trucks, tools and pools. We have made great use of our neighbors pool this summer and especially during this stretch of heat.

Along with the heat, we are experiencing hazy skies due to forest fires from around the region. I don't think there is anything raging in our immediate region but we sure are smokey.

Tasks for today are many and varied. Susan wants to start cleaning the house a bit for friends who are visiting later next week. But first she is trying to repair the dining room ceiling panels I so effectively destroyed several weeks ago.
For my part, I'm trying to run a new phone line and re-run the cable line to a different wall in the TV Room.
Last week, I was able to add two new outlets to the room. I'll update this later.

4:15PM: Both Susan and I have done well today. Susan seems to be somewhat satisfied with her work fixing the ceiling panels. I think they look pretty good.

The panels are drying for a while. We are in no hurry to put them back up until they are ready.

I was most successful in moving the cable line, which I have proved that it is in working condition. I also was successful moving the phone, but it has not yet been tested.
To do the work, I had to climb into the hole shown above and crawl back to the space under the TV Room.
It is a dark, foreboding space with only enough headroom to crawl, kneel or sit. It wasn't terribly difficult to deal with the cable but the phone line offered a number of challenges. I had to fish a lot of wire through the width of the house. I left a string behind in case I ever need to fish something across the span again.

I should finish up and check that the phone line works but I'm fairly confident it will and the pool is calling. It's time to get a couple of beers and head for the pool.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Reflections on the New Mirror

I finally found a new mirror to replace our decimated one at Fred Meyer. It was listed at $99.00 but I got a discount and paid about $85.00. I presented it to Susan last Thursday (her birthday) and we hung it today. 
I am very confident that this one will hold for a long time. 

We added an update to the history of the mirror on the wall where it hangs. 
Pictured above is the one wall remaining to be stripped of lath. We are going to tackle it today.
Please make a note of the wall pictured above. Before we installed the door shown on the right, we suspected that there had been a door into this room on that wall. This would have been a sitting room. We were surprised to find no door framed in when we removed the plaster and lath.

But you will notice that that appears to be a door framed in just to the left of the door. The only thing is, that door would have been right smack dab at the bottom of the stairs. It is a mystery that we will never know, I guess.

Once we complete that final bit of lath removal, I am ready to do my rewiring. I'm not doing much. I'm adding one outlet and moving the TV cable to an inside wall. I'm also going to run a new phone line, updated and modern like, to accept the electronic doodads of the Interweb.

7:58PM: We worked until about 3:30 and we can now say we have successfully completed Phase One of the remodel.
After  the work was done, it was off to our Neighborhood Country Club across the street for a nice cooling swim.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Back to Lath

I made use of my lazy Saturday to return to the TV room and resume work on the remodel. We only had a small amount of plaster to remove and I was determined to complete the job. I ended up filling five garbage bags of plaster. However, I learned my lesson from the last go round. 

These were not full bags. I learned that by filling them about one third full, they were much more manageable to load in the car. Consequently, they will be much more manageable to unload.

Today, we took on the lath. We decided we will take on one wall a night and get the damn thing done. Lath removal was much easier than plaster removal and much cleaner. However, we still ended up with a great deal of plaster mess and dust. Little chunks remain behind in the lath and lots of plaster falls into the wall and down to the bottom of each cell between the studs.

I don't know how much we will accomplish in the coming week as each evening has some activity going on for one of us.

As for now, it is a hot summer day and it is time to take advantage of our neighbors with the pool.

Monday, July 02, 2018

Holiday Week

We have made great progress over the week and as of Saturday, we are nearly finished removing the plaster. Just a couple more hours and the plaster will be gone. I made a couple of dump runs on Saturday to get rid of the plaster. That cost about 45 bucks.

The next step will be removing all the lath and neatly stowing it away. Lath makes great kindling.

We got everything cleaned up and we are done for the next week. 

We are hosting a dinner for my Mom's birthday next Saturday with a gaggle of her friends and Susan wants to spend the week getting the house cleaned up. Plus, in the middle of all that, we have the Fourth of July, which apparently has something to do with celebrating the birth of our country by blowing a lot of it up.

So further destruction on the TV Room is on hold for this week.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

More Destruction

We put in some more time in the TV Room. We are making progress but we are still a long way out. 

Part of the problem is dealing with all the plaster. We've filled four 30 gallon garbage bags and haven't even completed tearing down one wall.

We are taking the bags of plaster and loading them in my car. I'm going to take them to the dump on Thursday. But five bags is going to be the limit I can haul at one time in my SUV.

But, we are progressing.

Monday, June 25, 2018

The Eve of Destruction

It's opening night of the remodel and we are officially underway. We are doing what we do best...destruction!

We got a good start on two different walls. We also got the radiator out of the room and in the course of doing that, we did some pretty good destruction of our nice wood floors.
I hope we don't have more mistakes like that. 

Sunday, June 24, 2018

The Start of the Next Project

It is time to get another project going here at this old house.

This time we are taking on what we call, the TV Room. It could be a home office, a bedroom, or a sitting room. But for us, it's the TV room...the room where we almost never watch TV.

It should be an easy project for us because we are not doing anything major. We are removing the plaster and lath from the walls and then dry walling the walls and the ceiling. There will be a little rewiring and moving the cable connection for the TV.

Therefore, I am making the proclamation and setting the goal to be finished by the end of August.

(Appropriate pause to allow the laughter to subside)
Today, we have moved the couch out and a couple of tables.  We left the giant and unreasonably heavy armoire in there because the TV is still inside it and we have no place to put it right now.
I am currently waiting for all the radiators to drain. I started about two hours ago and as of just now, there is still a trickle. Once the trickle has become drip, I will remove that radiator shown in the corner so we can really get in to all the cranny's and the nooks.

So let the remodel begin!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Attach of the Multiplicitous Moss

In between a variety of jobs I am doing around the house, I am helping my local handyman who is cleaning the moss off the roof. 

Last year, we hired the son of our friend Mark, to come over and put some zinc stripes up on the roof. The zinc is supposed to run down the roof when it rains and kill the moss. 

It's a year later now and the moss is quite healthy. So Mitch is back today to remove the moss. He's up there on the steep roof with a broom and a putty knife to clean out under each shingle. 

He's doing a great job.
While Mitch is up doing the work that I should be doing, I have gone out and taken delivery of our latest investment in our home winery.
No, that is not a still. Although, that would be nice too. We bought us a top of the line, enamel coated Hand Crank Grape Crusher. It stands just over six feet tall and it is hungry for some grapes. 

Unfortunately, it will have to wait until October when the harvest is in.

When we started looking at this, it was $420.00. Then we realized we would need the stand as well. That was $300.00. Then we realized it had to be shipped, which tacked on another $120.00. And of course, we couldn't get out of this transaction without paying some sort of tax to someone, $79.00.

So, our $420.00 grape crusher cost us just short of a thousand dollars. It's a good thing I like wine.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Yard Sale Saturday

If it's a rainy Saturday in June, it must be the Corbin Park Yard Sale.

Today is no exception. I got up at 7:30 (which qualifies as sleeping in) and got the signs out around the neighborhood. I also placed an ad in the Classified section of the newspaper.

I drove around the park and saw about ten yards set up for the sale. That's 10 out of a possible 83.

I noticed a few other sales setting up on Cleaveland, a block off the park and I'll bet there are others on Euclid, a block off the other side of the park.

I'll check back later to update the weather, the sale, and how many beers I've had.

11:27AM: We took a stroll around the park to check out the sales. We had already arranged with one neighbor to buy a Weber Charcoal Grill for $30.00. Along the way we bought a stuffed snow man, $1, for the Teddy Bear Toss, an unopened "Derek and the Domino's" record album for a dollar, and a canister vacuum for 30 bucks.

3:21PM: I just wasted two watching "Baywatch", the movie, not the TV show. Although both are equally stupid.

5:58PM: Well, this was a pretty useless day as far as accomplishments go. sometimes, that's okay. I'm okay with it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Se7en Years of Bad Luck?

Back in 2012, we remodeled the main floor entry and hallway. Among the fun stuff we discovered, we found a note from former owners of the house behind a mirror.

They had purchased and hung the mirror back in the winter of 1945. They wrote on the wall, leaving their names and the date. Susan had planned to wallpaper that area but this revelation put the kibosh on that idea. We ended up wallpapering right up to the area and then rehanging the mirror over it. 
We even added our own comments. 
You can refer to our posts back in July of 2012 for more details. Specifically, July 28th, 2012 shows a picture of the mirror just after we hung it.

Well, now we have to add some new comments. When we replaced the mirror, we did not screw it into the wall as it was when originally hung. I placed some reinforcements on the frame and added a chain to hang it by.

That lasted for six years. It fell off the wall tonight and totally shattered the 6 foot mirror and pretty much destroyed the frame as well. Oops!

Saturday, June 02, 2018

First Saturday in June

It's Saturday morning and we enjoyed a good solid sleep almost 9AM. I'm not really sure what is on the docket for today. Susan has mentioned something about completing her planting, although I'm not sure what that entails.

One thing I would like to do is teat into the Carriage House and clean and organize a little. Both are crucial...the cleaning is needed badly but the organizing is really needed more badder.

I have come up with a crook in the road. I need to go over to the General Store and find out about a front wheel bearing for my car. It's going out and needs to be replaced.

Okay, the bearing thing is taken care of. I can pick it up tomorrow for $114.00. I have a guy who will do the work next weekend.

Now it's time to work on the Carriage House.

I made some progress on the C.H. Nothing great but it's a little cleaner. That's like saying ISIS is a little less evil. 

It is approaching 5:00 and we are heading down to ArtFest in Cd'A Park. I hope to return with pictures.
This was really the only picture I took at ArtFest. These two dogs were transfixed on a squirrel up in a tree. They held that pose until their owner moved them on down the lane.

It was a typical ArtFest except the food offerings were much more limited. Susan was looking forward to a Gyro from Azar's but they weren't even there this year.